A Round a Day!
When our students are really enjoying a song or activity, we often have an impromptu performance at the end of class and pull their homeroom teacher or even the principal in to watch and listen!
I wish you could have come to the end of our 4th grade class yesterday to hear them sing the three rounds we’ve been singing in class: Ghost of John, Old Abram Brown and Ah, Poor Bird.
The children LOVE these songs and enjoy singing them, especially in round. We see 1/2 of a grade level one day and the other 1/2 on the next day so after hearing the fabulous part singing from both sides, I was eager to ask the teachers if we could have the whole grade level perform it together.
Four giant parts!
Our school is arranged in grade level pods with the classrooms in each pod open to a common pod area. I had the students stand along their classroom boundary facing the common area and the mini concert began. Because all three songs are in d minor, we were able to sing them straight through. We sang each song one time together, then two times in round, each part repeating the last phrase until all parts finished together. It was spectacular! The students and I had a blast and our audience was suitably impressed! I call this MAGIC!
I presented a session, SIng Your Own Part, at Texas Choral Director’s Association convention this summer where I outlined methodology for developing part singing in children. Let me tell you, rounds/canons are a vital and fun part of music. I keep a suitable round or two (or three) going all through the year in 1st through 5th grade and also from year to year. Children enjoy repeating great songs so consider singing the round as a single for one or two years, then as a round only after they know it very well and when it is developmentally appropriate to do so. Remember, familiarity equals success in part singing! Click here for a list of my favorite rounds and some helpful hints.
As you are developing a round, pay special attention to posture, diction, phrasing, tuning and tone. This meticulous process will build voices and will be a springboard for great singing! Also, rounds/canons are easily accompanied by Orff instruments and make fabulous concert pieces.
Now….rounds……Thanksgiving…….oh, yes……..For Thy Gracious Blessings………..