I have been reading The Story of the Trapp Family Singers. Such a gem, for many many reasons…not the least of which is the engaging storytelling of the inimitable Maria. I was reminded of something I already knew but had forgotten, and that is that singing rounds is the best way to begin part singing. Singing in rounds is the easiest step from unison singing to learning to carry your own part.
Because I am now a Trapp Family Singers wannabe (it’s really an incredible, inspiring story), we are now singing rounds at home. Lia (3 years, 5 months) has just recently become interested in doing more than dancing to music…she now enjoys singing with us, instead of just listening and requesting songs…so I think it’s a great time to start with rounds.
Lia and I sing together and Devo sings his part and she never gets mixed up. So far we have learned Are You Sleeping?‘ (well, actually we are singing the Afrikaans version, Vader Jakob) and Praetorius’ Jubilate Deo (we need two more children to finish off this 6-part canon).
Health and Strength. Sing this one at meal time.
Then there are the silly Three Blind Mice and Row, Row, Row Your Boat.
Here is a good list of basic rounds, with midi files AND music.
I’m especially excited about this first step towards part-singing, because though we sing all the live-long day here at home, I really would like to someday move beyond The Farmer in the Dell and contemporary Christian praise music. (Sorry, Devo). Well, maybe I should say that I would like to expand our repertoire. Because I really do like The Farmer in the Dell. And Chris Tomlin.
You can just call me Maria from now on. Palestrina, Bach, here we come!
update :: I have (finally!) added a new post on the subject, Singing Rounds With Children, Part Two. I hope you find this useful! Enjoy singing!