Singing Rounds with Children

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).

There is also the Tallis Canon which I thought would be a good before-bed song. (First verse and maybe the doxology). Or Oh How Lovely Is the Evening.

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!


8 thoughts on “Singing Rounds with Children

  1. Bravo, Maria! Ariel sounds like she is doing wonderful on the singing – and the ballet! Does she sing Opera yet?! My kind of Opera – conversational singing – What’s for Dinner? La la la!

  2. I remember singing with my family when we were growing up…the same kinds of songs, but in Spanish. It was really fun. We enjoyed it the most while traveling.

  3. Ahhhhhhhh my Maria. I think it is perfectly reasonable to plan the number of children you will have based upon the number of parts in Jubilate Deo. Good Family planning there!

    My family planning consists of counting the number of rooms in my house then add one child. When the children are say 6-7 they will become maids and I will never have to clean again as there will be a maid…er child to clean each room and one for laundry!

    Some times I even amaze myself when I come up with these brillant schemes.

  4. Thank you for all the links! i was making songbooks to bring in the car with us while we travel this summer, and thought to include some new rounds to teach the little ones – i found some fun ones from your post – so sweet!

  5. when i started singing in rounds (at a Kodaly music summer school it wasnt just the fun we had but the truly amazing vocals that were created.. it has totally changed my ideas about music.

  6. Pingback: Singing Rounds with Children, Part Two | spinning in my teacup

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