Thursday, July 19, 2012

To Stop the Train

To Stop The Train is an easy round for children to learn. It can be found on page 280 of Arvida Steen's "Exploring Orff: A Teacher's Guide." Arvida suggests adding movement to visually enhance the round, although she doesn't describe any specific gestures. 
Dr. Robert Amchin, head of the music education department at the University of Louisville, has often included this round in his classes and workshops. In the video below, you can see Dr. Amchin first teaching the movements of the round then adding the words one phrase at a time. Last, he introduces the pitches. To create harmony, he allows the class to become the first group while he sneaks in as the second part of the round. He gradually adds people to group 2 until both groups are equal.

This year, my fellow music teachers and I decided to have our students perform this simple round in our Central Area Music Festival. But, we knew we had to make the round longer and more interesting.  First, we started in unison with movements only and no voices. We added one phrase at a time until we sang the entire song in unison. Then, we sang the song one time through in a 4-part round starting 4 beats apart. Last, we sang the song one time through in an 8-part round starting 2 beats apart. Here is the video of our performance. These are the elementary choir students from 3 neighboring schools.

All of the students really enjoyed this round; it quickly became a favorite! For weeks, I would walk through the hallways or lunchroom and hear someone singing or humming it. Whether you are just performing it in class or you are polishing it for a performance, I hope you and your students enjoy this round.

1 comment:

  1. If nothing else, what a great example to show my students what a round is and what it sounds like! Very, very nice!