I’ve been singing rounds, partner songs and melody mergers at school with the 3rd and 4th graders. What’s the difference between those three type of songs? Well, as you know, a round is where one group starts singing the song, then the 2nd group starts singing it a little later and a 3rd group starts in a little after that. Rounds usually have 2 or 3 different groups that sing the same song.
Partner songs are two different songs that are sung at the same time. You divide the class into 2 groups and assign them each a different song. When sung together, one group needs to be a little louder and the other group sings softer. It sounds very nice. We have been singing Michael Finnigan and This Old Man.
Other partner songs you can try are: Good Night Ladies with Pickalittle, Talkalittle (Music Man), The Farmer in the Dell with Here We Go Looby Loo, Hey Ho, Nobody Home with When Johnny Comes Marching Home and Three Blind Mice with London Bridge.
A melody merge is several partner songs sung at the same time, BUT you don’t sing the words—then you have melody mash crash! You just sing the melody on loo or la. We sang Three Blind Mice, Are You Sleeping and Row, Row Row Your Boat. It sounded great! Well, I have to admit, with two classes it sounded great, the other classes with not as many good singers in it sounded more like the melody mash crash.
These six songs can be sung together (remember without the words): Are You Sleeping, Down by the Station, White Coral Bells, R,R,Row Your Boat, 3 Blind Mice, Merrily we Roll Along.
Another set of six songs are these: Swing Low Sweet Chariot, When the Saints, Good Night Ladies, Amazing Grace, She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain and Crawdad Song.
I’m anxious to try these melody mergers with recorders and Orff instruments. Try them at home, at your next family reunion, cub scout meeting or with friends. Good luck, I hope you don’t crash.