Growing up, we had a large willow tree in our backyard. I remember thinking how pretty it was in the foreground of a summer lightning storm. It was always so flexible, with branches bending and swaying with the wind. It moved and danced so happily then, until it was struck by lightning and split almost down the middle. After that, it became a sad reminder of its former glory, and eventually, my parents were forced to cut it down.
Though not traditionally a song used in rounds, I think it would be fun to meld this song with the circle game I described above. Instead of choosing one student to be “it”, divide the class into two circles, with the smaller circle in the middle facing the center. Have the whole class sing the song in a round, with the inner circle starting second. At the end of the second verse, have a few students from the inner circle choose others to take their place in the inner circle. Continue singing the song until all students have had a chance to sing both parts.
This song is great for reviewing and practicing so in part because it’s located in the middle of the song (fifth measure) and is preceded by do. If your students are practicing do, this would be a great song in which to ask them to identify it. While you’re at it, ask them to discuss the importance of the pitches in the final measures, which gives them the opportunity to discuss the song’s tonal center.
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Let me know what you think of these lesson ideas in the comments section. Have you ever used this song in your classes before? If so, tell me all about it!