10 Solfege Rounds For Singing And Playing | Dynamic Music Room (2024)

Do you love singing with others?

Are you looking for useful songs to pick up or teach and sing instantly in harmony?

The answer to your search is musical rounds.

And better yet, use rounds to help with singing solfege and master multiple skills with single practice sessions.

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10 Solfege Rounds For Singing And Playing | Dynamic Music Room (1)

My students, young and old, love singing in harmony, and this is why I pulled together this list of 11solfege roundsfor singing and playing.

Solfege rounds are ordinary rounds to help musicians sing in harmony without having to learn multiple parts. All musicians sing or play the same music, but groups start at different times.

Check out my favorite solfege rounds for singing and playing.

Table of Contents

10 Solfege Rounds

Here are my 10 favorite solfege rounds.

Each song will have the sheet music, lyrics, and solfege in Flat.io.

Feel free to download or share the images (just please link back to here, where you found it).

Three Blind Mice

Are You Sleeping?

Row Row Row Your Boat

For notation and activities, check out Row Row Row Your Boat solfege.

Oh, How Lovely Is The Evening

Ding Dong Digga Digga Dong

Dona Nobis Pacem

Find the notations for this awesome and classic hymn on Beth’s Notes Plus.

Have You Seen The Ghost Of Tom?

Viva La Musica

Check out the sheet music here at the University of Michigan.

White Sand and Gray Sand

Sing Me Another

What Is A Round In Music?

A round is a specific type of canon in music, also called an infinite canon or perpetual canon.

All performers (we’ll say singers since this is how they’re traditionally performed) sing the same melody.

Different groups enter at different times, called episodes.

Rounds sound great when done correctly because the melodies are written to create good-sounding harmonies.

This is often done with the sequencing of phrases.

A sequence is when one phrase is the same or similar to the second but starting on a different pitch.

Sequencing two phrases a 3rd apart causes it to outline chords and triads.

They also outline bass lines or the roots of the chords.

Rounds have been around for hundreds of years.

The oldest known song in English,Summer is icumen in, is a round.

They’re popular because they’re usually easy to sing and provide a quick way to perform in harmony.

The circular motion of the melody allows for it to continue repeating without end, but when it does want to end, the end of any episode sounds pleasant.

Solfege has been around just as long as rounds and canons.

Check out solfege syllables and where they come from.

What Is The Difference Between A Round And A Canon?

A round is a simplified canon.

They’re typically shorter and less complicated melodically.

The hallmark of both musical compositions is that multiple groups sing the same material while starting in different places.

Rounds reach the end of their song and start over.

Because of this, each of their phrases or episodes reach a pleasing or, at least, intentional cadence.

More complicated canons start at the beginning and run through until the end.

They don’t repeat when they get to the end.

The overall material is usually longer than a round (and often more complicated harmonically).

Very few people have actually sung a complex canon; it’s often just a round they’re singing.

Calling a round a canon isn’t wrong because a round is a type of canon.

This video showcases the most famous canon, Pachelbel’s Canon in D.

Note how the colors show different entrances, and the shapes show the melodies.

How Does Solfege Help?

Singing these rounds are fun enough; why add solfege?

Solfege helps in a number of ways.

While it’s not needed, it pushes the learning to higher levels.

Learn The Melody Quicker

For students familiar with solfege, they’ll pick the melody of these rounds quickly.

By learning and practicing solfege patterns, they connect and apply their learning to other songs.

It’s not unheard of for experienced students (even elementary ones) to sing these rounds in solfege on the first or second try.

Highlight How Chords Work

Of course, one of the biggest benefits of rounds is how easily you get to sing in harmony.

Singing these in solfege helps to highlight how the harmonies and chords work.

For example, when 3 groups are singing Row, Row, slow down, and stop on any given beat.

Ask students to hold the note on solfege.

Label it with the correct chord and talk about what it’s made of.

Now, they’re starting to piece together chords in a practical way.

Another trick I love doing is making them stop singing when they are on a V chord.

As all musicians know, a V chord sounds so unfinished; it bugs you.

I love making students of all ages stop there.

They go crazy, and it’s an impactful way of making chord functions hit home.

Learn about solfege ladders and how they help learn music.

Pushes Ear Training

Ear training, or inner hearing, is all about recognizing patterns.

Too often, musicians separate their solfege practice from the actual making of music.

It’s not supposed to be that way!

Using solfege when singing real songs like these rounds push your brain to connect the patterns and how they sound with real music.

It shows you how these patterns occur in a real musical context.

And this is the whole point of learning solfege in the first place.

Allows You To Change Keys Easily

The key you see many songs written in may not be the best key for your group.

This depends largely on the singers you have.

But when your kids understand and sing rounds in solfege, it’s easy to bump up or down the key into a range fitting for them.

They don’t need to worry about notes; they’ll just apply their understanding of scales.

This works even with instrumentalists.

I’ve worked with beginning band students on this idea, and it blows their mind how easy it is.

I once had a student who took private piano lessons from age 3 (from someone else, not me).

He competed in national competitions and was often placed in the top 3 for his age group.

At the time I met him, he was 10 years old.

He felt bored to learn some of the things I taught (understandably, the kid’s a prodigy).

But when I applied our solfege learning to changing keys, a lightbulb went off for him.

He immediately went to my piano and started changing the keys of the concerto he was learning at the time.

He thanked me and was excited.

He told me he was struggling with his teacher to learn how to change keys and how scales were supposed to work, but our solfege study made perfect sense to him.

Builds Fluency In Music

What is fluency?

When teachers talk about fluency in reading, they talk about how smoothly a student reads and speaks their sentences.

It’s not broken up.

A student has the ability to look ahead and read the sentences and story in an authentic and meaningful way.

Fluency applies to music.

It’s about going beyond plunking out notes and rhythms.

Just like readers need to spend time learning to recognize, spell, and say words put together, musicians do the same thing with solfege.

Raise more fluency with these 8 solfege exercises.

Other Singing Round Resources

Here are a few of my favorite round and canon resources.

These ones range in difficulty to cover the younger and the older ages of musicians.

All levels, from amateur to an expert, may gain a lot from singing through these resources.

Disclaimer:I own and use all these books, but the links here are affiliate in nature, which means I may earn a small commission if you purchase one of these at no extra cost to you.

150 Rounds For Singing And Teaching

This book isn’t designed for younger grades only; some of these get quite difficult.

A large number of rounds (all rounds!) means you won’t have any shortage of music to pull.

A must-have for any musician and music teacher covering a range of ages and ability levels.

The King’s Singers Book of Rounds, Canons, and Partsongs

This collection of 99 rounds, canons, and partsongs is more for the older and more skilled musician.

It focuses on bringing out the traditional rounds and canons of the Renaissance and Baroque periods when such music was in its heyday.

The Book of Canons (First Steps in Music series)

Any elementary or middle school music teacher needs to have this book of canons.

Dr. Feierabend collected these with younger learners in mind, but I find them to be good exercises for any age of students, but especially newer singers.

The songs are delightful and authentic.

ROUND the World: Teaching Harmony with Multicultural Rounds and Canons

With the new emphasis on honoring different cultures (and rightfully so), it’s important to showcase multicultural music where possible.

This book does just that with easily accessible and harmonizing rounds for all singers to enjoy.

My students get excited when I pull this book out.

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed learning these solfege rounds.

I love singing rounds, and every one of my students has as well.

It’s a perfect way to get into harmony without needing to teach a million different parts.

From simple to complex, rounds and canons are an integral part of the music and a must for all music classrooms.

10 Solfege Rounds For Singing And Playing | Dynamic Music Room (2024)


What is solfège in singing? ›

Solfege singing is a method of teaching and learning music that involves using a set of syllables to represent each note of the musical scale. This system is also known as solfeggio, solfa, or solfège.

What are some rounds to sing? ›

  • Row, Row, Row, Your Boat. Row, row, row your boat. ...
  • Fire's Burning. Fire's burning, fire's burning. ...
  • Three Blind Mice. Three blind mice, three blind mice. ...
  • Frere Jacques (Brother John) Frere Jacques, Frere Jacques. ...
  • Make New Friends. Make new friends, but keep the old. ...
  • White Coral Bells. ...
  • Kookabura. ...
  • I Like The Flowers.

What is an example of a round singing? ›

"Row, Row, Row Your Boat" is a well-known children's round for four voices. Other well-known examples are "Frère Jacques", "Three Blind Mice", "Kookaburra", and, more recently, the outro of "God Only Knows" by The Beach Boys.

What is the music lesson singing in rounds? ›

A singing round, or canon, is a musical song where two or more people are singing the same melody, but the starting time is different for each person (or group of people). It's a great way to teach children about rhythm and counting whilst encouraging independent musician skills.

What are the 7 syllables of solfege? ›

Some authors speculate that the solfège syllables (do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti) might have been influenced by the syllables of the Arabic solmization system called درر مفصّلات Durar Mufaṣṣalāt ("Detailed Pearls") (dāl, rā', mīm, fā', ṣād, lām, tā').

How to teach solfege to beginners? ›

Solfege Lesson Tips

If your students have never learned solfege before, don't teach the whole scale at once. Start with just three notes and gradually add more as your students get more comfortable. Teach students the Kodaly hand signs for the solfege, and use them while singing.

What are the different voice rounds? ›

The show's format features five stages of competition: producers' auditions, blind auditions, battle rounds, knockouts (since 2012), and live performance shows.

Are there notes for singing? ›

There are sharp notes (slightly high), flat notes (slightly low), and in the middle there are natural notes. The definition that we are using here is YOUR natural singing note. I'm talking about the smack dab middle of your range. Everybody has one.

What does sing a round mean? ›

A round in music is a song which can be sung by two or more groups of people. One group starts off and the next group start to sing the same song a bit later. It should sound nice together. When a group gets to the end of the song they start again.

What is an example of A solfège? ›

“Do re mi fa so la ti da” is an instantly recognizable refrain. This is especially true if you have ever watched “The Sound of Music”. This is an example of solfege patterns being used to help teach a musical scale.

Why does A musician use A solfège system? ›

Solfège is great for identifying relationships between different notes in music. It helps the learner understand and recognize patterns. A pattern in music you hear very often is So-Do. Music students who are trained in the solfège scale can hear that interval and know what it is.

What is A sol-fa in music? ›

Solfa or solfege is a music theoretical system in which a series of syllables stands in for the seven notes of a scale. The system allows singers to learn music by hearing it and verbally assigning names to pitches, rather than requiring singers to read music on a staff.


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