Farewell, Farewell, Farewell

by Teresa Jennings

While this piece is only 23 measures long, it is completely loaded with music teaching opportunities as well as being a potential performance closing number. The concepts you can teach are endless, but here are a few suggestions.

Meter – It can be difficult to find good examples of 6/8 meter for young students. Because this piece is a simple round, it won't take long to teach even by rote and is appropriate for any grade level. The hand drum part is a good illustration of "strong beat." Have your students play (or clap) the hand drum part while listening to the recording. Then, ask them if they have a sense where the strong beats are (on the first and fourth beats, in this case). Likewise, the lyrics offer an opportunity to teach this concept. Have your students sing the pickup to measure 9 through the downbeat of measure 10 ("Farewell, farewell, farewell") several times. When finished, ask, "Which word, or part of a word, was not on the strong beat?" ("fare" in this example).

Mode – Since this piece is in C minor, you can emphasize the concept of "resting tone" in minor mode by having students perform a simple octave ostinato on an Orff instrument or any melody instrument you may have available. A simple dotted quarter octave on C repeated throughout works well. This is also an opportunity to reinforce the concept of the octave interval as a melodic concept.

Harmony – Because this is a round, it's a great teaching piece for harmonic concept. If your students aren't quite ready to sing a round, have one group simply repeat two measures as an ostinato. Using the opening lyrics "Farewell, farewell, farewell" works nicely throughout. Additionally, a bordun can be played on the pitches C and G using a dotted half rhythm on a bass xylophone or two Boomwhackers® together.

Movement – Creating movements for each 2-measure section is not only engaging, but a fantastic way to visually represent a round. Have your students tell you ways of saying "goodbye" without using words. A big wave, a small opening and closing of the hand, a quick back and forth with the hand, a bow... all can be incorporated.

(Note: We asked our expert Judi Thomas to make a sign language teaching video for this song. There is also an extracted hand drum part PDF. You will find these on our web site.)

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.