Students in first and second grade are learning about Rondo Form. A song is in rondo form if it has an A section that is repeated several times, with new sections in between each A section. An example of a song that is in rondo form is Spring by the famous Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi. When we listen to Spring, we call the A section “The Trees” because it is played by the whole string family and sounds strong and graceful like trees in a forest. This tree or A section music is represented with green and brown scarves.
After the tree music comes “The Birds,” which sounds different from the trees: it is played by violins which trill and sound a bit like chirping. Because this new section sounds different, we give it the next letter of the alphabet and call it the B section! The bird music or B section is represented by pink and purple scarves.
After the bird music, the tree music comes back.
Next we hear new music that does not sound like the tree music or the bird music, it is bubbly but peaceful sounding, so this music is “The River.” Because it is different than the A section and the B section, we give it the next letter of the alphabet, and call it the C section. The river music or C section is represented with blue scarves.
After the river music, the tree music comes back again! Next we hear music in a minor key that has a fast tempo and sound “zig zaggy,” so this music is “The Thunder and Lightening Storm,” and we call it the D section. The storm music, or D section is represented by yellow and white scarves.
Suddenly, we hear music that sounds just like the trees, but is still in a minor key, so this is tree AND storm music- we still call it the A section though.
Next, we hear slow violins playing: this is “The Rising Sun,” and is the E section.
Then we hear music that sounds a lot like the trees but is a little different, so this is the tree AND sun music- but we still call it the A section.
Towards the end, the bird music (B section) comes back!
And finally, the song finishes with another section of tree music (A section).
The form of the song is: ABACADAEABA
I usually help students the first two times we do the activity (I do it two times every week for about three weeks, they always ask to do it again and again). The next week, I tell them they need to hear their part on their own!
We also have a coloring sheet to go along with the activity:
Click here for the PDF: Spring Rondo Form
You can listen to Spring at home by clicking here
You can watch real musicians play it by clicking here!