Follow along with the lyrics as you listen to the accompaniment with melody guide for Tobogganing.
Songs for young singers often have a simple structure, but the elements may be explored with your students to help build a strong musical foundation.
“Tone painting” or “word painting” is a technique that uses the music to literally reflect the topic of the lyrics.
- Explore the descending, stepwise movement at the beginning of each phrase.
- Discuss how the melody line and lyrics work together to tell the story of sliding down a snowy hill.
- Move your hand to create a visual representation of the falling and rising melody line.
- Can you show how the first phrase descends in small four note groups with small “raised bumps” along the way?
- Find the interval of a 4th at the end of the second phrase. Listen how this upward interval supports the idea of children flying off the toboggan (verse 1- take a mighty spill) and the idea of the hill (verse 2).
- The final phrase returns to the top of the scale, just like returning to the top of the hill.
Sing using solfege names
- For a challenge, sing the entire song using solfege names.
Create a winter theme
- Include Tobogganing as part of a winter theme.
- Sing other songs about snow, snowflakes, building snowmen, or snow activities.
Donna Rhodenizer repertoire suggestions for ages 9 and under include:
Five Little Snowflakes
I’m Gonna Build a Snowman
Four Snow Friends
The Penguin Ball
Jiggle Wiggle Freeze (this isn’t about snow, but with “freeze” in the title it works to include it!)
Explore winter vocabulary
- In addition to toboggans, what other sliding devices can be used to slide down a hill? (e.g. inner tubes, skis, etc. ….)
- In some parts of the US a toboggan is the name they use for a hat!
- Do you know any other names for winter hats?
Did you know?
The word “toboggan” likely originates from the word for sled by the Mi’kmaq (tobâkun) and/or Abenaki (udābāgan). French Canadians adopted the word in the early 1800s, but spelled it “tabaganne.”
Canadian Icons: Stories & Treasures https://www.canadianicons.ca/pages/the-toboggan
As a child, I loved tobogganing with my siblings and a bunch of the next-door neighbours. I would have been one of the smaller kids on the hill, so I wouldn't be allowed on the back of the toboggan (the very important steering location). I seem to recall I might have been stuffed under the curl of the toboggan at the front, probably because I was small enough to fit in there! We had a long 6-8 foot, wooden toboggan so there was room for a LOT of us. We lived on a farm and directly behind our house was a big hill which was used as pasture land in the summer. In the winter it was a snowy, treeless playground. Trudging back up the hill was not as much fun, but the thrill of the ride down was worth it! Singing about tobogganing brings back lots of great winter memories.
You are invited to send us your performance of Tobogganing
Maybe your video will be featured here on this page.
When you have enjoyed practicing and performing this song with your students - please drop by again and leave a review on this page. Thanks!
Donna (red coat with pointy hat) plus two siblings and two next door neighbours heading out for some snow fun. (One more of my older sisters and a few of the bigger next-door neighbours are not in the picture. They must have already headed over to the hill!)