Adults may groan at the thought of a heavy snowfall, but children are delighted to grab a sled and head for the nearest snow-covered hill! Sliding down the hill is even more exciting when you can pile a bunch of people on a toboggan and share the experience.

Tobogganing is a great song to add to your library of solo songs for young singers.  It also can be used as a vocal study, exploring the technique of tone painting. Students can find the series of descending sequences that depict the gentle contours of a coasting hill; a few bumps along the way depicted with interval jumps; and the final ascending phrase evoking the feeling of returning to the top of the hill.

The range of the song is C4-C5, which is ideal for young singers. The descriptive lyrics will encourage singers to sing expressively, and two-bar phrases provide natural breaks for breathing. This is a wonderful winter song for young singers, ages 9 and under.

Download Includes:

  • Vocal score
  • Lead sheet
  • Director/piano score
  • Lyrics
  • Accompaniment – with melody guide
  • Accompaniment – piano


Audio & Lyrics

Follow along with the lyrics as you listen to the accompaniment with melody guide for Tobogganing.

Tobogganing - Song for Young Singers - Composed by Donna Rhodenizer - SAMPLE - lyrics

Teaching Tips

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

         Pondering Penguins

         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

Composer's Notes


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

You are invited to send us your performance of Tobogganing

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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!)

Snow with Family and Friends

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Vocal Range

C4 – C5




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