The Garden Round
Traditional, extra Hedgehogs verse and arr. ©1992 Steve Schuch / Night Heron Music (ASCAP).

Ecologically, I suppose this song exemplifies the way everything gets into everything else. But most of all, this song is just plain fun. Spoken rounds (I like to call them “non-critical-pitch songs”) are great for people who want to lead songs but feel shy about their singing voices. This one works great with kids and creates some really nifty rhythmic interplay once all the parts get going. The squash part is often the trickiest. If you want to keep it easier at first, try leaving out the squashes until you can keep it together with just the chickens and rabbits and their relations.

Song tracks: Trees of Life | Turn the World Around | The Forest is a Wonderful Place | If I Had Wings | Sap Time | Barges | Silent Huntress | Ibis the Whale | Two Different Worlds | The Animal Song | The Garden Round | Where Will We Go | The Little Prince | Zeno-ba-ba-da | Giving Tree | Activity Guide Home







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The chickens, get into, the to-ma-toes
[eighth notes, tied quarters, and syncopations]
The chickens, get into, the to-ma-toes

Even the rabbits inhibit their habits when carrots are green [triplets]
Even the rabbits inhibit their habits when carrots are green ¿Squash?

¿Squash? ¿Squash? ¿Squash? ¿Squash?
[quarter notes rests, squashes on back beats]

¿Squash? ¡Squash! ¿Squash? ¡Squash!

Hedgehogs... Hedgehogs... Hedgehogs... HEDGEHOGS!!!
[quarter notes & dotted half notes]

Listen to the sound file

Suggested Activity

If you are interested in Steve Schuch’s workshop on rounds, contact him about Roots of Rhythm & Harmony.

Suggestions for Teaching Rounds
Sing the whole song through at least once or twice to convey the overall shape of the round, then teach it phrase by phrase. The next step is singing the whole song through in unison. On the first day, this may be enough for younger children. When you’re ready to try it in parts, start with two parts before adding more. Sign language or motions can help keep the different parts together rhythmically. They also add another level of fun or beauty to many songs, especially rounds and a capella chants.

A Math/Mozart Effect
Rounds are a fun way to teach fractions on a physical, intuitive level. The different rhythmic parts of this round correspond to all these basic fractions: 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1/8, and 3/12. For the round to work, the triplets of “even the rabbits inhibit their habits” have to equal the corresponding squashes and their rests. In other words, four rhythmic groups of 3/12 equals four rhythmic groups of 1/4. Mathematically, 4 x 3/12 = 4 x 1/4. When kids sing this song, they are internalizing mathematical relationships without even consciously knowing it!

On a deeper level, all canons, fugues and symphonies are based on mathematical relationships. These include time, pitch and chord progressions. Some educators find that playing Bach and other classical music is helpful during math tests, or while students work independently.

For more on this subject, contact Steve Schuch about his educator workshop, Math, Mozart & Music.


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