Problems, Solutions, and Process
Then we sing the song again and I say something like, "Wow! You are such great singers now. We've learned so much this year. I've got an idea. Why don't I play an instrument and you sing by yourself!?" And then I grab a glockenspiel or a recorder if it's close and I play the basic melody while they sing. I am a pianist and I usually love/default to playing a chordal accompaniment while my kids sing. I think that the piano backing gives them a good foundation and helps them learn to sing with a little more independence. However, in this case I love playing with just the melodic instrument because it supports them and at the same time it allows me to hear them each a little better. I can go on autopilot with the recorder (just a so-mi pattern, really) and listen closely to what the kids are actually doing.
I did a couple things to try and change the situation. I verbally demonstrated the drone they were doing and asked them what voice it was that I was using. They identified my speaking voice and so then I tried again and sang it back instead. They heard the difference and verbalized that I had changed voices. Then I gave them another chance to sing it themselves. I also altered the key. I had been playing G-E on the recorder because it's quick and easy (I'd just been doing this with my 3rd graders so G-E was in my head) and it's super easy to play. I moved the range up to A-F#. For me, this requires slightly more concentration but the change in their singing was noticeable and positive. I think that it helped to bring the song up and out of their speaking range into something that lends itself more to a singing range. Has anyone else ever experienced this?
What was that, Rain? -- More verses
So, then we come up with a new verse. "Rain, Rain, Go Away! Don't come back on carnival day!" Repeat with gusto and shake your finger at the sky for an action. Inevitably the rain says that she'll go away... until May 19th, our field day. So we sing, "Rain, Rain, Go Away! Don't come back on our field day!" etc. She threatens to come back on the first day the pool will open and during a Royals baseball game and other inconvenient times. We could add verses FOREVER but we finally end up with, "Rain, Rain, Go Away! Go rain somewhere far away!" or "Rain, Rain, Go Away! Ru-in someone else's day!"
Excellent RAin Resources!
Rain, Rain, Go Away on BusSongs.com
Or, play these rain sounds in the background if you want to actually sing to the rain!
Rain Sounds on YouTube.com
I used the video below from hooplakidz and my kids loved seeing other people/animals that want the rain to go away.