Shalom Chaverim
Israeli Folk Song

Shalom chaverim is a beautiful Israeli folk song, a greeting that means "peace." Get free sheet music for it as a round, a lead sheet, or a piano arrangement.

A very slow but beautiful choral performance; first unison, then harmonized, then finally, the third time through, as a round:



New sounds for singers

Part of the fun of learning songs from another land is speaking new words with unfamiliar sounds. "Shalom" is heard from time to time, but how do you say "chaverim?"  

 Young English-speaking children are likely to pronounce the "ch" as in the word "cheese!"  Instruct them about this very common way to say "h" - it must be a "kh" or even just a hard "hhh" sound.

Shalom chaverim sheet music


Download Shalom Chaverim in the key of Cm

Download Israeli folk song in the key of Dm, as shown above

Download Hebrew song in Em

Breathing for singing

Young singers will happily take a breath at each comma if you let them.  Instead, encourage them to sing through all the way to the beginning of part 3, and then carry both of those long "sha - LOMs" through.  The continuity of the voices will be more beautiful, and more musical, than dropping the notes.

Where the parts come in

This is probably quite obvious for most of you singers, but just in case anyone is wondering, there are 5 possible places for new voices to add in.  Maybe even more.  But for sure, when the first singer (or group) gets to the big "2", another voice can join, and then another at part 3, etc.

A version for beginning piano

Below is a simple arrangement for piano in which the melody is shared between the two hands.  Really, the left hand has only one note. 

Hebrew folk song Shalom Chaverim sheet music for piano


Download Hebrew folk song for beginner piano

Uh-oh - the timing looks hard for beginners

Yes, there are eighth notes, but just count "TAH, TAH, tee-tee, TAH" and they will be fine older students should of course use some real counting as they learn Shalom Chaverim.  One very useful approach I like to use with pick-up notes (notes that start a song when the measure is incomplete) is to say:

  1. "What beat do we start on?" (Student's brow furrows.)
  2. "Well, how many beats do we HAVE per measure?" (Teacher's finger travels over to the time signature.)
  3. "Four beats.  But how many beats is this note? One beat?  So how many beats are MISSING? ... (holding up four fingers, touching the last finger with the other hand) ... Yes! We are missing 3 beats!  So let's count it... 1, 2, 3! Four, one, two-and-three," etc.

Making the right hand cover a whole octave

The right hand must execute the same kind of tucking-under of the thumb as in an ascending scale.  On the way back down, the 3 finger must cross over onto Eb (flat).  In both cases, the hand must adjust to the new position.

Get them ready with scale practice

Seems so easy, but unless your piano student has become comfortable with these motions already in octave scales, they are quite likely to do some finger substitution instead of following the clearly marked fingering! So prepare them!

Once they've gotten the melody in hand, adding a left hand to this song will not be too hard - the LH never has to change position or do anything new!

Shalom Chaverim free piano sheet music


Download free sheet music for piano with left hand accompaniment

Have your students tackle this arrangement of Shalom Chaverim with the left hand after they can play the melody easily.  Then... see if they can play it by heart, and transpose it.

Here is one more video of this great round - sung as a solo with lots of energy.  I like the singer's pronunciation:




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Sylvain:
I found great ideas for my guitar unit on your site, as I didn't know where to begin. Thanks to you I will survive my next 6 weeks. I also teach choir to middle school, and I love your little morning warmups. Looking forward to more of that in the future. Keep up the great work, it is very inspirational for us beginner teachers.

Folk songs for beginners music book

Marta:
Thank you for the free downloads! I'm a private teacher and I teach piano and beginner voice as well. :) I've been running my studio for about a year and I've come across the same issue; I don't want my students to have to purchase an entire supplemental book for only a couple of songs. So thank you for this site...some great downloads!!

Gypsy Songs of Russia and Hungary folk music book

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