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A Tune for National Train Day!

a illustration of train, text reads "A Tune for National Train Day #AtHomeWithAPH"

Did you know that there are fun and silly holidays every day of the year? May 9, 2020, is National Train Day, and what better way to celebrate than with a song about trains!

Observed on the Saturday closest to May 10, National Train Day celebrates the contribution that trains made in the United States. Many small and large towns were created due to the location of important train routes. In 1869, two railroad companies worked to create the first Transcontinental railroad. They combined tracks at Promontory Summit, Utah on May 9th. Learn more about this holiday!


Let’s Make Music!

“Down by the Station” is a popular children’s song, written in 1948.

Not familiar with the tune? Here’s a short video of the song. Trying singing it aloud to learn the words.

Would you like to learn how to play a section from this song? If you have a recorder at home, you can play along using the information in this blog. Interested in more musical lessons? Check out our product Feel the Beat: Lesson Plans for Teaching the Music Braille Code with the Soprano Recorder.

Interested in learning more about braille music? Join us for our free webinar on June 3, 2020! Learn about our webinars and register here.



Recorder Basics:

To start, here are some tips on finger placement and posture

  1. Your left hand goes on the top part of the recorder and your right hand goes on the bottom portion.
  2. Hold the bottom joint of the recorder between your right thumb and index finger.
  3. Use the pads of your fingertips to cover the holes.
  4. First three fingers of the left hand cover the top three holes.
  5. The thumb of your left hand covers the hole in the back.
  6. Sit up straight.
  7. Keep your arms slightly out from your body.
  8. After placing the recorder in your mouth, hold it at a 45-degree angle from your body.

Recorder Fingerings:

Practice placing your fingers in these positions and playing the notes!

B in 4th octave: Left hand: thumb + finger 1 (left index)

A in 4th octave: Left hand: thumb + fingers 1-2 (left index and middle)

G in 4th octave: Left hand: thumb + fingers 1-2-3 (left index, middle, and ring)


Now for the music!

Below we have the print, named, simulated braille, and printable BRF file

  • Print Music:

music staff and notes to down by the station song

  • Named Notes:

G quarter – G eighth – A eighth – B quarter – B quarter – space – A eighth – G eighth – A eighth – B eighth – G quarter – G quarter – space – G quarter – G eighth – A eighth – B quarter – B quarter – space – A eighth – G eighth – A eighth – B eighth – G half

  • Simulated Braille:

simulated braille of notes to down by the station


We hope with these instructions and a little practice you’ll be on track to playing this train celebration song! Ask a family member to sing along!


Related APH Products:

Feel the Beat: Lesson Plans for Teaching the Music Braille Code with the Soprano Recorder

All Aboard! The Sight Word Activity Express

COMING SOON! Music Braille Flash Cards



For more resources please check out our #AtHomeWithAPH resource list for free and accessible activities, tips, webinars, and more from APH, our partners, and the field at large. Have a free and accessible resource you would like us to include? Email us at to tell us about it!

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