Sunday, August 23, 2015

Letting the Music Speak

So I am sure many of you use music in your classrooms. If not, I highly recommend it! I use to just find a Spanish song, play it in the beginning, and that was it. The kids never asked any questions, I didn't provide them any info...I just thought hey, I'm a SPANISH teacher so I'm going to play some tunes. 

It wasn't until one day, I had a kid ask a question that totally got my attention on how MUSIC is such an important tool in a language.

So one day I played Charlie Rodd - Historia. Love the song! I had one kid say "This is MEXICAN music?!" I could have shot fire out of my eyes because the kids KNOW how much I hate to hear "Mexican, Mexican, Mexican---there are SOOOO many countries that speak SPanish, not everything is MEXICAN"

I literally stopped what I was using, went to the front of the room, addressed the class, and began a mini lesson on music. 

I said "Hey, who likes country music?" Hands went up...I responsed, "Guess what...there is COUNTY music in Spanish speaking countries!" I then said, "Who likes pop music?" Hands up again. "Guess what again...there is pop!" and I continued "Who likes rap music?" Once again, hands went up (and a lot of them). 

I then went into this "Preaching" of how just like here in the United States we have our favorite genres, and they "SOMETIMES" match who we are in style, and this ALSO happens in the Spanish Speaking Countries! 

You would have thought I had 3 heads...seriously?!

One kid replies "Soooo there are like Boho Hipsters in Mexico?" I screamed, "Yes, yes, yes and in Bolivia and Colombia and Venezuela!" 

You would have thought I just told them you could make ice cream just green beans...they were amazed and a little dumb-founded. So now, I started a new trend. I have a comment box in my room where the kids can randomly write messages to me to communicate. I told the kids if you want to hear a certain style, just write it on a piece of paper and I'll play that style in the next week. I also NOW always open class up with a little "Spanish Immersion Full Speaking Practice" of information about the artist and song they are hearing! 

This broke SOOO many barriers. They are starting to see that Spanish speaking teenagers have the same genres and styles as the American teenagers here. That they are NOT all wearing Ponchos, Sombreros, and singing the "Cucaracha Song" (Who would have thought!) It has made Spanish more "practical" and "real-life" and more than anything, they are seeing it's a big big world out there but sometimes we're still the same! 

So I say again...USE music! Talk about the artist, tell where they are from, how did they get famous, what do they like to sing about, how popular is the artist ---give a comparison to someone who sings in the United States. 

Update: Since using this in my classroom, my students are downloading Spanish they know all the words? No, not yet (Keywords yes) but they love the rhythm and beats! Not complaining, they are taking it ALL in! :) 

Coming Soon: Spanish 3 class - Lyric Translations to Popular Songs! 

God Bless,
Brittany B. 


  1. Any lyric translations for beginning Spanish? Would like them to appreciate music from the start. Gracias.

    1. Absolutely! I am actually working on that right now :) I have been listening to Spanish speaking songs a lot here lately! haha! Give me about a week and I should have it all wrapped up! :) Thank you for your comment! -Brittany