Gong Xi Gong Xi – What Does The Chinese New Year Song Mean?

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The phrase Gong Xi Gong Xi resounds everywhere during Chinese New Year. In fact, one translation of the New Years song explains:

(In) Every big street (and) little alley
The first sentence (we) say
When (we) see each other)

Must be” “Congratulations! Congratulations!”
Congratulations! Congratulations!
Congratulations to you!

Since it is so popular, some may think it’s a traditional song or folksong, but it was written by a popular Chinese composer, Chen Gexin, with the original title: Wishing You Prosperity and Happiness.  The literal meaning of “Gong Xi” is “congratulations”. Written by Chen Gexin on the occasion of China’s liberation after the Sino-Japanese war in 1945, the lyrics use the most popular New Year’s phrase and talk about the coming of Spring, so the song quickly became a favorite during Chinese New Year celebrations.

Here’s a version that shows the Chinese characters and gives tips on pronouncing the lyrics to the song:

Here’s a fun bilingual version of a different Chinese New Years Song with lyrics in Chinese and English. Even though it’s a different song, you can hear the same chorus of Gong Xi Gong Xi, that rings out everywhere during this beautiful and happy celebration.

Links and Resources

Gong Xi Gong Xi- About The Song Plus Lyrics https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/A-Chinese-New-year-Song-Gong-Xi-Gong-Xi-3629545

Gong Xi Gong Xi – Free Lyric Sheet (Pinyin and English)
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Gong-Xi-Gong-Xi-Free-Lyric-Sheet-3629553

Chinese New Year Astrology Chart – Find Your Birth Year Here! https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Chinese-Astrology-Chart-What-Lunar-Year-Is-It-2377484b
Make Your Own Chinese Gong – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Make-Your-Own-Chinese-Gong-From-Recycled-Materials-486935
bolang-gu-craft-versionMake a Bolang Gu – Monkey Drum https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Monkey-Drum-Chinese-New-Year-Drum-Craft-1748044

Color an Erhu – A Two-Stringed Chinese Violin https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Erhu-Chinese-Violin-Instruments-From-Around-The-World-1037355

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What Are You Singing For Groundhog’s Day?

Daria_GroundhogCover_Web

I just love groundhog’s day!  Maybe it’s because groundhogs are so cute and cuddley. Or I was born somewhat near the permanent residence of Punxatawney Phil, official groundhog predictor of Spring. Or because groundhogs  have adorable nicknames such as whistle pigs and woodchucks.

So, for so many reasons I couldn’t just crawl back into my hole for 6 more weeks of winter and I jumped at the chance to write and record a silly Groundhog’s Day song.

groundhog pop-up hereThe simple song is based around the tongue-twister “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck… if a woodchuck could chuck wood?” I also wondered how much ground a groundhog could grind and how much sap a sapsucker could suck. And, yes, even though the lyrics are in song form, the tongue twisters still are a challenge to sing or say.

You can find the song lyric freebie below, plus a link to a sweet Springtime activity that includes pop-up puppets. It’s a fun way of having your own groundhog’s day anytime and anywhere.

And the best thing? You can laugh yourself silly while you predict an early Spring!

Links and Resources

Groundhog’s Day Song – Free Lyric Sheet – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Groundhogs-Day-Song-Lyric-Sheet-2357681

Groundhog’s Day Song From Itunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-groundhog-song-how-much/id385842751

Groundhog’s Day MYO Pop-Up Puppet Activity from TPT – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Groundhogs-Day-Song-and-Pop-Up-Groundhog-Puppet-Activity-484374

little groundhogs

Travel To Mongolia and Discover The Morin Khuur!

It’s wonderful if you can travel with your children to beautiful and exotic places around the world.  But, if you can’t, you can always spend time reading about other countries, discovering their cultures and listening to their unique and beautiful traditional music.

Can you imagine a trip to Mongolia?  Known as the “Land of the Eternal Blue Sky, it’s the birthplace of Ghengis Khan and home to camels and reindeer.  It’s a place of extreme temperatures and equally striking beauty.  It’s theScreen shot 2018-01-17 at 3.45.16 PM birthplace of “throat-singing” and the home of an instrument called morin khuur.

The morin khurr or horsehead fiddle is the national instrument of Mongolia and is often said to symbolize the deep and connected relationship between horses and people in this region of the world.  Similar to the erhu from China, it has only 2 string and is played with a bow.  You can hear it’s unique sound and playing style in this video of a song titled “My Father. My Hero”.

We’ve just created a morin khurr poster and freebie coloring page as part of our “Stringed Instruments of The World” series. You can find a link to them below.  If you’d like to visit other regions of the world through music, you can also check out some of our other music mini-courses below.

Links and Resources

Morin Khuur -Freebie coloring page -  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mongolian-Horsehead-Fiddle-Free-Coloring-Page-3578368

Morin Khuur – poster and coloring page - https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Morin-Khuur-Mongolian-Fiddle-3578353

Visit Australia – Music Mini-Series -  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Australian-Aboriginal-Instruments-Music-Mini-Course-2816723

Instruments of India coverVisit India – Music Mini-Series – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Instruments-of-India-Mini-Course-2682389

Visit The Andes – E-Book and CD – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/A-Childs-Life-In-The-Andes-E-Book-Plus-Music-CD-639838

Hispanic Heritage – Music Craft And Coloring Book https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Celebrate-Hispanic-Heritage-Musical-Craft-And-Coloring-E-Book-1427919

Caroling In Greece With A Musical Triangle!

greek carolersDid you know that many countries around the world have holiday caroling traditions? And in some places caroling is accompanied by unusual instruments or different superstitions and traditions?

My husband grew up in Greece and has fond memories of caroling with a triangle during the Christmas season. He and his brothers and sisters would go door to door and even on the bus to sing special songs with the accompaniment of a triangle. If you stopped and listened – you had to give a coin or a small donation to the carolers. What fun!

In Greece, Christmas carols are called calenda (or kalenda). Although you can hear them Greek Carolersthroughout the holiday season, there are three official caroling days – Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and January 5, the Eve of the Epiphany. During the twelve days of Christmas (December 25 – January 6th), some people in Greece keep fires lighted because of the superstition that a goblin might enter a house (by the chimney) and play tricks on people. In more modern times, you will see brightly colored lights on Christmas trees and also on boats because Saint Nicolas (aka St. Nick, aka Santa Claus) is the protector of sailors.

You can see one of the traditional carols sung here along with photos of children out caroling with their little drum and musical triangle:

In this version you can hear the song and see the English translation of the lyrics:

Wishing you all – καλάΧριστούγεννα (pronounced) kalá Christoúgenna or Merry Christmas in Greek!

Learn An Bilingual Christmas Song – Feliz Navidad

Did you know that singing the entire “Feliz Navidad” means learning only 6 new words in Spanish?

And these are definitely 6 new words and 2 phrases that you and your kids will love to use around holiday time.  Of course, you know the song. It goes like this:

Here’s our Feliz Navidad cheat sheet and a free lyric sheet below.

Feliz – Happy
Navidad - Christmas
Feliz Navidad - Happy Christmas/Merry Christmas

Prospero – Prosperous
Año – Year
Prospero Año – Prosperous Year/Happy New Year

Y – and
Felicidad – Happiness

Links And Resources

Free Lyric Sheet – Feliz Navidad – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Feliz-Navidad-Lyric-Sheet-2214462

4 Recycled Thanksgiving Music Crafts!

Daria's homemade gongRecycle, Upcycle – Repurpose!

Isn’t it great to find ways to use items that might be a part of your holiday celebration.  Instead of tossing them into the trash, you can turn  them into treasure.   Well, maybe not treasure, but definitely great kids music crafts that can provide hours of fun while you’re relaxing during or after a wonderful celebration.

Here’s our 4 fav holiday craft re-makes.

Turkey Roasting Pan into A Gong

Seriously, is there a better way to get the whole group together than to bang a gong? Let the kids use the extra turkey roasting pan to create this wonderful Chinese-style gong to mark time at your celebration.  Decorate it with your Chinese zodiac animals – the chart of Chinese Zodiac animals is part of this pdf – or just apply pure creativity!

DARIA’s Chinese Gong Freebie on TPThttps://buff.ly/2mTkrU4

Ocean drum completePie Box Ocean Drum

We love this craft. There’s a cool little window built right in so you can see what’s making the sound of the sea in your ocean drum. This simple craft sounds remarkable and is wonderfully relaxing!

DARIA’s Ocean Drum Craft Posthttps://buff.ly/2zZPGCm

Turn Your Coffee Can into An Africa Style Drum

Screen shot 2014-02-06 at 12.05.42 PMWho doesn’t love a hand drum? Here’s a super simple way to turn the empty coffee cans into a child-size hand drum.

Coffee Can Hand Drum From DARIA’s Website (Look Under African Drum) http://www.dariamusic.com/crafts.php

pencil beater on drumA Beater For Those Drums!

While you’ve got a gong and a hand drum, you might want to make your own easy beaters. Opt for unsharpened pencils or go for a nature walk and find sticks that can create sturdy basic beaters for any drum you may have or make.

DARIA’s Easy Drum Beaters Posthttps://buff.ly/2hbREba

 

Learn A Song In Quechua for Native American Heritage Month

yaw yaw girlNovember is Native American Heritage Month and it’s a great time to connect with the rich cultures that exist thoroughout North and South America – as well as the world. Here’s an easy song to learn and sing that comes from Quechua culture and I’m proud to say that my version of this folksong from Peru is being used by children’s choruses across the USA.

What Is Quechua?

Quechua is a beautiful indigenous language that was spoken widely throughout South America during the time of the Incas.  When Spanish Conquistadors arrived at that continent, dialects of Quechua were spoken in countries now known as Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Bolivia as well as the southern part of Columbia and the northern regions of Argentina.

Yaw, Yaw, Puka Polleracha

So here’s the song and a video of the song. The lyrics are simple. Someone is calling to a girl in the red skirt (puka = red, polleracha = skirt, yaw = hey). The person singing says “I saw what you did and I am going to tell your mom and dad on you!”

Learn More About Quechua and A Child’s Life In The Andes

If you like the song, you can find the complete lyric sheet, plus two language freebies below. These are a great way to learn about Quechua and get a sense of what the language sounds like and what some common words and phrases are.

zampoña boyAnd remember, all folk songs that come from a specific culture describe life in that world.  If you enjoy the song, you might like to check out my E-book: A Child’s Life In The Andes that shares more about the music, the food, the chores and the day to day life of children in this beautiful indigenous culture.

Links And Resources

Yaw Yaw – Lyric Sheet (TPT Freebie) - https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Yaw-Yaw-Puka-Polleracha-Free-Lyric-Sheet-Song-In-Quechua-3340027

Quechua Mini-Lesson for Kids (TPT Freebie) https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Quechua-Language-Mini-Lesson-For-Kids-Colors-Numbers-And-Common-Words-2825911

Learn About Quechua Language – For Kids (TPT Freebie) https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Quechua-Language-For-Kids-Verbs-Common-Phrases-and-Notes-on-Spelling-2825952

Yaw Yaw Sheet Musichttps://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Yaw-Yaw-Puka-Polleracha-Sheet-Music-2707454

A Child’s Life In the Andes E-Book and CD of Andean Music https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/A-Childs-Life-In-The-Andes-E-Book-Plus-Music-CD-639838

8 Native American Museums You Can Visit Online

Hopi Butterfly DanceNovember – Native American Heritage Month – is a great time to learn more about Native music and culture. And a  Native American museum is a great place to start.

Across the USA, you can find various museums and cultural centers that are great ways to see, touch, hear and learn more about the Native people of your region, both from the past and in the present day. You may be surprised to learn new things about the history of your area or to find that local place names have a special meaning in the Native American tongue of your region.

The National Museum of The American Indian

NMAI buildingIf you are close to Washington DC or New York city, you can visit two of the NMAI – National Museums of the American Indian. Both are exciting places to experience Native culture first-hand. Aside from an incredible facilities both sites have on-going exhibits, classes, workshops and even online performances or seminars about topics of interest concerning Native American culture.

More Native American Museums

If you’re not close to either NMAI location or want to know specific information Screen shot 2017-11-05 at 8.35.18 AMabout local tribes near your home, you can often start by searching the name of local tribes online. Check to see if a museum or cultural center exists or find a contact on the powwow.com site. Within a short time, you should be able to find accurate and up to date information about what is happening in your area in regard to Native culture.

Here’s one thing to remember about searching popular tribal names, though. Keep in mind that some commonly used names for tribes are not the same ones used by the tribes themselves. For instance, although the Iroquois Museum uses the term “Iroquois”, the teaching resources utilize their preferred name of Haudenosaunee, meaning “People of the Longhouse”.

Get There Online!

Can’t visit a museum in person? Check out the websites below for some great experiences. For instance, the NMAI in New York has just completed a 5 year Screen shot 2017-11-05 at 8.39.57 AMlong exhibit called the Circle of Dance. If you visit the main page, you can see a glorious slide show of Native Dance regalia from all over the world. At the main NMAI site, you can discover a host of teaching materials or even do an online search of collections. Some facilities; such as the Iroquois museum, also offer resources for tracing genealogy. The Museum of Inuit art offers audio and video tours. Many sites have bookstores online where you can purchase accurate material on Native history and traditions as well.

What can you learn about Native culture? A world of resources are available. Just start with a sense of curiosity and respect and you’ll be off on an exciting journey into the world of the first peoples of North America.

Native American Museum Links

NMAI in Washington DC – http://nmai.si.edu/visit/washington/

NMAI in New York City -  http://nmai.si.edu/visit/newyork/

Iroquois Museum -  http://www.iroquoismuseum.org

Children’s Iroquois Museum – http://www.iroquoismuseum.org/CHILDRENS%20MUSEUM.html

Screen shot 2017-11-05 at 8.31.32 AMMuseum of the Cherokee Indian – http://www.cherokeemuseum.org/

Walatowa Visitor Center (Pueblo of Jemez)  – http://www.jemezpueblo.com/

Ojai Valley Museum (Chumash and Ancient Peoples of California) https://www.ojaivalleymuseum.org/

Museum of Inuit Art (Canada) – http://www.miamuseum.ca/

Circle Of Dance Exhibit Info – http://nmai.si.edu/static/exhibitions/circleofdance/

Powwow.com – http://www.powwows.com

Related Resources And Activities

Jingle Dress via WIkimedia commonsJingle Dance Tradition (Post + 2017 NAMH Blog Hop And Give-Away) https://multiculturalkidblogs.com/2017/11/03/jingle-dress-dancing-native-american/

Hear a Pow-wow Drum  http://www.dariamusic.com/drum.php

Make a (Frameless) Pow-Wow Drum  http://www.dariamusic.com/make_Drum.php

pow wow drumColor a Pow-Wow Drum – Printable and Online http://www.dariamusic.com/drum.php

You Are Welcome At A Native American Pow-Wow (Post on Pow-Wow Etiquette) http://multiculturalkidblogs.com/2014/11/02/native-american-pow-wow/

Make A Native American Turtle Rattle From Recycled Materials https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Native-American-Turtle-Shell-Rattle-Craft-Using-Recycled-Materials-600715

Make Your Own Castanets And The Hispanic Heritage Blog Hop!

Eli and Button CastanetsHispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15th) presents a wonderful opportunity for creative play that introduces the music and musical instruments found in Hispanic cultures around the world. And it’s a great way to teach as well.

While discovering world cultures with Hispanic roots, you can learn about rhythms, patterns, counting and language and develop coordination and motor skills. You can also add your own creative or artistic flair to any of the instruments you create.

Here is a really easy craft version of traditional castanets and some great musical play activities to try as well.  And don’t forget to check out all the great posts and prizes that are a part of this Hispanic Heritage blog hop. Below!

Click, Click, Castanets!

wooden castanetsHave you ever watched a flamenco dancer play amazing rhythms with wooden castanets? You can make your own version with buttons plus a bit of heavy poster board. Then you can click and clack and dance away!

You can find the craft tutorial free, here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Button-Castenets-Tutorial-3436732 

Once you’ve made your colorful castanets, here are some music activities you might like to try:

Try making several pairs with different size or shape buttons.

Make a pair for parent (or teacher) and child and play the same rhythm together.

Try making a rhythm by clicking right hand then left hand, right hand and left hand. Try this slowly and then get faster.

click and clack the castanetsTry making a rhythm by different patterns of right hand and left hand clicks. For instance, Right hand, Right hand. Left!

Try playing along to music from Spain. Can you find patterns that fit the music?

Try playing along to any of your favorite music. Can you find patterns that fit with what you are hearing?

Try a call and response game. The parent or teacher makes one rhythm and the child must repeat what they hear.

Try a call and response game with eyes closed.  Switch places and let the child lead a call and response game.

Enjoy your music and celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month!

Hispanic Heritage Month Series 2017 | Multicultural Kid BlogsWe are so excited for our sixth annual Hispanic Heritage Month series and giveaway! Through the month (September 15 – October 15), you’ll find great resources to share Hispanic Heritage with kids, plus you can enter to win in our great giveaway and link up your own posts on Hispanic Heritage!

September 15
Embracing Diversity on Multicultural Kid Blogs: 10 Fun Facts About Dominican Republic

September 18
Spanish Mama: Nazca Lines – Exploratory Art Project

September 19
Hispanic Mama: Fun Ways to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Your Children

September 20
Inspired by Family: 16 Great Children’s Books About South America

September 21
Spanish Mama: Folk Songs in Spanish

September 25
Spanish Playground: Food from Latin America Infographic Picture Cards Activities

September 26
All Done Monkey: 60+ Hispanic Heritage Month Recipes to Try with Kids

September 27
Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: Hispanic Inspired Crafts for Kids

September 28
Kid World Citizen: 35+ Best Resources and Activities to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

September 29
Pura Vida Moms on Multicultural Kid Blogs: Costa Rican Food – 9 Favorite Recipes

October 2
Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes on Multicultural Kid Blogs: 10 Fun Facts About Puerto Rico

October 3
Mama Tortuga: 10 Most Used Medicinal Plants

October 5
Spanglish House: How Do Hispanics Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and Why Should You?

October 11
La Clase de Sra DuFault

October 12
Tiny Tapping Toes

Don’t miss all of the great posts from previous years as well: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

Hispanic Heritage Month Giveaway!

Giveaway begins September 15 and goes through October 15, 2017. Enter below for a chance to win one of these amazing prize packages! Some prizes have shipping restrictions. In the event that a winner lives outside the designated shipping area, that prize will then become part of the following prize package. For more information, read our full giveaway rules.

Hispanic Heritage Month Series and Giveaway 2017 Grand Prize | Multicultural Kid Blogs

Grand Prize

From Mariana Iranzi: A digital copy of her new CD Primavera
From Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer: A print copy of Cántale a tu bebé with music download – US Shipping Only
From 123 Andrés: A copy of the CD Arriba Abajo (digital copy if outside the US)
From Spanish Playground: Set of books, crafts, and toys from Latin America - US Shipping Only
From Carole P. Roman: Set of If You Were Me and Lived In… books on Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, Peru, Portugal, and the Mayan Empire – US Shipping Only
From Mister G: A copy of the new CD Mundo Verde/Green World (digital copy if outside the US)
From World Music with Daria: Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Musical Craft and Coloring E-Book
From Gus on the Go: Spanish Alphabet Print (US Shipping Only) & single-use promo code for Spanish for kids language app
From Lectura Para Niños: A set of printable little readers, one for each letter of the Spanish alphabet. Designed to last the entire school year, with one new book each week plus several review weeks included throughout the set

Hispanic Heritage Month Series and Giveaway 2017 | Multicultural Kid Blogs

1st Prize

From Mariana Iranzi: A digital copy of her new CD Primavera
From Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer: A print copy of Cántale a tu bebé with music download – US Shipping Only
From 123 Andrés: A copy of the CD Arriba Abajo (digital copy if outside the US)
From Spanish Playground: Set of books, crafts, and toys from Latin America – US Shipping Only
From Carole P. Roman: Set of If You Were Me and Lived In… books on Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, Peru, Portugal, and the Mayan Empire – US Shipping Only
From Mister G: A copy of the new CD Mundo Verde/Green World (digital copy if outside the US)
From World Music with Daria: Set of maracas and a Spanish fan – US Shipping Only
From Gus on the Go: Spanish Alphabet Print (US Shipping Only) & single-use promo code for Spanish for kids language app

Hispanic Heritage Month Series and Giveaway 2017 2nd Prize | Multicultural Kid Blogs

2nd Prize

From Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer: A print copy of Cántale a tu bebé with music download – US Shipping Only
From 123 Andrés: A copy of the CD Uno, Dos, Tres, Andrés! (digital copy if outside the US)
From Spanish Playground: Set of books, crafts, and toys from Latin America – US Shipping Only
From Carole P. Roman: Set of If You Were Me and Lived In… books on Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, Peru, Portugal, and the Mayan Empire – US Shipping Only
From Mister G: A copy of the new CD Mundo Verde/Green World (digital copy if outside the US)
From Lee and Low Books: Martí’s Song for Freedom/Martí y sus versos por la libertad; Rainbow Weaver/Tejedora del arcoíris; Mamá the Alien/Mamá la extraterreste; Marisol McDonald and the Monster/Marisol McDonald y el monstruo – US Shipping Only

Hispanic Heritage Month Giveaway 2017 - Third Prize | Multicultural Kid Blogs

3rd Prize

From Carole P. Roman: Set of If You Were Me and Lived In… books on Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, Peru, Portugal, and the Mayan Empire – US Shipping Only
From Mister G: A copy of the new CD Mundo Verde/Green World (digital copy if outside the US)
From Sarah Aroeste: A copy of the new Ladino/English bilingual picture book Ora de Despertar/Time to Wake UpUS Shipping Only
From Arte Público Press: Picture books Esteban de Luna, Baby Rescuer! / Esteban de Luna, ¡rescatador de bebés!, The Little Doctor / El doctorcito, Dalia’s Wondrous Hair / El cabello maravilloso de Dalia, Grandma’s Chocolate / El chocolate de Abuelita, I Kick the Ball / Pateo el balón, Level Up / Paso de nivel, A Surprise for Teresita / Una sorpresa para TeresitaUS Shipping Only

Hispanic Heritage Month Series and Giveaway 2017 Bonus Prize | Multicultural Kid Blogs

Bonus Prizes

We are giving away an extra copy of the CD Mundo Verde/Green World from Mister G (US Shipping Only) and up to 10 digital downloads of this brand new album: Watch a video of the title track!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Win A Beautiful New Spanish Language Book + CD!

Cantale

We just found out that one of our favorite fellow bloggers is reviewing AND giving 5 copies of the beautiful new CD/Book set seen above – “Cántale A Tu Bebé”  (Sing To Your Baby!).

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably already singing to your little ones and this Spanish language set can make it even easier and more fun to combine music and language learning at the same time.  It’s perfect for bilingual parents, Spanish-speaking parents or families learning Spanish.

Read the entire post for the story of the book and cd set, check out the info on bilingualism for baby or skip directly to the contest at the bottom of this page to enter and win!  http://www.biculturalmama.com/2017/09/music-book-baby-singing.html

Good luck and  don’t forget to …“Cántale A Tu Bebé” (Sing To Your Baby!)