Are you Un Poco Loco about Disney’s Coco?

miguel and guitar

Have you fallen in love with Disney’s Coco?

This beautifully drawn and animated new movie follows a young boy whose desire to follow his heart and make music takes him all the way to the land of the dead – and back again.  No spoilers here but I can tell you that the movie will delight the youngest to the oldest members of your family.  And it definitely will leave you singing!

One of our favorite songs from the movie is called Un Poco Loco, meaning a little bit crazy. Although it’s not a traditional mariachi song – it’s a new song composed by Germaine Franco and Adrian Molina – it has the wonderful feel and sense of humor of classic songs from this style.

If you speak Spanish, you’ll probably laugh and giggled throughout the song that weaves back and forth through both languages. If you don’t, I’ve shared the lyrics as a cheat sheet with the English translations listed next to the Spanish words.

And, do you want to continue the musical fun after you’ve seen the movie and sung along with this song? Below are several additional activities you can do to learn more about the marvelous music and magic of Mexico!

Un Poco Loco (A Little Bit Crazy)

Miguel sings – What color’s the sky?

¡Ay, mi amor! ¡Ay, mi amor! (Oh! My love, oh my love)

You tell me that it’s red

¡Ay, mi amor! ¡Ay, mi amor! (Oh! My love, oh my love)

Where should I put my shoes

¡Ay, mi amor! ¡Ay, mi amor! (Oh! My love, oh my love)

You say, “put them on your head”

¡Ay, mi amor! ¡Ay, mi amor! (Oh! My love, oh my love)

You make me un poco loco (a little bit crazy)

Un poquititito loco (a little, little bit crazy)
poquititito loco (little, little bit crazy)

The way you keep me guessing, I’m nodding and I’m yessing

I’ll count it as a blessing
, That I’m only un poco loco!

 (a little bit crazy)

Héctor sings: 
The loco (crazy) that you make me

It is just un poco crazy (a little bit crazy)

The sense that you’re not making

Miguel sings:
The liberties that you’re taking

Miguel and Héctor sing: 
Leaves my cabeza (head) shaking

You are just un poco loco (a little bit crazy)

Un poquititi-ti-ti-ti-ti-ti-ti-ti-ti-ti-ti-ti-to loco!
(A little, little, little, little, little, little, little bit crazy!)

Mariachi Guitar Coloring PageLinks And Resources

Color A Mariachi Guitar -

Make a Guiro -

Three Music Crafts For 5 de Mayo -


More Than 50 Freebies For Music In Our Schools Month!

Screen shot 2018-01-17 at 3.45.16 PMIn the USA, March is Music In Our Schools month!  Although it’s my opinion that music makes any school day better, it’s nice to see a whole month dedicated to how music enriches our childrens’ academic and personal lives. So, rock on, you wonderful teachers and music teachers!

And what’s better than music?  How about music freebies!  As I’ve created the multicultural music books and resources on my TPT (Teachers Pay Teachers) store, I’ve tried to break out as many freebies as possible.  I have dozens of friends that are teachers and the one thing I hear over and over again is that they lack any real budget (or any budget at all) for extra classroom materials to enrich their lessons. Especially for the diverse classroom or a classroom where the teacher wants to share world cultures through arts and music.

Several years ago I got a wonderful note from a teacher.  She thanked me for some of my freebies focusing on music traditions from Asia and India. Her manjira iconschool had just welcomed a wave of refugees from that area and they were teaching the whole school about music from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.  One of the parents brought in traditional music and played it for the children.  The kids loved coloring the instruments they heard (from my coloring pages) and it started lots of new conversations about customs, families, holidays and favorite topics like food.  I love seeing that my resources could be used not just for learning but for inclusive activities and bringing together schools and communities.

So in that spirit, here are direct links to 20 of my most popular freebies, but you can also follow me on TPT or bookmark the freebie section as new items are being added almost every week.  Just drop by and visit me at:

Coloring Pages

Color Your Own Panpipes  -

Color Your Own Tabla Drums –

Mariachi Guitar Coloring PageColor Your Own Mariachi Guitar –

Color Your Own Ukulele –

Color Your Own Egyptian Rattle -

Color Your Own Andean Drum –

Color Your Own Doumbek Middle Eastern Drum – s

Color Your Own Tabla Drums Mongolian Horsehead Fiddle –

Instrument Making Activities

Make Your Own Chinese Gong –

cajon iconMake Your Own Cajón Box Drum –

Make Your Own Button Castanets –

Make Your Own Easy African Drum -

Introduction To World Music Instruments

How Is A Didgeridoo Made?

WIA didgeridooWhat is A Quijada Jawbone Instrument –

What Are Chapchas?

What Is The Puerto Rican Cuatro?

World Music and Popular Song Lyric Sheets

The Earth Day Song – Lyric Sheet

The I Have A Dream Song MLK Day – Lyric Sheet

Here Come Our Mothers - Lyric SheetA Mother’s Day Song From Africa – Lyric Sheet

Chinese New Year Song – Lyric Sheet

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

Screen shot 2018-02-06 at 3.41.48 PM

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

Gong Xi Gong Xi – Free Lyric Sheet (Pinyin and English)

Chinese New Year Astrology Chart – Find Your Birth Year Here!
Make Your Own Chinese Gong –
bolang-gu-craft-versionMake a Bolang Gu – Monkey Drum

Color an Erhu – A Two-Stringed Chinese Violin

What Are You Singing For Groundhog’s Day?


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 –

Groundhog’s Day Song From Itunes –

Groundhog’s Day MYO Pop-Up Puppet Activity from TPT –

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 -

Morin Khuur – poster and coloring page -

Visit Australia – Music Mini-Series -

Instruments of India coverVisit India – Music Mini-Series –

Visit The Andes – E-Book and CD –

Hispanic Heritage – Music Craft And Coloring Book

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 –

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 TPT

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 Post

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)

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 Post


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) -

Quechua Mini-Lesson for Kids (TPT Freebie)

Learn About Quechua Language – For Kids (TPT Freebie)

Yaw Yaw Sheet Music

A Child’s Life In the Andes E-Book and CD of Andean Music

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 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 –

NMAI in New York City -

Iroquois Museum -

Children’s Iroquois Museum –

Screen shot 2017-11-05 at 8.31.32 AMMuseum of the Cherokee Indian –

Walatowa Visitor Center (Pueblo of Jemez)  –

Ojai Valley Museum (Chumash and Ancient Peoples of California)

Museum of Inuit Art (Canada) –

Circle Of Dance Exhibit Info – –

Related Resources And Activities

Jingle Dress via WIkimedia commonsJingle Dance Tradition (Post + 2017 NAMH Blog Hop And Give-Away)

Hear a Pow-wow Drum

Make a (Frameless) Pow-Wow Drum

pow wow drumColor a Pow-Wow Drum – Printable and Online

You Are Welcome At A Native American Pow-Wow (Post on Pow-Wow Etiquette)

Make A Native American Turtle Rattle From Recycled Materials