Category Archives: Chinese (Mandarin)

Two Wonderful Songs To Celebrate Chinese New Year!

mandarinBoyRedWe are so pleased to have a guest post about Chinese Lunar New Year by the very talented vocalist and musician Toni Wang, from A Little Mandarin.  Make sure you read until the end to find out how to get a FREE download of her wonderful version of the traditional Happy New Year Song.

There are many ways to enjoy and introduce children to Chinese New Year but one of the nicest is through music.  Much like Christmas music seems to permeate the air in the US and Europe for the month of December ‘New Years Music’ suffuses China during the 15 day New Year holiday.  Holiday songs can be heard on the radio, in the stores and on the streets.

The Happy New Year Song (Xīn Nián Hǎo   新年好)  is a great introduction to Chinese New Year traditions.

Chinese New Years Song

This song expresses the joy and fun of celebrating the New Year.  Along the way it points out some of the many New Years traditions.  The song opens with “Four seasons harvest is in”, like many cultures New Year is a time to celebrate the achievements of the past year and to look forward to the upcoming year.

 “In the streets and alleys are firecrackers”, firecrackers are one of the many traditional ways to ring in the New Year. You may have noticed this tradition borrowed in your own country.  During New Year people light firecrackers and hang red paper decorations or banners to ward off evil spirits.

“Dragon dances, stilt walking are two more traditional activities.  Stilt walking is a traditional Chinese folk art, practiced especially in Northern China.  Dragon dances can be seen in many towns and cities in China and across the world.  The dragon in Chinese culture is benevolent and thought to bring good luck.  The dragon dance is a vibrant way to scare away evil spirits and bring luck for the coming year.  One dancer controls the head and the rest make up to body.  The length of the dragon depends on how many dancer the troupe has and can be over one hundred feet long!  Proper timing and coordination is essential for the dancers to make the dragon shimmer and wave down the street.  Look for the “Pearl of the Dragon”, a person in front waving a stick with a big ball on top.  This person serves as a conductor showing the dragon which way to go.  The dragon dance is usually accompanied by drums, cymbal or gongs filling the air with music.

“Welcome the wealth god, welcome wealth”  The fifth day of the Chinese New Year is the day to welcome the god of wealth into your house.  Better leave a door open or stay home to make sure he can get in providing prosperity for the next year.  Children will have already enjoyed receiving Red Envelopes on the first day of New Year.  The red envelopes have crisp bills tucked inside lucky red paper. “Wearing new clothes, wearing a new hat” During New Year people traditionally don their new clothing to symbolize welcoming new things.

There are many ways to participate in Chinese New Year celebrations around the world.  You can see if your city or town has a Dragon dance or Lion dance show or perhaps a lantern festival celebrating the end on the fifteenth day of the New Year.  You can listen to that song here and use it to discuss the many Chinese New Year traditions mentioned within the lyrics.

Free Download of Happy New Year Song, Xīn Nián Hǎo

Get your free download of Toni’s version of the traditional Happy New Year song, Xīn Nián Hǎo, here: http://app.topspin.net/store/artist/23507?wId=184933&src=tw&awesm=t.opsp.in_d0hUr&w=300&h=80&theme=black&highlightColor=0x00A1FF .  Her acclaimed first album is available from Itunes and Amazon at the links below.

Toni is a Shanghai-born NYC mom raising her three children in English, Mandarin and French.  She produced A Little Mandarin as a way to provide high quality Mandarin language children’s music for her own children.  Her album has fifteen tracks providing a modern update to classic Chinese children’s music.  Anyone who has been to China will recognize these children’s songs and should enjoy the refreshingly modern take.

“The singer has a beautiful vocal range and the ability to sing popular children’s song in Mandarin. The music itself is cheerful, and upbeat! This is a perfect addition to anyone’s musical library, and a must when exposing children to different languages.” – Frances Evans, Discovering The World Through My Son’s Eyes.

mandarin
A Little Mandarin Children’s CD from Itunes:
A Little Mandarin Children’s CD from Amazon:
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7 Days of Learning Mandarin (Chinese) – Through Music!

Miss PandaMusic can be a great way to learn a new language.  While clapping along or tapping your toes, you’re also hearing new sounds and words that slowly become familiar phrases. Ni Hao (Mandarin Chinese) becomes a natural way to say “hello”.  And it makes perfect sense that 5 peeping “pollitos” (Spanish) are little chicks. And a counting song in any language makes learning the numbers a snap!

Last week we asked one of our favorite bilingual teaching moms to share her favorite picks for teaching Mandarin Chinese to children.  Amanda Hsiung-Blodgett; known to her students as Miss Panda (http://www.MissPandaChinese.com/), helps children everywhere learn Mandarin Chinese through kids songs and stories that are perfect for little ones of any age and adults as well.  Miss Panda not only has a passion for languages and is raising her children with English and Mandarin (plus a bit of French and Japanese) but she also feels that sharing languages enables toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners and homeschooled children to become young global citizens who can actively explore and participate in their world!
Here are Miss Panda’s excellent picks for learning Mandarin through music:

The “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” Song in Mandarin Chinese

Hello and Numbers Song in Mandarin Chinese

http://multikidsmusicvids.com/?p=1050

The London Bridge Song in Mandarin Chinese

http://multikidsmusicvids.com/?p=1058

Sing “The Eensy Weensy Spider” in Mandarin Chinese

http://multikidsmusicvids.com/?p=1063

“The Happy Birthday Song” in Mandarin Chinese

http://multikidsmusicvids.com/?p=1068

Two Tigers – A Classic Chinese Song For Children

http://multikidsmusicvids.com/?p=1073

Visit The Taipei Li-Yuan Peking Opera

http://multikidsmusicvids.com/?p=1080

We hope you enjoy what you hear as you listen, laugh and learn through these simple songs.

Color The Musical Instruments – All The Way Around The World!

Coloring Book CoverWho doesn’t love to color? No matter how young or old you area, it’s fun to get out a set of crayons or colored pencils and personalize a perfect page!   And if you can also learn about other cultures in the process, all the better!

We’ve just released this e-book that’s actually a compilation of readers’ favorite musical instrument pages from the WORLD MUSIC WITH DARIA  website. Called “Let’s Color … A World Of Music!” there are 12 pages including common favorites like the guitar as well as more unique instruments such as the balalaika from Russia, the sitar from India or the panpipes (zampoñas) from South America.

erhu coloring pageIn addition to coloring fun, you can also use this book as a creative way to learn about other cultures. For instance, if you listen to any classical or traditional music from China, you’ll probably hear an erhu. In “Let’s Color … A World Of Music!” you can not only see what it looks like but find out what it is made of and how it is played as well.

Exploring the culture of India?  You can learn about a sitar or a two-headed drum from Northern India called a dhol. If you’re taking a virtual trip to the Andes, you can find a miniature guitar made from shell of an armadillo or a special rattle (called chapchas) made from the toenails of sheep or goats.

Best of all, during June and July 2014, you can get your copy free at the link below. And in the meantime, here’s a list of the 12 instruments you can discover and enjoy:

sitar coloring pageBalalaika

Bombo

Cajón

Chapchas

Charango

Dhol

Sistrum

Erhu, Guitar, Sitar, Ukulele and Zampoñas.

“Let’s Color … A World Of Music!” From TeachersPayTeachers

http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/chinese-mandarin/color-the-musical-instruments-all-the-way-around-the-world/

This post was originally published in 2014 with a “free E-book offer.  If you’re a teacher or parent on a limited budget and want a free Educator’s copy, please e-mail dariamusic at yahoo dot com.

 

 

 

 

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rock Out! 10 Great Recycled Instruments to Make With Your Child!

josef and cajon

Turn a broomstick into Australian bilma for some really versatile rhythm sticks. Or a cardboard box into a Peruvian cajón – perfect to learn hand-drumming!  You’d be surprised how many wonderfully unique world music instruments can Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rock Out - Coverbe made from recycled or repurposed materials.  And sound good.  And inspire musical play in your home or classroom.

Best of all, many of these instruments mean thinking about things in a new way.  Working with these simple crafts, kids can see how many important items originally came from nature – such as Native American turtle shell rattles, rainsticks from chola cactus branches and bamboo reeds were fashioned into panpipes.  Or how things take on a special significance when they are made by hand or made with love and personal attention.  And how some of the most amazing instruments are the quietest – like a simple sistrum that dates back to ancient Egypt.  Or a drum that can do an zamponas front and backamazing impression of the sounds of surf.

While crafting with your kids, you can explore a variety of beautiful world cultures and use it as a way of connecting with your class, your family or your community.

Here’s a list of the recycled instruments found in the E-book.

Screen shot 2014-03-03 at 5.26.10 PMACTIVITY ONE

Australian blima clapsticks from broomsticks or tree branches

ACTIVITY TWO

Peruvian style cajón drum from a cardboard box of any size

horse gong imageACTIVITY THREE

Chinese-style gong from a recycled roasting pan or cookie sheet

ACTIVITY FOUR:

A South American “quijada” jawbone instrument made from egg cartons

ACTIVITY FIVE

An ocean drum made from a pizza box and recycled plastic folders

ACTIVITY SIX

A rainstick made from a used mailing tube

ACTIVITY SEVEN

An Egyptian sistrum from a forked tree branch or a coat hanger

tingsha on white 1ACTIVITY EIGHT

Tinghsa handbells made from repurposed “Snapple” tops

ACTIVITY NINE

Native American turtle shell rattle from take-out containers

josef playing straw zamponasACTIVITY TEN

Panpipes from clean, recycled drinking straws

So download the book, dig into the recycling bin and make a joyful noise today!

Free Download!

If you’re reading this post during April 2014, you can get a free download of this awesomely green musical craft book here: http://www.dariamusic.com/monthly_song.php

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rock Out! is also available from TeachersPayTeachers here:

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Reduce-Reuse-Recycle-Rock-Out-E-Book-With-10-Musical-Activities-653502

 

Musical Fun For Chinese New Year!

dragon dance imageHave you ever celebrated Chinese New Year?  It’s almost half a month long and includes great food, exciting activities, family fun and – of course – music!

Want to learn the most popular Chinese New Year song?   Make your own gong?  Find the animal of your birth year in the Chinese Astrology?  Get a great overview of the celebration?

Take a look at the links below for some wonderful fun that you can use to welcome and enjoy the Year of The Horse!

Chinese New Year Resources

horse gong imageLearn A Chinese New Year Song
http://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/learn-a-chinese-new-year-song/

Make Your Own Gong  +
Discover Your Chinese Zodiac Sign
http://www.dariamusic.com/docs/chinesegong.pdf

Erhu - Color ImageColor The Erhu – A Chinese Style Violin
http://www.dariamusic.com/docs/Erhu%20BW%20Coloring%20Page.pdf

15 Chinese New Year Crafts: Preschool through Elementary from Kid World Citizen
http://kidworldcitizen.org/2014/01/18/chinese-new-year-crafts-2/

Chinese New Year ScrollsThe Excitement of Chinese New Year by Mandarin Language Instructor, Amanda “Miss Panda”
http://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/gong-xi-gong-xi-the-excitement-of-chinese-new-year/

tingsha on white 1Gongs, Handbells and Singing Bowls: Three Great Instruments For Exploring the Culture of China, Tibet, Nepal and Asia
http://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2013/02/16/gongs-handbells-and-singing-bowls-three-great-instruments-for-exploring-the-culture-of-china-tibet-nepal-and-asia/

Dragon Dance image (above) is courtesy of atmtx photography.  Check out their blog at:

http://blog.atmtxphoto.com/2012/01/30/2012-chinese-new-year-celebration-in-austin/

 

Bang a Gong!

blue nipple gongBang a gong and every pays attention!

Tap a gong and you got a quiet, calming, resounding tone.

Gongs are wonderful instruments made from a circular metal object that hangs on a stand and is tapped or struck by a stick or beater.  Some are simple and plain.  Others are decorated beautifully with designs etched into the surface and hung on elaborately carved wooden stands.  All of them create beautiful notes when played.

What Can You Do With A Gong?

Gongs are great for marking time.  They are perfect for starting a day or an activity.  They can call kids in from recess or playtime or announce that a meal is ready.  They are a perfect addition to any home play, homeschool or classroom environment as well as a great way to learn about the culture of China, Tibet, Korea, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and other countries where these play an important role in the cultural and religious life of the people.

Make Your Own Gong!

a smaller pie-tin gongDo you need a big budget to acquire a gong?  No way!  If you have a metal item such as a pie tin or recycled turkey roasting pan, you can craft your own unique gong.  Here are the supplies you’ll need:

Supplies

Metal pan

Broomstick, long stick or cardboard tube from inside wrapping paper

Yarn, string or pipecleaners

Materials for decorating the gong

Two chairs (to use as the stand for the gong)

horse gongInstructions

You can find step-by-step instructions in the pdf below, but basically, you decorate the pan, poke two small holes about 2 – 3 inches apart, slip string, yarn or pipecleaners through each hole and hang your gong from a broomstick or cardboard tube.  A makeshift stand is easily made from two chairs positioned back to back.

Last, to create a beater for your gong, cover a stick or wooden spoon with a bit of red felt or silk and tie it around the top.  Then experiment with the sound when touching it lightly, tapping harder or by striking several times in a row.  Below is a video of a serious gong being played to give you some  inspiration.

Decorate Your Gong

January 31st, 2014 marks the Chinese New Year and we welcome in the year of the horse.  It can be fun to create a gong with the theme of the New Year or to look up your birth year and make a gong with a pig, a rat, a sheep or a dragon.  Find a chart of birth years and Chinese Zodiac signs in the pdf below, along with more suggestions for making and playing this fun world music craft!

Resources

Step-By-Step Instructions/Make Your Own Gong And Chinese Zodiac Symbols PDF

http://www.dariamusic.com/docs/chinesegong.pdf

What Does The Gong Say?

Favorite Holiday Songs From Around The World – Jingle Bells in Chinese

jingle bells chinese 1 Have you ever heard the song, Jingle Bells in (Mandarin) Chinese? It’s irresistible! And it’s a perfect way to introduce your child to a beautiful new language as part of their musical play and exploration!

I learned this song from a wonderful Mommy blogger named Lina Dickson who is actively “bringing up baby, bilingually”. Since the winter festivities are close at hand, it can be a perfect way of combining music, learning a new language and holiday fun.

Even if you don’t attempt the whole song, the chorus is very easy to learn. Instead of Jingle Bells, it is:

(Pinyin) Dīng dīng dāng Dīng dīng dāng
(English Translation) Ding ding dang, Ding ding dang,

(Pinyin) Líng’ér xiǎng dīng dāng
(English Translation) The bells jingle

(Pinyin) wǒ men huá xuě duo kuài lè
(English Translation) We have lots of fun sledding

(English Translation) Riding of the sleigh
(Pinyin) wǒ men zuò zài xuě qāio shàng hei

jingle bells chinese 2Check out the video animation below or head over to Lina’s Best4Baby site to see a version that has the perfect word by word translation. Lina’s site also has a pdf teaching the complete lyrics in Chinese through the actual Chinese characters, through pinyin and the English translation. If you aren’t familiar with pinyin, it is a system developed to write out how Chinese characters or words are pronounced including the correct inflection to use.

http://www.best4future.com/blog/chinese-childrens-song-jingle-bells

Jingle Bells Lyrics in Chinese Characters, Pinyin and English Translation form Best4Future Website

http://www.best4future.com/blog/Songs/jinglebell.pdf

Jingle Bell Craft Booklet pdfWant to make some jingle bells to jingle along with the song – no matter what language you’re enjoying it in? My monthly song page has a free craft booklet sharing 4 different ways to create homemade jingle instruments from recycled materials.

Stop on over, get your copy and you can … jingle all the way!

http://www.dariamusic.com/monthly_song.php

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