Category Archives: Early Learning With Music

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

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

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

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!)

Free Music Resources For Hispanic Heritage Month

HHM Mini poster freeCan you believe that Hispanic Heritage Month is almost here?

It’s celebrated every year from September 15th – October 15th and it’s a great time to connect, explore and enjoy the beauty and diversity of Hispanic cultures around the globe.  For the past several years, I’ve been adding free items to my TPT store to share with teachers, parents and homeschoolers who want to have some hands-on fun as part of their HHM experience.

Here’s our most recent list of HHM freebies that share the culture and musical traditions of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico and Spain.

Wishing you a wonderful Hispanic Heritage Month!

FREE RESOURCES

Make Your Own Guirohttps://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Make-Your-Own-Latin-American-Guiro-1230266

josef and cajonMake Your Own Cajon Box Drumhttps://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Cajon-Make-And-Play-Your-Own-Box-Drum-1236616

What Is A Quijada (Jawbone Instrument https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/What-is-a-Quijada-Jawbone-Instrument-1406336

Mini-Poster (seen above) https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Celebrate-Hispanic-Heritage-With-Music-Free-Mini-Poster-1430823

Mariachi Guitar Coloring Page -  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mariachi-Guitar-Coloring-Page-2511636

Charango Coloring Page -  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Charango-Instrument-Coloring-Page-2819105

Screen shot 2014-09-27 at 4.30.37 PMColor The Chapchas – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Color-The-Chapchas-An-Instrument-from-The-Andes-650050

Color The Zampoñas (Panpipes) – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Color-the-Zamponas-Panpipes-From-The-Andes-650601

Color The Bombo Drum – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Color-A-Bombo-A-Drum-From-The-Andes-650642

Lyric Sheet  – Bilingual La Cucaracha https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/La-Cucaracha-Lyric-Sheet-Bilingual-Version-2863996

Play Music On The Porch – This Saturday!

Porch day music iconWe’re excited to share news of a great new day and a great way to bring the family or community together – through music! Check out this guest post from the good folks at Play Music on the Porch Day.

What if for one day everything stopped…and we all just listened to the music?

Imagine, if you can, one day where the sounds of arguments and fighting are replaced with sounds of unity.

One day where those who normally build walls against each other, instead build bridges; note by note.  One day where common ground can be found regardless of your race, religion, culture or differences. For there is a sound that rises above it all.  One day where language is not a barrier. For, what is being communicated porchmusic pixtranscends our many different languages and each person feels in their heart what is understood by all.

A day where all can find shelter, unity and a greater understanding of each other. Where we can celebrate the diverse sounds our world holds.  Play Music on the Porch Day is offering a platform to do just that.  We believe everyone has their own unique sound, let the world hear it.

Join us and share your music and let yourself shine! Together we can light up the world with music!

Register to be added to the map:tinyurl.com/Register4PMOTPD and you can join this amazing group of people ready to make some great music on the 26th!

porch music map

Make Your Own Egyptian Sistrum And Join The MENA Blog Hop!

sistrum color image

We’re proud to be part of the Middle Eastern North Africa blog hop. Naturally we have a post about music, but make sure you check out all the other related posts (listed below) to learn more about this beautiful and culturally rich part of the world.

Crafting is a great hands-on way for kids to learn about world cultures, so our post shows you how to make a sistrum, a unique rattle that was used in the courts of the Pharoahs of ancient Egypt.

What is a Sistrum?

You can see images of sistrums in hieroglyphics found in the pyramids. A bit of study of the courts of the Pharoahs reveals that the sistrum was played mainly by women or priestesses and that it was played by moving it back and forth from side to side so that the metal bangles create a unique sound and distinctive rhythms.  It was often part of ceremonial or the sacred/religious music of the time.

sistrums - sticksMake Your Own Sistrum From a Tree Branch

If you take a walk in a wooded area, it’s easy to find a tree branch that is shaped like the letter “Y”. You can use the branch “as is” or cut and sand it down, if you like.

Next, you’ll need a bit of floral wire or craft wire. Wrap it around one side of the Y, then add whatever bangles you may have. Below we have a post showing how to safely make bangles from bottlecaps, which is a fun recycling project. Instead – or in addition to bangles – you can also use things like beads, making sistrums peace valleyjingle bells or bits of jewelry to add to the bling of your sistrum. Be as creative as you like!

Playing A Sistrum

Although the traditional way to play a sistrum is to move it back and forth only, it’s a rattle so feel free to use it as a percussion instrument any way you like.

Links and Resources

Free Egyptian Sistrum Coloring Page- https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Color-An-Ancient-Egyptian-Rattle-The-Sistrum-2166721

Make Your Own Bangles From Bottlecaps Post – http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/ecologynature/how-to-make-bottle-cap-bangles-for-recycled-musical-instruments/
Middle Eastern and North African Heritage Month | Multicultural Kid Blogs

Welcome to the third annual Middle Eastern and North African Heritage Month series from Multicultural Kid Blogs! Follow along all month long for great resources on teaching children about the heritage of this region, and link up your own posts below. Don’t miss our series from last year and from 2015!

You can also find even more resources on our North Africa and the Middle East Pinterest board:

 


August 4 Sand In My Toes on Multicultural Kid Blogs: 10 Fun Facts About the United Arab Emirates
August 8 A Crafty Arab: Jordan Craft Stick Flag Tutorial
August 15 Sand In My Toes: Wind Tower Craft (UAE)
August 17 All Done Monkey: MENA Countries Worksheets
August 18 Tiny Tapping Toes
August 21 Biracial Bookworms on Multicultural Kid Blogs
August 23 Jeddah Mom
August 28 Crafty Moms Share
August 30 Creative World of Varya

 

Link Up Your Posts!


 

Grandparents Day Music Give-Away!

grandmother toya at the senior centerThis year National Grandparents Day is September 10th.  If you were wondering, in the USA it’s always celebrated the second Sunday in September.

And around the world, there are similar annual holidays and celebrations to honor grandparents   But; honestly, any time of year is a great time to appreciate the role of that special someone or group of grands in your child’s life.

One easy and fun way to bring generations together and make lasting memories is through sharing music, especially the simple or special songs that meant a lot to grandma or granddad. In our family, our Greek Xiaxia shared a version of patty-cake in Greek that the kids remember and sing to this day. Their other grandmother loved to tell them about the silly songs she sang at school like Grandchildrens Delight Cover“Three Little Fishies” and “Jadda, Jadda Jing Jing Jing!”. Because these songs mean so much to old and young alike, I created a CD of songs that were hand-picked by my fans and audiences in response to the question: “What songs would you most like your grandkids to hear”.

The result (and it’s a give-away below) was a CD called Grandchildren’s Delight and it includes songs like You Are My Sunshine, Grand Old Flag, This Little Light of Mine, Oh Susannah, Playmate and so many more. So please, enter to win below but also remember how music can bring old and young together.

I bet there’s a special song you recall from your childhood or memory that’s just waiting to be sung to your little one!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Favorite Songs from Your Family Or Childhood

Yes, I am still asking folks about favorite songs from their childhood or their parent’s era. Either from the USA or anywhere around the world! Do you have a special song from jump rope, summer camp or a holiday you loved?   If so, let me know. I’d love to share it with my readers and my audiences.