Category Archives: Hispanic Music

5 Musical Activities With Directions In Spanish

actividades

Are you part of a bilingual school, preschool or cultural center?  Would directions to some exciting musical projects in Spanish make a fun addition to your classroom or enrichment activities?

Although we don’t have all our activities and posts in Spanish, here are some of our reader’s favorites, especially for making and playing with young children.

Make a Roly-Poly Thing!  -  Construye Una Cosita Musical Que Rueda https://creciendoconmusicblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/construye-una-cosita-musical-que-rueda/

Make Your Own Gong!  -  ¡Haz tu propio gong!  https://creciendoconmusicblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/haz-tu-propio-gong/

Make Your Own Recycled Shaker Eggs – Haz tus propios huevos sonajeros reciclados  https://creciendoconmusicblog.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/haz-tus-propios-huevos-sonajeros-reciclados/

Making Rattles With Recycled Materials – Haciendo Sonajeros De Materiales Recicladas https://creciendoconmusicblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/haciendo-sonajeros-de-materiales-recicladas/

Make Some Marvelous Maracas – ¡Preparemos unas maravillosas maracas! https://creciendoconmusicblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/preparemos-unas-maravillosas-maracas/

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Sing A Song For Earth Day In Spanish

Screen shot 2016-04-11 at 11.44.18 AMMusic is such a wonderful way to promote learning languages and bilingualism. If you’re celebrating Earth Day, here’s a fun way of combining caring for our planet with expanding your language skills in Spanish.

The song is based on “We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands”, an Earth Day anthem heard all over the world.  But if you haven’t heard it yet, make sure you get your free mp3 download at the links below or cruise over to the videos and hear it yourself.

Spanish Language Cheat Sheet

Thanks to the translation skills of a wonderful bilingual mom – Cecelia Fencer – here’s the Earth Day song in Spanish.

If you’re unfamiliar with Spanish, here’s some of the recurring words with their English translations.

Tenemos – We Have

Todo El Mundo – The Whole World

Manos – Hands

Reciclar – Recycle

Tierra – Earth

Plantas – Plants

Animales – Animals

Hermanos – Brothers

Sueños – Dreams

Tenemos Todo El Mundo En Nuestras Manos

New version of lyrics in English/c 1994 Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou
c 2104 Spanish translation Cecelia Fencer

Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.

Debemos reciclar, ahora que podemos.
Reducir, reusar y reciclar
Reducir y reciclar ahora que podemos.
Tenemos al mundo en nuestras manos.

Tenemos plantas y animales en nuestra tierra,
plantas y animales en nuestra tierra.
Tenemos plantas y animales en nuestra tierra.
Tenemos al mundo en nuestras manos.

Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.

Tomemonos de las manos, como hermanos.
Tomemonos de las manos como hermanos.
Tomemonos de las manos como hermanos,
tenemos al mundo en nuestras manos

Encuentra tus sueños y haz lo que puedas,
ten tus anhelos y lucha por ellos.
Encuentra tus sueños y haz lo que puedas,
tenemos al mundo en nuestras manos.

Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.

Links and Resources

Lyric Sheet – We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands (English) http://www.dariamusic.com/wholeworld.php

Write Your Own Earth Day Song http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/sing-your-own-earth-day-song/

Earth Day CD and CD Plus 10 Recycled Activities: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/EARTH-DAY-CD-PLUS-E-BOOK-OF-10-RECYCLED-MUSICAL-ACTIVITIES-658096

DARIA’s free resources for Earth Day  http://www.dariamusic.com/earthday.php

Official Earth Day Site: http://www.earthday.org/

A Family-Friendly Version of La Cucaracha!

La Cucaracha 2 screensnapCheck out  DARIA’s version of this adorable song in both Spanish and English at the Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora links below to listen free! 

I recently received an e-mail from Sweden asking about the Mexican folksong, “La Cucaracha”.  The writer wondered how this song could be so familiar so far away from it’s Latin American roots. The answer is simple, some songs are just that catchy, simple and have a certain magic about them.  “La Cucarcha” seems to be one of those songs.

So, what is this popular little globe-trotting song all about?

Let’s start with the basics.  The Spanish word “cucaracha” means cockroach and there are multiple verses to the song, many of which are silly or nonsensical.  Although most frequently associated with Mexican culture, the song actually dates back to a Spanish “corrido” song.  And, no one really knows how old “La Cucaracha” is but at least one version appears in a songbook that dates back to 1492!

Is there a standard set of lyrics?  No!  If you check out the wikipedia page below you’ll see lots of verses including many with historical or cultural references.  And, naturally,  there are the clever or silly ones, as well:

cucaracha poster(Spanish) Cuando uno quiere a una
y esta una no lo quiere,
es lo mismo que si un calvo
en la calle encuentra un peine

(English) When a man loves a woman
but she doesn’t love him back
it’s like a bald man
finding a comb in the street.

A Kid-Friendly Version

Although this is a great little song, I never sang it in public because one of the verses referred to marijuana.  It just didn’t fit my definition of a family-friendly tune.  However, while performing a concert for a group of nuns in South American, one Sister sang me her own version of the song.  It was cute and sweet and left out the “offending” verse.

Her version totally inspired me to not only sing the song, but to add some silly English lyrics, preserving the “everyone adds their own touch” approach to adapting folksongs.  In my bilingual version, the little cockroach likes to play traditional Mexican instruments.  And with 6 legs, wouldn’t any cockroach make a fine percussionist?

Below is a free lyric sheet to this bilingual version, plus the popular Youtube video.  And if a little cockroach who plays both guiros and maracas inspires you, you can make your own version of  these instruments to play in class or at home.  Just check out the links below for the DIY instructions.

Here’s hoping this song makes you laugh and smile, learn a bit of Spanish and share a song with someone you love!

Links and Resources

Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/57s2qPe2YT69GoenDQD1Kf
Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/i-have-a-dream/id49532398
Pandora: www.pandora.com/artist/daria-childrens/i-have-a-dream/la-cucaracha-spanish-english/TRlz4b72vkflZ4w

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

Wikipedia’s Full History of La Cucaracha
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Cucaracha

MYO Guiro from TeachersPayTeachers
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Make-Your-Own-Latin-American-Guiro-1230266

MYO Maracas from TeachersPayTeachers
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Make-Your-Own-Maracas-1428029

La Cucaracha from Amazon mp3
http://amzn.com/B0013PIZ9O

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Color The Instruments from Hispanic Heritage!

Screen shot 2014-09-27 at 12.22.10 PMWho doesn’t love to color?

And did you know that the guitar traces it’s roots to Spain? And in South American, there’s an instrument made from the actual shell of an armadillo? Coloring pages can be a great way to get creative as well as dive into any study or exploration of music. Since September 15 – October 15th is Hispanic Heritage month, we wanted to share a few of our reader’s favorite coloring freebies featuring instruments that come from the diversity of Hispanic cultures.

And if coloring isn’t enough, check out the free E-book listed below where you can make crafty versions of 10 different instruments that also come from the Hispanic world. Castanets, cajitas or box drums, anyone?

Guitar

Color A Guitar – ONLINE  http://www.dariamusic.com/color_Guitar.php

Free Printable From TeachersPayTeachers http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Guitar-Coloring-Page-649967

Screen shot 2014-09-27 at 4.30.37 PMCharango (Small Stringed Instrument Made From An Armadillo Shell) 

Free Printable From DARIA’s website

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

Cajón (A Box Drum From Afro-Peruvian Culture)

Color A Cajon – ONLINE

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

Chapchas (A Rattle Made From Goat’s Toenails) 

Free Printable From TeachersPayTeachers  http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Color-The-Chapchas-An-Instrument-from-The-Andes-650050

Bombo ( A Large South American Drum) 

Screen shot 2014-09-27 at 12.22.27 PMFree Printable From TeachersPayTeachers http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Color-A-Bombo-A-Drum-From-The-Andes-650642

Guiro

Color A Guiro – ONLINE http://www.dariamusic.com/color_Guiro.php

Zampoñas (Panpipes From The Andes) 

Free Printable From TeachersPayTeachers http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Color-the-Zamponas-Panpipes-From-The-Andes-65060

HHM-coverResources And Links

10 Musical Crafts To Celebrate Hispanic Heritage -Free Until October 31st on DARIA’s website:

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

Available Anytime From TeachersPayTeachers ($8.99)

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

Additional Coloring Pages With Musical Instruments From All Over the World http://www.dariamusic.com/crafts.php

 

 

We’re Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month – With Music and More!

HHM-coverWe’re excited to be part of the MKB network’s awesome blog hop that shares all aspects of Hispanic culture. Our contribution is a free and fun E-book that shares 10 Musical Crafts you can make to explore these exciting and meaningful cultural traditions.

Find that free E-book here: http://www.dariamusic.com/monthly_song.php

And please, read on.  There are contests, give-aways and lots of other great activities and information from some really awesome bloggers that I hope you get a chance to meet through this wonderful blog Hop.  And don’t forget to scroll through the prizes to find and enter the Rafflecopter below!

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

heritagemonthWelcome to the Third Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop, hosted this year by Multicultural Kid Blogs and 17 of our member blogs! Don’t miss our amazing giveaway, and share your own posts at our linky!

Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15 every year, “celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America” (from HispanicHeritageMonth.gov)

Be sure to visit all of the participating blogs (listed below) and follow our related Pinterest boards:

MKB HHM Twitter PartyDon’t miss our Twitter party “Celebrating Hispanic Heritage with Kids,” Tuesday, September 23, from 9 – 10 pm ET! Follow #mkbhhm to participate!

MKB Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop: Participating Blogs

Multicultural Kid Blogs

All Done Monkey

Spanish Playground

Kid World Citizen

Mommy Maestra

Kids Yoga Stories

Inspired by Familia

Entre Compras y El Hogar

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes

Spanglish House

Crafty Moms Share

Toddling in the Fast Lane

Mama Tortuga

Frogs, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Our Whole Village

A Life With Subtitles

Spanish Mama

Pragmatic Mom

Daria’s Music

My Favorite Multicultural Books

Hispanic Heritage Month GIVEAWAY!

This year to celebrate we are giving away fabulous prizes! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post for a chance to win!

Please note that there are shipping restrictions on some prizes. In the event that the winner lives outside of the shipping area, that portion of the prize will be added to the following prize package.

Grand Prize Package

Smart Play - Hispanic Heritage Month Blog HopSmart Play Pad (SRP $ 24.99): Interactive tablet like electronic toy makes early learning fun and exciting for little ones. More than 30 touch sensitive keys teach language and pronunciation skills to help prepare children for school. Bilingual feature helps kids learn in English & Spanish. Lightweight and truly portable for on-the-go learning. Ships to US and Canada only.

Traditional Mexican toys and games.

A basket of fun from Escuela Falcón in Guanajuato, Gto., Mexico. This prize includes educational games, ceramic Day of the Dead skulls, a hand-painted ceramic box, wooden toys, and a certificate for 5 hours of Skype Spanish lessons with Escuela Falcón.

A basket from Lanugo with the book “Lula la Consentida,” a limited-edition “Latino de Corazón” infant onsie, and Seventh Generation’s baby product essentials. US shipping only.

Spanish games for kids.

A Spanish edition of the award-winning game Bananagrams.

DVD of Spanish music videos from Rockalingua.

DVD of Spanish music videos from Rockalingua.

Bilingual poetry book from Lee and Low.

Spanish poetry book for kids from Lee and Low.

A Movie in my Pillow and Poems to Dream Together – Books of poetry in English and Spanish from Lee and Low.

First Prize Package

Peru prize basket - Kid World CitizenA child’s sweater and bag from Peru courtesy of Kid World Citizen. The handmade, wool sweater is typical from the Andes and might fit a child ages 2-4. The little backpack is also handmade with gorgeous details typical of the region.

Spanish games for kids. A Spanish edition of the award-winning game Bananagrams.

Spanish songs for kids.

Chocolalala – CD of songs in English and Spanish from Mister G.

Spanish songs for kids from Mariana Iranzi.Hola Hello – A CD of children’s songs in English and Spanish from Mariana Iranzi.

Spanish poems for kids.

Mis primeros poemas – A book of poems and audio CD for Spanish learners from All Bilingual Press.

Spanish color activities from Mundo de Pepita.

Digital download of Spanish Colors Activities Pack with printable minibooks, games and activity pages from Mundo de Pepita.

Lingua ToysSpanish activity book with an audio CD with listening exercises for kids between 3-10 years old (value: 12€) from Lingua Toys.

Bolivian GuiroHand-crafted guiro (traditional instrument), hand-carved from a gourd in Bolivia with a sun and moon pattern. Great instrument as well as a piece of folk art. From DARIAMUSIC. US shipping only.

Second Prize Package

Handwoven scarf from Nicaragua.

Handwoven scarf from Nicaragua courtesy of Spanish Playground.

Spanish ABC book from Libros Arellano.

Spanish book for kids from Libros Arellano.

¡Las letras! and Señorita Bienvenida en el aeropuerto – Two children’s books in Spanish from Libros Arellano.

Spanish songs for kids from Mariana Iranzi.

A CD of children’s songs in English and Spanish from Mariana Iranzi.

Children's songs in Spanish from Mister G.

ABC Fiesta – CD of songs in English and Spanish from Mister G.

High frequency words books in Spanish.

Digital download of 6 printable Spanish high frequency words books from Custom Literacy.

Bonus Prize: France Shipping Only!

Las piñatas de LalyBeautiful piñata created especially for this contest by Piñatas de Laly.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Link Up Your Posts Now it’s your turn to share your posts! The linky will be open through October 15, so come back and share throughout Hispanic Heritage Month!


 

Bongos For Babies – And Big Kids, Too!

One of the easiest drums for anyone to play are bongo drums.  With roots in Afro-Cuban culture, this smaller set of hand drums is just the right size and shape to invite a child to sit down and tap and play away.

A Bit About The Bongos

Bongo drums are a great instrument for exploring rhythms and beats as well as Latin American culture with children. Originating in Cuba, there’s one larger drum, about 7 inches in diameter and one smaller drum, about 5 inches across.   In Cuba, the bongo player is called a bongocero.

bongos in the grassMake Your Own Bongo Drums

It’s easy to make a set of simple working bongo drum at home. All you need are a few basic materials starting with two round containers of different sizes. Coffee cans, oatmeal and corn meal containers work well for this project. Then you’ll need creative materials to decorate the two drums. Look for construction paper, stickers, colorful tape, markers or glitter and glue. Last, you’ll need sturdy tape – like electrical tape or duct tape – to attach the drums together.

Decorate The Drums

bongo suplpliesStart by decorating the two drums. If you’re working with construction paper, cut out a cover for each drum and allow your child to design their drum on a flat surface. Then, tape the cover into place around each drum. If not, feel free to allow the child to decorate the rounded surface of the drum. Stickers and colorful tape, work well for this type of approach.

Once you’ve completed the decoration process, use the electrical tape or duct tape and secure the drums together. Wrap the tape around both drums several times.

Now, you’re ready to play!

How Are Bongo Drums Held?

playing bongosTraditionally bongo drums are held between your legs, with the smaller drum to your left. However, if you’re playing with a child, feel free to place the bongos where it’s easiest for them to reach. This might be front of them on the floor or on their lap as they sit cross-legged.

Tapping Out A Beat

As always, I encourage the parent, caregiver or teacher to make a set of drums themselves and learn alongside their child. Here are some tips on basic techniques for beginner bongoceros, young and older!

Start by tapping the larger drum with your hands, using the upper part your palms (toward the base of your fingers). Tap the center, then other areas on the drum head and notice the difference in the sound. Do the same with the smaller head. Play back and forth between the larger and smaller head.

Next, try tapping the large head with one or more fingertips and you’ll hear a quieter sound. Try the same on the smaller head. Now you can mix and match the sounds you’ve just discovered and form them into patterns. Start simple and find patterns you enjoy or put on Latin American music and try to match the patterns from the song. You can also create new rhythm patterns that fit with the music you hear as well.

Once you’ve made your homemade bongos, feel free to use your new drums to “just jam” or to learn and play some of the great beats from Afro-Cuban and Latin American folk traditions. Here’s a basic bongo drum pattern called “el martillo” that almost anyone can learn with just a bit of practice.


Resources And Links

Bongo Craft PDF from TeachersPayteachers

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Make-And-Play-Your-Own-Bongo-Drums-1430615

10 Music Crafts For Exploring Hispanic Heritage

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

Hear, Color Or Play a Guiro

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

Free Musical Crafts and Coloring Pages From All Over the World – From DARIA MUSIC

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

Make Your Own “Quijada” – A Jawbone Rattle

colorful quijadaHispanic Heritage Month is coming up in September and we’re starting early by sharing some of the more unique instruments found in Latin American cultures as well as ways you can craft your own clever versions at home!

What is A Quijada

The quijada is a wonderfully gross instrument from Afro-Peruvian culture made from the dried jawbone of a donkey.  Also called charrasga or quijada de burro, the unique sound of this instrument comes from the teeth rattling and buzzing in the dried sockets.

Although this might sound like an odd object to use to make music, if you trace the history of the enslaved people brought to Peru, they were allowed almost no personal items so it makes sense they “recycled” what they could find to continue making the music that was meaningful to them.

In more modern times, the quijada along with a box drum (called a cajón) and a little donation box (called a cajita) create the signature sounds of this beautiful and expressive music from the coastal region of Peru.

monster rattlesMake Your Own Quijada Craft

Since jawbones and animal teeth are not common materials, we’ve created a craft that uses the same idea of teeth rattling in empty sockets.  Although it’s a simple project, there are several ways to decorate and play an egg carton quijada, making it a fun addition to any home, school or homeschool music basket.

Gather Your Supplies

quijada suppliesAll you need is an empty egg carton and 12 items that fit inside the egg’s spaces.  Use anything you have around the house such as marbles, legos, beads, buttons, or dried pasta or venture outside for pebbles, rocks, acorns or small pinecones.

This is a fun way to learn to count to 12 and to understand the concept of “a dozen”.

Tape It Up!

Once you’ve put your 12 items in place, seal up the egg carton.  Be careful to tape over the holes that are often found in egg cartons so that none of the smaller objects come out when it is played like a rattle.

egg carton faces 2Decorate!

You can leave your rattle plain and simple, or create a cover for the top.  We’ve designed a series of “monster faces” you can download for the top of the egg cartons, available from TeachersPayTeachers.  Some are in color and some are colorable.

Feel free to give your faux donkey jaw a personality all it’s own!

How To Play An Egg Carton Quijada

sunita playing quijadaYou can play your egg carton quijada just like any other rattle.  Shake it up and down or back and forth.  Place it on the ground or in front of you on a desk or table and tap it to make it rattle.

You can also play it more like a quijada.  A traditional quijada is played by holding one side and striking the other with the side of your fist so that the teeth vibrate.   To play it this way, hold your monster rattle on one side and tap the other side gently with your fist to create a nice vibrating, shaking sound.

Links and Resources

Monster Faces for Quijada Craft
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/EGG-CARTON-QUIJADA-MUSICAL-RATTLE-1146672

josef plays cajitaWhat is a Cajón – Free PDF from DARIA’s TPT Store
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Cajon-Make-And-Play-Your-Own-Box-Drum-1236616

What is a Cajita – Free PDF from DARIA’s TPT Store
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/What-Is-A-Cajita-Latin-American-Percussion-Instrument-1388694

Go Ahead, Play With The Box – A Little Box Instrument From Peru

cajita on grass (homemade)It’s almost a cliche. A child is given a special present and they prefer to play with the box!

But, did you know that in Peru, there are two different types of boxes that are actually used as instruments?  We’ve already shared a post about a cajón, a box drum from Afro-Peruvian culture that you can make at home (link below). Now we’d like to show you another box instrument called the cajita. Making and playing a cajita is a wonderful way to develop motor skills, explore rhythms, discover new music and just plain have fun!

WHAT IS A CAJITA?

The cajita is a small, hexagonal box that comes from Afro-Peruvian culture. Originally, it was used to collect donations in Catholic churches. The altar boys wore the donation box around their necks as they collected the offerings. Then; after they removed the money intended for the church, they used the box as a percussion instrument.

josef plays cajitaHow did they make music with a cajita? They opened and closed the lid for one sound. They took a small stick and tapped the sides and top, for another sound. They opened the lid and “stirred” the inside for still another type of percussion. And then they mixed all those different sounds together.

Since it might be a bit hard to imagine, here’s a short video with two cajitas and one cajón (box drum) that will demonstrate what it looks and sounds like.

MAKING A HOMEMADE CAJITA

Making a wooden box cajita requires special materials as well as woodworking tools and skills.  A bit easier to create is a cigar box cajita which is sturdy enough to be played like the real thing, but can be made from some basic materials and supplies found around almost any home.

Here’s what you need to create a cigar box cajita.

SUPPLIES

Cigar box
Small knob and matching screw (knobs from kitchen cabinets or small dressers work perfectly)
Hammer and nail or awl tool (to make a hole for the knob to be inserted in lid)
Two dowels or sticks – about 8” in length
Materials for decorating such as paint, construction paper, stickers, glitter and glue

DECORATE A HOMEMADE CAJITA

homemade cajita (inside)If you’d like to decorate your cajita, begin this project by personalizing the cigar box. You can paint it, decoupage it, add stickers, construction paper or glitter and glue to make it unique. Since you’ll be opening and closing the lid, you may want to decorate the inside as well as the outside.

Next, add the knob so you can easily lift the cajita’s lid up and down. To do this, the adult can help with the process of hammering a small nail or using an awl to pierce a hole in the lid of the box. Position that hole in the exact center of the box, about an inch or so away from the edge of the lid that opens up. Once the hole is created, it’s easy to insert the knob in the top of the box and use the screw to tighten it into place. Now you should be able to open and close the lid of the box easily.

Finally, cut two wooden dowels. One will weigh down your box so you can play your instrument without the cajita bouncing up and down.  The other will be the playing stick that you use to tap and play your instrument. If possible, cut the first dowel to a length just a bit short of the inner width of the box.  Glue the dowel in place in the inner front of the box and leave it to dry. In the meantime, cut and decorate your second dowel. This one can be any length that is comfortable to hold in your hand while playing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATIME TO JAM

Now the musical fun begins. If you’ve watched the video above and are ready to dive right in, then skip this section. If you prefer some playing tips, here are some good suggestions to get you started.

Get to know your cajita by tapping the sides and the front and making a rhythm pattern. Notice how each sound is a bit different. Try something like “front, front, side. Front, front side.” Try a similar pattern with the sides and the top. Later, add the sound of the lid opening and closing. Since this can sometimes feel like “rubbing your stomach and patting your head”, it’s best to start with simpler patterns and then work up to more complicated ones. If working with younger children, it can be good to let them explore the instrument before trying to play specific patterns.

You can also put on any type of music and allow your child to create a beat that goes along with it.

A CAJITA JAM AS A GROUP

After getting the hang of creating rhythms with a cajita, you can play as a group, with several cajitas or with different instruments playing together as well. This can be a fun way of building rhythm in a classroom or a homeschool setting because each child or person hears how their musical part plays an important role in the overall beat.

An easy way to start a jam is to have one person – like the cajita player – play a very simple pattern such as opening and closing the lid. The next person adds another sound, the third and forth, add their own simple parts. If you check out this jam, you’ll see how the rhythm starts on one instrument (a quijada jawbone), the cajita is added next and finally, a large cajón (or box drum) joins in.

Links and Resources

What Us A Cajita? https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/What-Is-A-Cajita-Latin-American-Percussion-Instrument-1388694

Make Your Own Cajón Box Drum – Free From TeachersPayTeachers

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Cajon-Make-And-Play-Your-Own-Box-Drum-1236616

Musical Water Play – A MYO Gourd-Style Water Drum

ghana water drumHow often can you imagine someone saying: “Now it’s time to pour water into our drum”.   Although it might seem unusual, at least two cultures from around the globe have discovered that you can make an amazing  drum by overturning a gourd and playing it while it rests gently upon the surface of the water.   In fact, the sound is so deep and resonant that there are claims it can be heard for miles!

Playing water gourd drumDon’t have dried gourds from Ghana or a time machine to travel back to Mayan days and play a bubulek water drum?  No worries. In fact, here’s a simple version of this instrument that also works wonderfully as outdoor water play for kids.  It’s a good way to combine messy or wet play with creativity and music!

Gather A Few Supplies

First you’ll need a shallow container to hold the water. We’ve used a plastic “under-the-bed” storage container box, but a kiddie pool or similar container will also work perfectly.  It helps to have a jug for water so you can vary the amount of water used beneath your “drum”.  Then you need the floating “gourds”.  Circular materials plastic water drumitems (like sturdy round mixing bowls) work best but explore whatever you have that will stay afloat when placed up-side-down in the water. You might be surprised at what sounds each different item will create when tapped or touched.

Lastly, you might want to have a few beaters such as unsharpened pencils, chopsticks or wooden spoons. Then it’s just a matter of pouring and playing away.

Play Gently

With this drum, like many others, less is more.  If you like, start by tapping your “gourd” with the tips of your fingers and see what sounds are created.  Try quietly rapping the plastic water drum playingtop and the sides.  Add a pencil or a beater and see if the sound changes.  Add a different container and play two or three together for different sounds or sound combinations.

Getting Serious?

If you take a look at the video below you can see the musician is doing a few different things. He’s knocking on the top of the gourd (like you might knock at a door), tapping and rapping and creating some really neat patterns. He’s playing an actual “jicara de agua” water drum from Mexico, but the same techniques work perfectly on any homemade drum.

You can use this video for inspiration or create your very own unique way to play.

What will your water play sound like today?

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.