Tag Archives: young children and 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 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

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

The Yaqui Gourd Water Drum From Ancient Mexico 

ghana gourd drumOne of my favorite instruments to bring around to schools is a water drum made from a gourd. Kids and adults are often shocked when I pour water into one of the gourds and float the other on top to create the drum.  Then they are amazing by the deep, resonant sound. But where did a unique and creative instrument like this come from?  Interestingly enough, gourd water drums are found in both African cultures and in the indigenous cultures that inhabit present day Mexico and the Southwestern United States.

yaqui water drumWe caught up with a talented musician from Los Angeles named Christopher Garcia who not only plays them, but has thoroughly researched their background and shares these traditional instruments with audiences around the world.

And, at the end of this post, you’ll find our DIY water drum craft. Although our plastic water drum doesn’t sound exactly like the real thing, it does produce great drum sounds and is a fun way to encourage sensory play with water and sound.

Christopher Garcia – Teaching About Indigenous Meso American Instruments

Before Spanish Conquistadors arrived in present day Mexico and the Southwestern US, indigenous cultures such as the Yaqui were flourishing with rich music and cultural lives. Many of these indigenous groups trace their history to the civilizations of the Mayan and Aztec peoples. Beautiful and unusual instruments used in their music include the water drum, singing stones, unique flutes and a marimba made of turtle shells. Christopher details many of these unique instruments at his website below, but here you can see him playing the gourd water drum and the gourd water drum plus the turtle shell marimba and singing stones.

Turtle Shells, Singing Stones And a Wooden Drum

Make Your Own Version Of A Gourd Water Drum

plastic water drum playingWe’ve done a whole post on taking various sized rounded plastic containers, floating them on the surface of the water and getting some of the same tones you’d hear on gourd water drums. You can get creative and try it yourself in a bucket, kiddie pool or basin of water, or check out that full post at the link below.

Links and Resources

Make A Gourd Water Drum from Plastic Containers
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/musical-water-play-a-myo-gourd-style-water-drum/

Christopher Garcia’s Indigenous Instruments of Mexico/Mesoamerica
http://indigenousinstrumentsof mexicomesoamerica.weebly.com/

Win A Children’s Music CD in Ladino!

Sara's cdA while ago we did a post about kids music in the Ladino language, a beautiful mixture of (mainly) Spanish and Hebrew by acclaimed artist, Sarah Aroeste.  Now we’re excited to do an encore post as well as a give away a copy of the cd- “Ora de Despertar” (Time To Get Up!).

Want to learn more?  Check out this background info before you head down to the give-away and enter to win!

You’ll love adding this cd to your collection of multicultural music for kids.

What is Ladino?

We love Sarah’s descritpion of the background and roots of the Ladino language:
“(Ladino is) the Judeo-Spanish dialect that originated by Spanish Jews after their expulsion from Spain in 1492.  Those who left Spain, including Aroeste’s family, carried the medieval language with them to the various points where they later settled, primarily along the Mediterranean coast and North Africa. In time, Ladino came to absorb bits and pieces of languages all along the Mediterranean coast, including some Greek, Turkish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Hebrew, and more.”

Who is Sarah Aroeste?

Sarah on stageSarah grew up influenced by her family’s Sephardic roots in Greece and Macedonia and has spent the last two decades bringing her contemporary style of original and traditional Ladino music to audiences around the world.   You can read about her efforts to preserve and create modern Ladino music in her bio, here: http://www.saraharoeste.com/bio/

What’s on the CD?

There are 12 original songs written in Ladino by Sarah that appeal to kids on topics like the family, foods, going to sleep, parts of the body, growing up and just being silly!  Her interview below includes links to a free teaching guide, songbook and animated cartoon series that make this CD even more enriching as a music and language experience.

Why listen to bilingual music with your child?

So many studies have shown the benefits of bilingualism, especially when introduced to young children.  Music is a fun way to “go bilingual” because everyone can listen, clap, and interact with the songs in a way that feels like pure fun while the brain is absorbing new sounds, words and concepts.  Songs are easy to enjoy and remember, so music is a great medium for instrodcuing and new language to a child.

Is it amazing and beautiful? Will you love the cd?

Absolutely. And you can enter to win below. If you can’t wait to see if you win, there are purchase links and social media links for Sarah below.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Links and Resources

Sarah’s Guest Post About Her CD – Includes links to teaching guide, songbook and animated Cartoon Series – http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/babies-and-music/sing-a-song-in-the-ladino-language/

Sarah’s Website – Available in English, Spanish + Hebrew www.saraharoeste.com

Sarah’s Store – http://www.saraharoeste.com/store/

A Song And Kid’s Music Video For Ramadan

Ramadan videoDo you celebrate Ramadan? If you don’t, you may wish to learn more about this beautiful holiday celebrated by Muslims in almost every country around the globe!

Here’s a lovely little song and music video about the month of Ramadan that is perfect for everyone to enjoy and share! We especially love this video because it shares images of a diverse group of girls and boys from various cultures (traditional and more Western), in different situations, all celebrating Ramadan.

We also love this video because it talks about the qualities expressed and cultivated during this special time of fasting and prayer. We see children in the video embracing patience, sacrifice, mercy, kindness, being humble, not losing Ramadan video 2their temper, helping others, reading, studying and doing good works. What a lovely message for children of all religions to hear and embrace.

Plus, we like this video because it may bring up many questions that will help people have accurate information about the religion of Islam and combat Islamaphobia in their schools, communities and in the world.

How much do you know about Ramadan and Islam? Check out our discussion questions below the video.

And, in the mean time, we wish you Ramadan Mubarak (Blessed Ramadan).

Explore More

After you watch the video, here are some great discussion questions to help you or your kids understand more about Ramadan.

When is Ramadan?

How long is Ramadan celebrated.

What occasion does Ramadan celebrate?

Is Ramadan a happy or sad holiday?

What does fasting mean?

How do people fast during Ramadan?

What is the Quran?

What things can children do to celebrate Ramadan… (for instance – acts of charity).

If you were celebrating Ramadan and wanted to perform an act of charity in your community – what might you do?

Make An Ocean Drum for World Oceans Day

me and the dolphinHave you heard of World Oceans Day? Celebrated annually on June 8th, it’s an internationally recognized and celebrated day to learn, share, preserve and promote one of our most magnificent resources, the oceans and seas.

The World Oceans Days website (link below) is a wealth of information – including research on pollution, posters in 15 languages, and a variety of action steps that anyone can take to make a difference. Visit the site to learn how oceans regulate our climate, generate most of the oxygen we breathe, clean the water that we drink and so much more.

Want to combine your learning with a fun recycled music craft?  Here’s a way you can reduce, reuse, recycle and make a great homemade drum that sounds remarkably like the sea!

What Is An Ocean Drum?

If you live near the sea or have visited an ocean, you know the wonderful, traditional ocean drumrelaxing sound of waves coming and going along the seashore. An ocean drum is a 2 sided hand drum that – when played – sounds just like the surf. In fact, if you close your eyes, you can imagine you are right there on the beach, hearing the waves as they come and go.

Above is a picture of a traditional ocean drum.

Make Your Own Recycled Ocean Drum

blue ocean drum kimbertonCheck your recycling bin.  Do you have a sturdy pizza box or a mailing box with dimensions somewhat like the one seen here?  If you do, you can fill the bottom of the box with sand, salt, seed beads or any tiny pasta (like acini de pepe). There’s also some great ways to create a window to the drum, decorate the outside and seal the box so the contents don’t escape and you can use it for weeks to come.

Ocean Drum Tutorial Free

Want a step-by-step tutorial plus other great info on this drum and world music instruments? Until June 16th, we’ve reduced the price of this great kids music resource to – free!  (Note: If you read this post after June 16, 2017 and need a free educator’s copy, just contact daria at dariamusic at yahoo dot com for more info).

Links And Resources

ocean drum pdfFree Tutorial – MYO Ocean Drum – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ocean-Drum-Craft-1567951

World Oceans Day – Main Sitehttp://www.worldoceansday.org/

Find An Oceans Day Event Near You – http://www.worldoceansday.org/events_list