Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhyme "Sana, Sana" on the Recorder!

We hear lots of educational buzz phrases like culturally appropriate, engaging, and prior knowledge. But what does it mean for teaching music to students who primarily speak Spanish at home? For me, I incorporate Spanish songs and chants into my curriculum.

This year I started my third graders learning the recorder by adapting a well known Spanish nursery rhyme. I found the chant "Sana, sana" in the book El Patio de Mi Casa by Gabriela Montoya-Stier. I set the chant to an easy rhythm and assigned notes of B, A, and G. I only used one A, as the focus of the song is really learning B and G.

Sana, sana, colita de rana,
Heal, heal, little frog tail,

Si no sanas hoy, sanarás mañana.
If you don't feel better today, you'll feel better tomorrow.

The chant is said to children by an adult when the child is hurt. I found that many of the children at my school who speak Spanish at home were familiar with the chant.

I found this to be an excellent beginning song for my students.  The song reflects and values their culture, they were engaged because they were able to use their knowledge of Spanish, and they used their prior knowledge of the chant to further develop their musical skills.

Leave a comment if you use this, I'd love to hear feedback! 

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