Sharing Culture and Language Through Song

“🎵 ¡Hola amigos! ¿Como está usted? Estoy muy feliz de verlo a usted.” 🎵🎵

Every day at Spanish Schoolhouse, we work to create a cultural experience  for our students and their families. One way we achieve this is through music.  Come at any time of day and you’ll hear teachers singing, dancing, and putting fun motions to popular Latin nursery rhymes. Even at naptime you’re likely to hear soft lullabies in the background. Spanish children’s songs are easy and effective teaching tools. 

Music has the power to transport the listener to another time and place.  The Spanish tunes that welcome our arriving families each morning and punctuate the school day build a cultural connection with the Hispanic world.  Our songs open a global window and set the tone (pun intended) for our days. 

At SSH, each element of our curriclum serves a specific purpose. “Music and Movement” and our “Songs of the Month” are a BIG part of the dynamic curriculum. Let’s dive in to find out why music is so important and see how we learn best through listening and singing along!

A Universal Language and Resource for Learning

Music is the universal language and can be enjoyed by all, regardless of their native tongue.  Apart from being fun, music can also improve one’s health and enhance cognitive function. Whose mood doesn’t improve when they hear a catchy tune?

When learning new material, children can more easily memorize information that may otherwise be challenging.  Think of how you learned your ABC’s as a child – by singing a catchy song! (We know you’re singing it right now!)  We wouldn’t be surprised if the songs are some of the first things your child picks up in their new language.  

At Spanish Schoolhouse, we introduce Songs of the Month in “batches” of three.  They are incorporated throughout each month in the classroom, at Music and Movement time, and while transitioning from one activity or area to the next.  Parents can check out these songs via the links in our monthly newsletter. We start the school year with very simple songs, and we gradually introduce more complex songs so children can expand their vocabulary!

Rhyming Helps Reading!

Most of our Songs of the Month have simple rhyming words which are easy for children to remember. Learning to rhyme is a great skill for our pre-readers! Using movement while singing reinforces the meaning of the words by incorporating another sense. By pointing at things mentioned in the lyrics or performing the actions, children learn to associate the words they’re singing with their movements.  This creates an engaging and dynamic learning experience. 

When something is taught in a multi-sensory way, young brains are actively stimulated and new connections are formed in the brain.  The more connections they make, the better they can absorb and retain the information!

In fact, an MIT study done with a group of Kindergarteners showed “Musical training is at least as beneficial in improving language skills, and possibly more beneficial, than offering children extra reading lessons.”   What a bonus!

Sharing Cultural Traditions Through Songs and Rhymes

Exposing children to different rhythms and beats promotes a broader understanding of the world.  We love this because one of our primary goals is raising well-rounded and globally-minded individuals!  

Whether you grew up in the United States or on the other side of the world, most everyone is exposed to nursery rhymes.  They’re fun, catchy, and very popular. Although childhood songs may vary from one country to the next, many are “universal” in the Hispanic world.   

We love to watch culture being passed from one generation to the next through these songs and rhymes.  Because our teachers share beloved songs that they grew up with, they feel proud to pass them down as a gift to their students.  It teaches little ones to be inclusive while they learn about Latin culture through unique instruments, fun rhymes, rhythms, and lyrics.  Besides all of that, music simply adds joy to our days, making students (and teachers) smile and giggle! 

Keep the Music Playing!

At Spanish Schoolhouse we firmly believe that the learning experience doesn’t have to stop when your child leaves for the day!  Since we now live in an era of information, you can easily find Spanish children’s classics and YouTube videos online. Playing them at home will help promote your child’s language learning. By continuing to expose your child to the language, you contribute to the foundational skills they need for their oral development.   

We try to share as many language resources with parents as we can through our Monthly Newsletters and our website. We also include the lyrics to the songs so you and your little one can sing along at home or in the car!  

A Final Note ♪

At SSH, these beautiful and catchy Spanish children’s songs are great resources for language acquisition.  They contribute to the daily fun and upbeat spirit in our schools. Beyond this, they help build a special bond between teachers and children by creating cultural connections that span countries and generations.  Which SSH song is your child’s favorite?

So, what do you think?