La Navidad

by Mike Wilson

As you probably know, La Navidad, "the Nativity" is the Spanish term for Christmas. Conveniently, from a writer's perspective, the pronunciation lends itself nicely to choral use. In this song we repeat it four times in each chorus but never offer the translation lyrically. You can tell your kids the meaning, which opens up all sorts of opportunities for cross cultural exploration and discussion. How do children celebrate Christmas in Latin countries? Learning customs and traditions is not only eye opening but fun as well.

The recording of this song uses lots of Latin percussion to round out the rhythm section and a couple of trumpets for flavor. You'll find the unison melody easy to learn and hang on to. It should be sung very enthusiastically.

A fun aspect of the performance you might want to add are the "cha cha cha" hand claps you hear after each "La Navidad." Most kids may tend to rush them. Your job will be to hold them back. In fact, if you choose to have your audience participate, you'll likely have to hold them back as well.

The lyrics "todos celebramos" and "bringing peace" are translated in the lines that follow respectively. They're not literal, but they're close enough. "Todo el mundo" (all the world) is to be exclaimed by an energetic soloist.

As usual, try to use some simple techniques to make the Spanish sound authentic. A Spanish speaking student is always the best helper, but you can tell the kids to smile as they speak the Spanish words. The "d" should sound almost like a "th" as in "that," and don't explode the consonants. To help with teaching, we have provided a pronunciation guide on our web site. (See box on page 82.)

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.