Éste Es La Navidad

by Mike Wilson

In response to the numerous requests we receive for more bilingual music, this short, snappy Christmas song has two lines of Spanish/English alternating text to teach your students. Instrumentally, you'll hear a rhythm section, brass, lots of percussion, and claps. The claps are part of the tracks, but you can let your students join in if you want. Claps occur in measures 4, 6, 10, and the last bar. The rhythm of the claps is like the rhythm in the last bar: cha cha cha!

You might also want to have your students add their own percussion to this tune. Shakers, guiro, rhythm sticks, etc., can add simple rhythms throughout as you wish.

It should be noted, we took a little liberty with our Spanish for the sake of syntax. The second line, "Niños cantan campanas suenan" (children sing, bells ring), would be more grammatically correct by placing the action before the subject such as, "Cantan los niños, suenan las campanas" (sing, the children; ring, the bells). The liberties taken here are allowable, however. The grammar police won't come knocking at your door. Besides, it makes the song work.

Regarding that second line, we found it helpful, as we sang, to focus on the "ah" vowel sound. After "Niños," almost every vowel sound is "ah." Also, make sure your English speakers don't use a hard "d" on "Navidad." It's sort of in between a "d" sound and a "th" sound as in the word "that." If they have to err one way, make it toward the "th" sound. And remember, Spanish always seems to sound better with a smile on your face because it widens your mouth.

Though we trust that your Spanish-speaking students help out with pronunciation in the classroom, we have provided a pronunciation guide on the CD (track 17) as well as on our web site. (See details below.)

Online extras - The free, downloadable MP3 mentioned can be found under the "Graphics and Extras" for Volume 18, No. 2 at MusicK8.com

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.