I love finding new resources for teaching my children Spanish. I love finding new ways to integrate Spanish into our daily lives. I am here to tell you about our latest favorite: ¡1, 2, 3 con Andrés! The morning I received this CD in the mail I popped it into the CD player in our van because we had some driving to do that day. I fell in love from song one! I love it for so many reasons and on so many levels.
First, the music reflects how we do Spanish around here--mixed with English. This makes it feel very approachable and inviting. Sometimes my boys get overwhelmed or bored (from lack of comprehension) with things that are purely in Spanish. Mixing the two makes it feel familiar and engaging.
Second, each song uses a differnt style of Latin music so kids can hear the rythms and beats from all over the Spanish-speaking world. On the back of the CD case, each song lists what style it is sung in. This makes it easy for me to use as an educational tool in teaching my boys about Spanish music and culture. I can easily know what style, which makes it easy for me to research and learn more about it.
Third, each song is sung slowly enough for non-native speakers to understand and sing along. When we were in the van I heard my two-year-old from his carseat singing, "OOOOhhhhh-waaahhhh meeeee-GOOOO!" (Hola Amigo, track one) And later he asked, "Mommy, why is he singing 'salta'?" The music is so fun and kid-friendly that kids learn new Spanish words without even realizing it. The best way to learn Spanish is through music, story, and play and ¡1, 2, 3 con Andrés! accomplishes that in an effortless way. The CD comes with an insert that contains all of the lyrics written out, which again is great for non-native speakers to either read along and sing, or to reference for unknown words. Even the insert is fun with lively illustrations and lyrics that read like a children's book.
Lastly, the song topics are introduce diversity and cultural themes. The song Hola Amigo for instance sings about how we can all be friends no matter what language we speak; in Nuestra Fiesta everyone is invited to the party no matter where they are from; If I Had a Mariachi introduces kids to Spanish intruments; and the song My Friend Manuel teaches a few Spanish phrases and points out the we all laugh in the same language.
I hope you get the chance to check out this great compilation of Latin grooves and tunes. Discover more about Andrés and his music at www.123andres.com. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter. ¡1, 2, 3 con Andrés! is set to release April 2014! Until then enjoy his music online and his first music video on YouTube.