Additionally, many transitional bilingual education programs, such as the one at AFC, include a parent component, aimed at cultivating a strong relationship between the home and school. Music can support each of the program goals and facets in specific ways. At AFC, the music therapist works with the educational staﬀ of the transitional bilingual class and other therapists serving the children to create a weekly music session that promotes general development, reinforces concepts and material presented in the classroom, and addresses the challenges of learning in two languages. Ensuring Mastery of Age-Appropriate Skills and Knowledge A form of communication itself, music is not tied to one particular language system, and can serve as a bridge for understanding and learning. Words deliver meaning when the child can relate an experience to them. Learning concepts and developmental skills can be facilitated through purely music experiences, not dependent on conventional language. Loud/soft, fast/ slow, other opposites and contrasts that can be expressed auditorily, movement and spatial complements such as up/down, go/stop, patterns, order, numbers, cooperation, and turn-taking are well suited to experiential learning through sound. To support ageappropriate skills in the transitional bilingual classroom, the music therapist uses songs with neutral language (instrumental or syllabic/nonsense), Spanish language, English language, or English/Spanish bilingual content. An example of a neutral language song used for this purpose is Oh Ah, sung to the tune of Chiapanecas, or, The Mexican Hand Clapping Song.
imagine 5(1), 2014
In this version, language is stripped down to the syllables “Oh” and “Ah,” common to English and Spanish. With linguistic decoding out of the way, the emphasis is on distinguishing two ways to sing, use body percussion, and play instruments. While singing “Oh,” the lips form a tight circle, singing is restrained but expectant, and the hands rub together in rhythmic anticipation of the next part. “Ah-Ah” is sung with a bold, open embouchure and new, contrasting movement and sound: two hand claps! After four repetitions, the children join hands, swinging gently while singing the legato section to the syllable
The focus of imagine 2014 is on family-centered practice – a trend taking hold in music therapy circles worldwide. While many practitioners...