Spanish Language Musical Books Spanish language children’s and folk songs may be more familiar to Latino parents, making the shared singing and reading of books based on such songs easier to facilitate. In addition to addressing literacy skills, these experiences have the potential to convey aspects of cultural and individual family traditions and history. There are picture books featuring songs such as Los Pollitos (The Little Chicks) and Arroz Con Leche (Rice With Milk), as well as other songs that are well-known in much of Latin America. Adding Music to Non-Musical Books It is not necessary to use a book specifically based on a song to enhance book reading with music. Many good children’s books employ engaging spoken meters, rhythmic patterns, repetition, alliteration, pitch and emotional inflections and other linguistically interesting devices that can be explored and expanded upon through music. For instance, I Like It When/Me Gusta Cuando is a bilingual board book for preschoolers by Mary Murphy (2008). Each page features the book’s penguin adult and child interacting in various playful and aﬀectionate ways. The text describing the 10 scenes begins with the English and Spanish phrases “I Like It When” and “Me Gusta Cuando” followed by a description of the activities in both languages. The simple concept and repetitive nature of this book’s structure make it a good choice for optimizing the experience of shared reading through music.
Parents, teachers, and therapists can develop songs or rhythmic patterns to accompany non-musical books. The song “I Like it When”/”Me Gusta Cuando” is an example of how salient patterns and phrases in children’s literature can be extracted and developed within a musical structure to reinforce the reading experience with an additional sensory and attentional layer. The author developed this song designed to accompany the book with lyrics consisting solely of the words of the title plus the repeated musical syllable “la.” It can be used as a way to introduce the book, to break up the reading of multiple pages into smaller chunks without losing focus of the book’s concept, and/or to conclude the book, recapping what transpired. Singing, hand clapping or the playing of simple percussion instruments can be added to articulate rhythms, integrate the child’s body, and channel energy. Immigrant parents have much to oﬀer their children, guiding their skill development through interactions, activities, play and education that create the foundation for literacy. Educators should continue to encourage all parents regarding the value of book sharing experiences as an important form of literacy development. Music therapists can dialogue with the family members of the
imagine 7(1), 2016
In this issue, over 70 authors from 12 countries share their dedication and passion for early childhood music therapy with imagine readers....