Update to My Spanish Music Database

As I’ve written about previously, I used to keep my “database” of Spanish music in my head…..until it just got to be too much to remember! Then, I started keeping each song used for a particular chapter or unit on the chapter page on my wikispace.  However, that did not give me great organization, particularly when someone asked me for a music suggestion for a particular topic, theme, artist, etc.  Almost three years ago, I created my second presentation for MFLA on using Spanish music to teach geography, social awareness, vocabulary  and history.  That presentation featured the music of Juanes (Colombia), Juan Luis Guerra (La República Dominicana) and Carlos Baute (Venezuela).  By that time, the need to create a database was pressing!  Last year, I created a third MFLA session called Music Lights the Language Fire! (which I will be presenting again at NECTFL spring 2012) and I could no longer put off the creation of an organized system.  The first database that I created contained some 325 songs that are in an Excel spreadsheet by artist, title, grammar, vocabulary, culture topic, country, and YouTube video link. Today, that database contains 635 songs that are searchable by the same topics.  It is a valuable tool for me.  If I’m looking for a song that contains the future tense or object pronouns or commands, etc, that’s what I search for; if I need a song from Uruguay, I search for that; if my students have responded favorably to a different artist, like Sie7e, María Mulata  or Orishas, I am able to search for more music from that artist; if I need music videos about Sevilla, they are there, too.  If you would like to view the database, here is the actual document that you may access without visiting my wikispace, Spanish Music Database 2 (version 1) . Also, if you have favorite artists or songs, please share them with me! Since I use music every single day with my students, I am always searching for more.

Updated again with suggestions from @karacjacobs  Thanks, Kara!!! Spanish Music Database 2 (version 1)

Participate, by text message, in a poll, using poll everywhereWho is your favorite Spanish artist or what is your favorite Spanish song?

Finally, here’s a video that I just discovered today, with lyrics in Spanish and English, by Noel Schajris and John Legend. 

25 thoughts on “Update to My Spanish Music Database

  1. Thanks so much for sharing!
    Here are few that I have used with great success:
    – El Hijo de Hernandezby El Cuarteto de Nos – the video is very Michael Jackson-ish. And the students want to talk about the video so much!
    – La Vida Tombola by Manu Chao – imperfect subjunctive and soccer (Diego Maradona)
    – La Perla by Calle 13 feat. Ruben Blades – pride in where you come from, great video of the neighborhood La Perla in San Juan
    – Niagara en Bicicleta by Juan Luis Guerra – DR healthcare (or lack there of)
    – Ska de la Tierra by Bebe – enviroment – challenges students to sing Fast
    – Bandera by Aterciopelados – immigration
    – Ellas danzan solas by Sting – madres de la Plaza de Mayo

    • Thanks, Kara! These are some great additions. While I had 2 from El Cuarteto de Nos, I had not seen the one you suggested. And somehow, I didn’t have La Vida Tombola which I use every year with my Spanish III’s! The rest are great suggestions! Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Hi,

    Thanks so much for this fantastic resource. Although it’s early to start thinking of Christmas – sorry (!) I always use this when teaching present subjunctive – which, as luck would have it I usually introduce just before Christmas – Rosana, En Navidad http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Moppq95ib_Y I hope you like it!

  3. Wow! Thanks for sharing this. This will be incredibly helpful to me, as I have in the last year just started taking baby steps toward integrating more music into my curriculum. I found you via your post on using music in the classroom without using a cloze activity, which I found incredibly helpful, as I have for the past year been struggling to do the same thing. Thank you for sharing the fruits of your labor. Unfortunately I’m not sure I have anything helpful to add as I am many steps behind you. I will post back here if I think of anything.

  4. Love this!!!!!

    I do a song each week with my students and this helps me a lot! I don’t know how much time I waste each week looking for songs that fit the vocabulary/grammar we are learning.

    Some songs I recently used are:
    Frio de Ricky Martin
    Me Rio de Ti – Gloria Trevi
    Llueve el amor – Tito El Bambino

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  5. Pingback: Incorporating Spanish Into Our Daily Lives « SpanglishBaby™

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m sorry I’ve been absent for so long, but I’ve been dealing with serious illness and the death of my mother. I’m hoping that I am back in the blog/twitter world now. The database has been updated: Now more than 800 songs. Also, you could check out my current music unit here:

      • Hi! I need to say #1 that your website is SO INSPIRATIONAL! I am loving looking through it to find ideas for this coming school year! I see here that you said that your database has been updated, but I can’t find the updated version. Do you mind sharing it?

        Also, I am not sure if your current database includes Kany Garcia or Lagarto Amarillo. They are newer artists and are 2 of my new favorites. I discovered them near the end of the school year, so I haven’t been able to use them yet in my classroom, but I am sure that I could!

        Lastly, I am wondering if you are on Spotify. If so I know that you would be a good person to follow.

        Thanks so much for sharing everything!!

      • Thank you for your very kind words. Here is a link to the updated database (it’s located on my wiki)
        There are several songs by Kany Garcia listed in the database but I had no information about Lagarto Amarillo. I will definitely be looking at him!
        I did just start looking at Spotify. I will update my status on that later!!!
        Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  6. Pingback: Update to My Spanish Music Database | Mod Spani...

  7. Pingback: 7 Best Ways to Use Music in World Language Classrooms - Calico Spanish

  8. I would just like to say that I am so inspired by you! I came across your site (this one, and your wiki) this past February by googling “teaching ideas for exprésate III”. This will be my 5th year teaching and I’m the only Spanish teacher at a small school where I teach levels 1,2,3,&4 (which is AP for us.) Every year I feel so frustrated with my level 3s. They seemed so disinterested when they should be so passionate!!! I didn’t know what I was doing wrong! Then I found your wiki and saw how you started from chapter 7 from the level 2 book (duh! Genius! We never get to chapter 7 in level 2, and food would be such a good way to pick up level 3). And I also saw how you didn’t really use the textbook and that you inspired your kids through music, using the textbook vocab. as a guide! Genius again! Why haven’t I thought of these things!?! I sometimes feel like I have so many classes to plan that I don’t have time to think “outside of the box”. Your site has been really helpful. In March, I went on maternity leave and didn’t return at the end of the school year. This fall, I’m excited to get back to work and try to motivate my students with music. I’ve never done anything like this before, and it’s a little scary- but I want them to LOVE the language like I LOVE it, and I think this is just the thing! I do have a few questions, though…
    1. Do you play a song every day as the kids come into your classroom? Do you choose those songs at random? Do you make sure the song you’re playing always relates to what you’re teaching at the time? Do you play the same song for multiple days in a row? Do you re-introduce a song later in the year?
    2. You have so many music videos on your wiki posted for each day. Do you teach each one of those songs a day? I know you mentioned somewhere all your students have a computer- do they get on your wiki and listen to those songs on their own during class?
    3. I love your “eres el juez” activity you have posted on here somewhere. What other ways do you break down the song for your students? I’m familiar with the cloze activities, but I am just curious as to how else you help your students understand/ connect to the music.

    Thank you again for your site and all your inspiration! I’m sure you are a busy lady and I commend you for taking the time to update this site and your wiki! I don’t think I could do it in a million years! (Especially now with Sam 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your comments (and your questions!). I completely understand your frustration with teaching so many levels…I taught 5 levels of Spanish for the first 10 years of my teaching career! Addressing your questions:
      1. Yes, I play music as they are entering, every single day. The days when our internet is down, the kids go “crazy” wanting their music as they enter the classroom. Some of the time it is just random music. Most of the time it has been selected to go with whatever we are studying at the moment. For example, if I’m working with Argentina, then the music will be from Argentina. Or, if I’m looking at past tense, the music will be filled with past tense verbs. If we are looking at food, or family, or whatever vocabulary influence, I may pick a song with that content. Sometimes I pick a song that I know is going to be a focus for something in the near future.
      I do not usually play the same song for days in a row (although I do know teachers who do use that concept). To clarify, the opening music (when kids are coming in to the room) is rarely the music that I may be using in the lesson. Sometimes, however, the song will be what I may be targeting in the lesson. Some of the songs that I play as they enter do get repeated during the year…weeks or months later. For example, I started last year with Tengo tu love (Sie7e), and I ended with it, too. A Dios le pido got introduced around November last year, and became a focus song toward the end of January as we began looking at the present subjunctive.
      I also let kids suggest music to me….once they have gotten used to my music madness, many of them are hooked, and are frequently asking me if I’ve heard this song or that song. I also let them make requests for repeat music.
      2. I do load a lot of music/videos many days. Sometimes they are there “just in case”…for fillers if one class is ahead of another, or for specific classes that have an interest that another section may not have. Many times I may just be using snippets of a video. Very, very rarely would I be using all of the videos loaded….unless I’m in a huge cultural push. My kids have access to terrible laptops and while they can get on my wiki, their school log-ons do not allow them youtube access. So, anything from youtube has to be played from my laptop. If the kids are doing work on their laptops, I almost always play music in the background (at their request). Also, if they are NOT on laptops, and are working with partners/groups, I also play music quietly in the background. I love watching them hum along, sing along, without realizing what they are doing.
      3. To answer your third question, I use cloze activities rather infrequently. There are just so many other ways to work with music. Some ideas would be posted on these pages: http://elmundodebirch.wikispaces.com/NECTFL+Workshop+2012
      Additionally, there are activities posted on every single chapter page that I have.
      Congratulations on the birth of Sam! And thank you so much for your very kind words. If there is anything else I can help you with, I would be happy to try! Enjoy your summer!

      • Umm, yea. You have confirmed your amazingness :). For the time being, I’m going to get to planning with all the info. you’ve given me. I will try to update you with my (hopeful) progress and any questions that pop up along the way. Mil gracias!

  9. You are seriously amazing. A dream come true. Bless you for sharing so freely!! My students will thank you by falling in love with language as we have. ¡Muchas bendiciones a tí!

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