One thing that has remained a constant in my 33 years of teaching is music, and the place that I feel that it holds in teaching a world language. From the years of those old vinyl 45’s and 33’s when I used to have to listen to a song a million times (slight exaggeration) to get all the lyrics, to 2014 when all the lyrics are right at our Google fingertips, I have consistently used music as a “hook” in my WL toolbox. While styles, genres, and tastes in music have all evolved over the years, and are constantly in a state of flux, I can usually (but not always) identify an artist that will appeal to my students. Not quite three years ago, I became acquainted with Vazquez Sounds, a trio of siblings from Mexicali, Mexico. At the time, they were 9, 12 and 15 years of age, and they had done a cover of Rolling in the Deep that became a youtube hit, it now has over 135,000,000 hits!! I played it for my students and they were fascinated.
I then had to find more information about them, and we explored what was available. Periodically over the next year, I updated about them with my students, and then I forgot about them.
Well, they have exploded onto my radar again with new videos, including an original instead of just covers. Ángela is even the Spanish voiceover for Disney’s new Tinker Belle movie (El Secreto de las Hadas). In 2014, Abelardo is now 18, Gustavo is 15 and Angie is 12…..ages that will definitely appeal to a broad spectrum of our students, and their music/musicality is GOOD!!! I think that there are many activities, applicable to novice and intermediate levels of Spanish, that could be developed from studying them and their music. Their official website could be explored by students; novice students might look just for cognates or words that they could pick out that are related to music. The information about the siblings could be used by intermediate students for reading comprehension and an assortment of activities related to that. It is of high interest, and extremely “readable”. All of the music that they have released over the past three years is on the site, too. Intermediate students could listen to Angie in an interview on Primer Impacto; there is also a great video that is labeled as Biografia from which different activities could be developed.
Then there are the two new original videos released this year. The first one is Te soñaré. So much could be done with these videos for novice or intermediate: infinitives, past tense, high frequency vocabulary words…..
The one just released a few days ago is Me Voy, Me Voy
Without a doubt I will be developing activities to go with these videos. I’d love to hear from you…what ideas and suggestions do you have?
Follow them on Twitter @ vazquezsounds