Music……my top ???

musica_jkmlnI have so enjoyed reading through a large number of blogs where the authors have posted their top posts of the year.  It is illuminating to go back through the various blogs, read something again or read something I missed for the first time. Reading the reflections of the various authors of these blogs is helpful and certainly adds motivation for the coming new year.  I am very grateful to many, many teachers out there in the blog world who so freely share their thoughts, plans, lessons, motivation and inspiration.  Whether they blog frequently or infrequently, I learn so much from them.

I am an infrequent blogger, but I was inspired by all of those “top posts” and decided that I would blog about one of my biggest passions in language teaching: music.  I thought to myself, well, that is easy….I’ll post my top 20 songs of 2016!  And then I started creating the list, and it rapidly morphed into something very large, way more than what I originally planned.  My top 20 became 30, 40, 50 and more so fast that it caused me to reflect even more.  Sharing music in my classroom has been part of my teaching since I started many, many years ago….38 to be precise. However, in the act of trying to create a list of the top 20 songs from 2016 (in my Spanish III and IV classes), I realized that it is more than that. It is a part of my identity as a teacher.  I have known for years that the music is something that my students carry with them when they leave my classes.  They download it, create playlists, tell me about singing it in their cars, tell me about hearing songs we’ve studied when they are outside of class, tell me about driving their families crazy with their replaying of Spanish songs at home, and tell me when they see me years later, after graduation, that they still remember “X”.  But when I went to create the list of my top 20 songs from last year, I realized that my students, most of them, are internalizing a very large number of artists, genres and topics into their lives outside of class.  I tend to live in the moment, and I realized, in individual moments and individual units, that this song or that song was a “hit”.  When I reflected on the totality of last year, specifically, I discovered that it was so much more than just a song or two.

Disclaimer: Not all of these songs will be appropriate for all of your classes.  There are lyrics and/or videos that may not work for your situation.  I frequently have to make decisions on whether to show the music video or the lyric video…or to cut out certain parts. I am not endorsing this music.  I am simply sharing what has interested my students a LOT.

So how do I categorize all this music?  I could categorize by artist, or genre, or region or unit but I could not categorize by TOP songs for very long.  This is because so many of the songs were so well received. I’ve decided to categorize in a number of manners.  Here goes……

A.  I did a music mania/bracketology contest (inspired by Dustin Williamson, I believe) twice last year: once in May and once in December.  The top songs from those contests were:

  1. La Gozadera (Marc Anthony and Gente de Zona: Puerto Rico/Cuba)
  2. Sofía  (Álvaro Soler: Spain)
  3. Duele el corazón (Enrique Iglesias: Spain)
  4. Andas en mi cabeza (Chino y Nacho: Venezuela)
  5. Hasta el amanecer (Nicky Jam: United States)
  6. Caótica Belleza (Esteman and Natalia Lafourcade: Colombia/México)
  7. Reggaetón Lento  (CNCO: Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, United States, Cuba)

B.  Favorite Artists

  1. Gente de Zona: La Gozadera, Traidora, Bailando)
  2. Juanes (Fuego, Nada valgo sin tu amor, Segovia, Bandera de manos, Minas Piedras,  No creo en el jamás, A Dios le pido, La Patria Madrina with Lila Downs, Tu Enemigo with Pablo Lopez)
  3. Camila (Todo cambió, Mientes, Lágrimas)
  4. Il Volo (Grande Amore, Más que amor, La falta de tu Mirada)
  5. La Santa Cecilia (ICE, La Calaverita, Strawberry Fields Forever)
  6. Gaby Moreno (Ave que emigra, Guatemorfosis, El Sombrerón,Quizás, quizás, quizás )
  7. Nicky Jam (El Perdón with Enrique Iglesias, Hasta el amanecer)

C.  Themes

  1. Narcoviolencia:  Lágrimas (Camila),  México Instituto Mexicano del Sonido, Have you heard (Ceci Bastida)
  2. Inmigración: Ice (La Santa Cecilia), Welcome to America (Lecrae), Wake me up (Aloe Blacc), Ave que emigra (Gaby Moreno), Tu Enemigo (Pablo López and Juanes), Strawberry Fields Forever (La Santa Cecilia)
  3. Social Issues/Awareness: Casas de cartón (Los Guaraguao and also the version by Marco Antonio Solís), Segovia (Juanes), La Patria Madrina (Juanes and Lila Downs), Bandera de manos (Juanes), A Dios le pido (Juanes), Tu Enemigo (Pablo López and Juanes), Minas Piedras (Juanes), Gangsta (Kat Dahlia), Así Crecí (Farruko), Los Caminos de la vida (Los Diablitos), Duele Demasiado (David Bisbal), Yo soy yo (Ozuna)
  4. Food: No tengo dinero (Maffio), Learn Spanish Food Vocabulary (Basho and Friends), all of the Inca Kola commercials by Ñam Ñam Boys, Love you more than tacos (Carne Cruda)
  5. Inspiration/goals: Creo en mí (Natalia Jiménez), No me doy por vencido (Luis Fonsi), No creo en el jamás (Juanes), Vivir mi vida (Marc Anthony),Caótica Belleza (Esteman and Natalia Lafourcade), Puede Ser (Fonseca), Celebra tu vida (Axel), Caótica Belleza (Esteman and Natalia Lafourcade)
  6. Love: Tengo tu love (Sie7e), No tengo dinero (Maffio), Nada valgo sin tu amor (Juanes), Quizás (Enrique Iglesias), Más que Amor (Il Volo), Grande Amore (Il Volo), Llorando se fue (Cuarteto Continental), Mi princesa (Victor Muñóz), Me equivoqué (CD9), Mientes (Camila),  Bulería (David Bisbal), Todo cambió (Camila), El Perdón (Nicky Jam and Enrique Iglesias), Como te atreves (Morat), Nada (DVCCIO and Leslie Grace),  Caminar de tu mano Río Roma, Andas en mi cabeza (Chino y Nacho), Duele el corazón (Enrique Iglesias), Sofía (Álvaro Soler)
  7. Popular “Pop” songs:  Hasta el amanecer (Nicky Jam), La Gozadera (Marc Anthony and Gente de Zona), Duele el corazón (Enrique Iglesias), El Mismo Sol (Álvaro Soler), Sofía (Álvaro Soler), Nada (DVCIO and Leslie Grace), Paraíso (DVCIO), Reggaetón Lento (CNCO), Andas en mi cabeza (Chino y Nacho),  Bailar (Deorro with Elvis Crespo), Soy yo (Bomba Estéreo), Vivir mi vida (Marc Anthony), Fuego (Juanes), Bailando (Enrique Iglesias, Gente de Zona y Descemer Bueno)

D.  Songs I haven’t mentioned….don’t fit neatly into a category….

  1.  Feliz Navidad (Tito el Bambino)
  2. Mamacita Dónde está Santa Claus
  3. A la nanita, nana (Cheetah Girls)
  4. Tumbas, Tumbas (children’s song)
  5. Me voy, me voy Vazquez Sounds
  6. El Sombrerón (Gaby Moreno)
  7. La Llorona various versions but especially Dakota Romero
  8. Pura Vida (Percance)
  9. Vuelves (Sweet California with DC9)
  10. Stand by me (Prince Royce)
  11. Aire (Leslie Grace and Maluma)

E.  Endlessly requested….songs that my students request over and over and over again…..

  1. La Gozadera
  2. Sofía
  3. Andas en mi cabeza
  4. El Mismo Sol
  5. Nada (DVCIO/Leslie Grace)
  6. Hasta el amanecer (Nicky Jam)
  7. Vivir mi vida (Marc Anthony)
  8. Gangsta (Kat Dahlia)
  9. Bailar (for Baila Viernes) (Deorro/Elvis Crespo)
  10. Limbo (for Baila Viernes)  (Daddy Yankee)
  11. Stand by me (Prince Royce)
  12. Lágrimas (Camila)
  13. Mientes (Camila)
  14. Segovia (Juanes)
  15. Bulería (David Bisbal)
  16. Pura Vida (Percance)
  17. Me equivoqué (CD9)

I could continue to categorize music that we used last year that resonated with many of my students, but I think that this is already overwhelming.  Please forgive me for not linking all of the music with the videos…it would have taken so much time and I know that google is your friend 🙂 I hope that it is pretty obvious that the musical tastes of my students run across many genres, artists, and regions.  This has been an awesome reflection for me.  I hope that it may help someone else.  Also, I would love to hear your favorites….who knows what “top” song for 2017 you might be sharing?

One last thing……..Artists that I would like for my students to grow to appreciate

  1. Carlos Vives: probably one of my all time favorite artists.  I love just about everything that he sings but I haven’t managed to interest many of my students in his music!?
  2. Ha-Ash: this duo from Louisiana fascinates me
  3. Río Roma
  4. Los Ángeles Azules
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13 thoughts on “Music……my top ???

  1. What a wonderful list of songs! You are an inspiration to me; I have been a Spanish teacher for over 30 years, and I want to teach more like you. Thank you, and happy new year!

  2. Thank you for sharing! I love some of the songs you have mentioned, but have not heard of many of them. I’m going to have fun listening to all of the new ones! Happy New Year!

  3. Thank you for everything you write! I’ve been using music since day one of teaching. I was thrilled to find your blog, my favorite, when I went back to school to become a teacher. Even though I have been only teaching 1 1/2 years, music is hands down what my students talk about and what keeps them engaged. We learned many on your list and a few others that were favorites:
    Sie7e-Tocando el Cielo
    Esteman -Baila (the all time fave!)
    Doctor Krápula-Exigimos (subjunctive)
    Samo-Inevitable

    Thank you again!

    • Thanks, Laura! I’m always glad to find fellow music lovers! I’ve done two posts about Exigimos (I think it has an entire post for that song, maybe 2 years ago) and for Inevitable. Those are two songs that I love, but I get mixed reviews from the kids. I tried the Sie7e song, but it was a no go. I will experiment with the Esteman song. The songs that I listed in my blog post were the favorites from last school year, the list was not inclusive of all of the music that I used in class….just what I considered to be the most well received! Thanks for sharing with me and send new suggestions anytime!

  4. My students also love Juanes, El Perdón (Enrique Iglesias/Nicky Jam), No tengo dinero and Tengo tu love, Buleria (years ago though) and of course A la nanita nana and Selena Gomez’ Spanish songs. I didn’t see any Jesse & Joy on your list- they are a favorite!! Especially anything from the album Con quién se queda el perro? I have had some success in the past with Fruta Fresca, Déjame Entrar (song), Como Tú if you still want to get them going on Carlos Vives. They liked the Spanglish of Carito too :). Or if they already love Juanes, maybe try Tierra by Ekhymosis- such an amazing song by Juanes’ first band that is rock but has tons of indigenous instruments and influence- maybe warm them up to Carlos Vives. Have you tried Amaral? Or La Oreja de Van Gogh- Cometas por el cielo is a favorite- and for preteriré, Las Noches que no mueren is great! Thanks for sharing your songs- music is so motivating for kids- actually for language learners of all ages!!

    • Thanks for the comments, Theresa! The list that I shared on the blog post was just the list of songs that I considered to be the “hits” or favorites from last school year. The list was not inclusive of all of the music that I share each day in class. I like Jesse y Joy, and I’ve been using their music since 2008, but for whatever reason, they just didn’t capture my kids last year….I used Espacio Sideral, Chocolate, Corre and one more that escapes me right now. And as I said, Carlos Vives is one of my favorites…especially Fruta Fresca, Volvi a nacer, Cuando nos volvamos a encontrar y la foto de las dos…but it just hasn’t worked with my kids! 😦 As for Juanes, I think I have shared more than half of what he has sung with my students….Mi Tierra is always an early one in my Colombia/Juanes unit. However, I haven’t tried Amaral in several years, and LOVG has just gone back into my rotation…so those are good suggestions! I loved hearing from you….keep sending those suggestions!

  5. I love following your blog and I save every meme that you share in my Google Drive. I am so very appreciative of the music data base that you shared (two years ago???). I refer to it often. This is my 22nd year to teach and I have employed music in one form or another as technology allowed beginning with Selena and me recording myself (with my Karaoke machine) on cassette in order to teach Christmas carols in Spanish to the modern day use of YouTube in the classroom. The sentiments of your students regarding music in class are the same that I experience from my students. For me, music is LIFE so it is only natural that I use it in the classroom. Also for me, listening to music in Spanish is what helped me improve my fluency more than any other resource (other than living with a family in Guatemala for six weeks). Thank you for sharing YOUR thoughts, plans, lessons, motivations, and inspiration (and especially your music and memes!)! In the event that you do not follow Zachary Jones on twitter, he posts new music often. A fact of which I’m sure you are already aware, but if not then hopefully that will be of value to you. You have helped me so much. Thank you for all you do and continue to do!

    • Lori, thanks so much for your comments! I agree….music is LIFE! Music and Spanish programming on Netflix are what keep my Spanish going! I’ve been following Zachary Jones since his earliest blog, around 2007/2008 and I am so appreciative of everything that he shares. He is a master! Unfortunately for me, he has begun charging for many items, and it’s just not in my budget to be able to purchase very much. Again, thank you for sharing, and please share any suggestions for songs that you might think of!

  6. Pingback: Brillante Viernes: January 6, 2017 | Maris Hawkins

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