Gilberto Soto ¡Fiesta de Canciones!

At the annual CABE (California Association for Bilingual Education) conference today, I ended up at a workshop given by Dr. Gilberto Soto, professor at Texas A&M International University. It was by chance I ended up at his workshop, and I'm so glad that I did. I'm in the classroom at least 4 days a week, teaching roughly 375 kids and it's a lot of work. It's a lot of work to inspire, motivate, and encourage kids each day. Today I met an educator who did that for me. He showed a room full of adults the power that music holds to make people feel good about themselves and allow them to let go and have fun. Music BELONGS in the classroom. Dr. Soto reminded us that "music is everywhere". We can't escape it, and there's no reason that real life connections can't be made with music in the classroom every day.

This year, I've had the challenge of learning new songs to add to our already large repertoire of music at Franklin. I've written a few new songs, but I love adding current, traditional, and popular Latin songs to our canon. Today after attending Dr. Soto's workshop, my search for new music came to a halt, because his presentation offered an amazing selection of music in Spanish that is fun, current, relevant, and appropriate for elementary school children. His collection of songs from his series ¡Fiesta de Canciones! includes activities, objectives, and sheet music for a great selection of songs in Spanish which have all been translated into English by Dr. Soto. Check out his books HERE! They come with CD's that have excellent and fun arrangements. The only thing they're missing are Dr. Soto's awesome dance moves! I'm hoping the next series will include a video of all the great choreography he did today.

Seeing his workshop reminded me how fun it is to keep learning, and how important it is. As a parent we know the best way for our children to learn is to really experience something hands on. I get wrapped up in everyday life as much as anyone else, but I'm really grateful for the opportunity I had today to get out of my little 2 mile radius norm to join in singing and dancing with dozens of other educators from all over California to be inspired to bring even MORE music to our kids each day.

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