Bilingual Programs Chapter

Preschool Program: Viva la Musica / Hurray for Music

Books to Share

  • Animal Music by Harriet Ziefert.
  • Hecho en Mexico by Peter Laufer and Susan L. Roth.
  • Musica para todo el mundo / Music, Music for Everyone by Vera B. Williams.
  • ¡Piñata! by Sarah Barchas.
  • Salsa by Lillian Colón-Vilá.
  • Sofía, la vaca que amaba la música by Geoffroy de Pennart.
  • Something Special For Me / Algo especial para mi by Vera B. Williams.
  • El Toro Pinto and Other Songs in Spanish by Anne Rockwell.
  • We All Sing with the Same Voice by Philip J. Miller.

Bulletin Board

Never Ending Music

Decorate the bulletin board with images and information to highlight a famous Spanish singer or musician, or include several artists and musicians. Popular singers include Selena, Cri-Cri, Tatiana, Celia Cruz, and many others. Create a bulletin board specifically for children’s music and one for general music or combine the two by adding photographs of musicians, album or CD covers, and cut outs of records and musical notes. If you like rock, a good choice for a children’s Spanish musician is Tatiana. A popular album is Acapulco Rock by Tatiana, which includes 50’s and 60’s rock and roll.


Decorate a cake with a picture of your favorite artist, group, or any other theme related to music. Serve the cake with punch. You may have the cake made at a bakery that can decorate the cake with any picture you want. Alternatively, decorate a cake with musical notes, names of songs, and other musical items, using frosting tubes.


Vamos a la mar


Vamos a la mar, tum, tum,

a comer pescado, tum, tum,

de boca colorada, tum, tum,

fritito y asado, tum, tum,

Vamos al mar, tum, tum,

de boca colorada, tum, tum,

fritito y asado, tum, tum,

en sarten de palo, tum, tum.

Let’s Go to the Sea

(Traditional. Translated by Alexandra Corona.)

Let’s go to the sea, tum, tum,

To eat fish, tum, tum,

With a red mouth, tum, tum,

Fried and toasted, tum, tum,

To eat fish, tum, tum

With a red mouth, tum, tum,

Fried and toasted, tum, tum,

In a wooden pan, tum, tum.

Old McDonald Has a Band


Old McDonald has a band,

Mi, mi, re, re, do.

And in his band he has some drums,

Mi, mi, re, re, do.

With a rum-tum here,

And a rum-tum there.

Here a rum,

There a tum,

Everywhere a rum-tum.

Old McDonald has band.

The best band in the land.

Additional verses:

… he has some flutes … with a toot-toot …

… he has some banjos … with a plunk-plunk …

… he has some guitars … with a strum-strum …

… he has some singers … with a la-la …

El viejo Pancho tiene una banda

(Tradicional. Translated by Alexandra Corona.)

El viejo Pancho tiene una banda,

Mi, mi, re, re, do.

Y en su banda tiene unos tambores,

Mi, mi, re, re, do.

Con el rum-tum aqui,

Y el rum-tum alli.

Aqui un rum,

Alli un tum,

En todas partes el rum-tum.

El viejo Pancho tiene una banda.

La major band en la ciudad.

Verso Adicional:

… el tiene unas flautas ... con el toot-toot …

El patio de mi casa

(Tradicional. Listen to the melody on the Mad Spaniard web site at The lyrics there are different from those provided here and you can use either. In this song, the children form a circle and walk around singing. It is a nonsensical song that can have movements added if desired.)

El patio de mi casa es particular,

Se moja y se seca como los demás.

Agáchense y vuélvanse agachar

Las niñas bonitas se vuelven agachar.

Chocolate molinillo,

Chocolate molinillo,

Estirar, estirar que el demonio va pasar.

Dicen que soy, que soy una cojita y

si lo soy, lo soy de al mentiritas

desde chiquita me quede

padeciendo de este pie,

padeciendo de este pie.

Cu Cú cantaba la rana

(Tradicional. Listen to the melody on the Mad Spaniard web site at The lyrics are different from those provide here but you can use either. This is a nonsensical rhyming song with the last words of each verse rhyming.

Cu cú, cu cú

Cu cú, cu cú

Cu cú cantaba la rana

Cu cú debajo del agua.

Cu cú pasó un caballero

Cu cú con capa y sombrero.

Cu cú pasó una señora

Cu cú con traje de cola.

Cu cú pasó un marinero

Cu cú vendiendo romero.

Cu cú le pidió un ramito.

Cu cú no le quiso dar.

Cu cú y se echó a llorar.

Guest Presenter

Invite a Mariachi group to perform and have a question and answer period after the performance. Examples of questions that might be asked include:

  • How long does it take to memorize the songs?
  • How long does it take to learn to play an instrument?
  • How long can you hold a singing note?
  • How long does it take to learn to sing?
  • How do you become a mariachi?

Audio Recordings

  • Acapulco Rock by Tatiana.
  • Lirica Infantil Volumen 1 by Jose-Luis Orozco.
  • 20 Canciones Juvenil Vol. 1 Tradicionales by Bobo Discos.
  • “Y Ahora Vamos a Cantar” on Lirica Infantil Volumen 1 by Jose-Luis Orozco.

Riddles (Adivinanzas)

(Tradicional. Translated by Alexandra Corona.)

Vengo de padres cantores,

pero yo cantor no soy.

Tengo Blanca la capita

y amarillo el corazón.

Answer: (El Huevo)

I come from parents who sing,

but I can’t sing.

I am covered in white

and I have a yellow heart.

Answer: (An Egg)

Flannel Boards

Tell “The Bremen Town Musicians” using the patterns and story on pages 170-175 of The Flannel Board Storytelling Book by Judy Sierra.


Mi trompeta

(Tradicional. Translated by Alexandra Corona.)

Ahora voy a tocar mi trompeta. (Cierra las manos y forma un puno)

Pongo mis dedos.

Y luego me lo pongo en la boca, (Alza el puno cerca de la boca)

Y sopla, y sopla, y sopla.

My Horn


Now I will play my little horn. (Make fists and place them end-to-end)

I put my fingers so.

And then I lift it to my mouth, (Raise fist to mouth)

And blow, and blow, and blow.


Bottle Maracas

  • Empty plastic water bottles with caps
  • Beans, beads, or rice
  • Construction paper
  • Confetti shapes
  • Glitter
  • Stickers
  • Glue sticks
  • Hot glue gun

In advance rinse out the water bottles and soak them to remove the labels. Wrap the bottles with white construction paper taped or glued in place. Give each child a bottle and a handful of beans, beads, or rice to put into the bottle and replace the cap. An adult glues the cap closed with the hot glue gun. The children decorate the construction paper with stickers, confetti shapes, or glitter and shake their maracas!

Games and Activities

Play the song “Matarilerileron” on 20 Canciones Juvenil Vol. 1 Tradicionales by Bobo Discos. Have the children stand in a circle and hold hands. They begin by moving to the right and then they change directions when the music pauses. The children all go to the center holding hands when they hear the word “matarilerile.”


If you have public performance rights, show these videos and DVDs, or segments of them, to the children. Otherwise, display them for home use. The length listed is for the entire film.

  • Dora the Explorer: Move to the Music. (51 minutes)
  • The Wiggles-Hoop Dee Doo! (55 minutes)

Web Sites

Barney and Friends Music
Sing along with the purple dinosaur and his band.

Professional Resources

The Flannel Board Storytelling Book by Judy Sierra.

Canciones infantiles
This web site contains the lyrics for children’s songs in Spanish.

Mad Spaniard
The lyrics and tunes to famous Spanish children’s songs are provided on this web site.

This fan site, in English and Spanish, offers news and trivia about Tatiana along with samples of her music.

Texas Reading Club 2008 Programming Manual / Texas Reading Club Jubilee: 1958-2008! / Texas Celebrates 50 Years of Reading

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011