The music whisperer

I love to listen to music. It doesn’t matter what group or style, I love music. I honestly think that if I had to pinpoint the connection I have with my students, it is this. I know their music and through this I know them.

This summer I read the book “the Book Whisperer” and as I have begun to match my students with books that they will love, I have realized that I’m sitting on a gold mine of comprehensible input. You see, I also love Latino music…

I’ve always taught a lot of songs in class, not just my favorites. I seek out bands that will appeal to my kids’ different tastes. We listen to pop, rock, reggaeton, tribal… Everything!

I’ve begun to suggest bands and songs to students based on their musical interests and do you know what?? They’re downloading new music, listening to language outside of my classroom, and even finding and suggesting music to me!

Music in my classroom is not tested. We listen, fill in a cloze, watch the video, we just enjoy it together. We discuss why we like and don’t like certain songs… We bond over our common love.

This week our Spanish 1 story was about a sad girl who was listening to music. It turned out that I was the girl and I was sad because I was listening to “don’t drop that thun thun thun” and I was sad because I couldn’t drop that thun thun thun! A girl asked if I knew that song and before I could say yes, another student said “of course! She knows every good song.” A very happy moment for me! We have common ground even though I’m 25 years older than they are!

If you aren’t a music whisperer yet, consider starting w what’s popular in your kids’ world to give yourself a point of reference as you try to match TL music with their interests!!

Some favorites of my kids: los Rakas, Sie7e, Tito el Bambino, Sonny Monreal, Reik, Ana Tijoux, Juan Magan, Wisin y Yandel, 3Ball MTY

Author: senoracmt

I began teaching Spanish in Illinois in 1994. I have taught levels 1-4 in a small rural high school, 8th grade introductory Spanish, Biology 1, and 101 and 102 at the community college level. My Spanish classes are partnered with the community college to offer students 8 semester hours of dual credit on completion of Spanish 4. In 2011 I met Carol Gaab and Kristy Placido and have since co-authored the book "La hija del sastre" with Carol Gaab and authored the novels "La Calaca Alegre", "Bianca Nieves y los 7 toritos." "Vector," "48 horas" and "Bananas" through Fluency Matters. In 2006 I became National Board certified and I have been serving as a mentor both for candidates seeking certification in world languages other than English and a virtual mentor for candidates in all certificate areas. I completed my Masters degree in Spanish education in 2011 and did my research on the use of Understanding by Design to create meaningful cultural units for the language classroom. I am a frequent presenter on this topic, please consider me if you are interested in a workshop on backward design. In 2013 I was named the ICTFL Foreign Language teacher of the year and in 2014 I was selected as CSCTFL's teacher of the year. In November of 2014 I was lucky enough to be one of the five finalists for the ACTFL National Teacher of the Year in San Antonio, TX. What a "Cinderella" experience! You can reach me via email at senoracmt at

One thought

  1. I’ve been exploring your blog! What a great accumulation of thoughts and resources! Thank you so much!!!! I especially love this “music whisperer” post! Like you, I’ve been using music nonstop in my classes for years and years (I’ve been teaching a looooonnnnnnnggggg time!) Some of my favorites, in addition to those you’ve listed are: Juanes, Carlos Baute, Camila, SAMO, Luis Fonsi, Gaby Moreno, David Bisbal….and so many more! I have a database of music that I’ve shared before….

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