Bilingual is Better

Editor’s Note: We’re so thrilled that Sara Quintanar chose to share this beautiful video for her song Te Quiero Mucho Mamá with the SpanglishBaby familia first! You’re in for a special treat that will warm any Mamá’s heart. I just watched it with my girl and she was hugging me so hard as she sang the lyrics she knows so well. Sara also shares with us below the story of this song and the brand new video. Enjoy! ~Ana

It’s definitely an understatement to say your life changes when you have kids. Everything changes. For me, my career path, my way of thinking, and how I use my time has all been turned upside down and around again. I am amazed everyday by the moms I see around me. I have a newfound respect for all the people that in some way also take care of my children — especially their teachers. Caring for children and raising them is a full time job in itself and it’s really hard work. Despite it being difficult, and tiring beyond belief — it is truly amazing. And to top it off here we are trying to raise “bilingual” children. What a gift it has been to have made the decision to raise my kids bilingual. We placed our children in a dual immersion school at first because it was convenient, and close by. Initially my husband and I used Spanish as our “secret language” but never spoke it to our kids. And although we do regret not teaching them sooner, we are so happy that they have had the opportunity to learn at school (and now at home) because it has brought a world of cultural riches to them, and not to mention a new musical career path for me.

This song “Mamá te quiero mucho” was written by the students in the Dual Language Program at Franklin Magnet School. Three years ago, when my daughter entered the new Spanish program there, I decided to volunteer as a music teacher because there was no music program set in place for the kids. Although I only knew a few songs in Spanish, I picked up my guitar and started a weekly class to just sing with the children and have fun. From my first moments there I knew how important music would be in the children’s acquisition of the language. Songs bring language to life. I noticed right away how the music gave the children confidence to say the words they didn’t even understand loud and proud. By the time Mother’s Day came around I was in the auditorium with a group of about 70 students. We sat for awhile and I asked the kids in spanish to tell me something they wanted to say about their mothers.

Every hand popped up, the children were all shouting, and finally I chose some volunteers. The children all answered me in Spanish. Even the kindergarteners who were used to responding in English wanted so badly to tell me in their newly acquired Spanish what they loved about their moms. “Tú eres mi favorita!”, “Me gusta jugar contigo!”, and other phrases came out. My favorite was “tú eres mi San Valentin”.  I thought it was so cute that for Mother’s Day, the boy who chose this phrase wanted to say that his mom was his Valentine. Although every kids in the class wanted a turn, we had to move on and put the song together since their mother’s day performance was approaching.

At that time of the year, after eight months into the Spanish immersion program, the students had already learned about 20 songs in Spanish before Mother’s Day. The children quickly learned the song  ”Mamá te quiero mucho” but it was different. This was the first song THEY wrote as a class. They even told me to change one part from a minor chord to a major chord to ensure a “happier” tone for one section!

The Mother’s Day performance that year was the first time parents had the opportunity to see their children perform. it was also the first time many of the parents actually heard their children speaking and singing in Spanish. Needless to say, after hearing the song “Mamá te quiero mucho” there was not a dry eye in that auditorium. Even the parents who did not speak Spanish could tell that “mamá mamá, te quiero mucho mamá” meant something so full of love because the children held their hearts and sang with tanto amor.

Now three years later, I had the idea to prepare a video for Mother’s day. I ran the idea by my amazingly talented friend Raquel Martinez. She gathered three friends who spent numerous sleepless hours preparing this video for all of you to enjoy. What resulted from the collaboration of ideas, drawings, storyboards, character designs, and more has now become a newfound production company called Kolor Klash Productions.  Please take the time to look at their amazing talents here on their new website www.kolorklash.blogspot.com

This song and video is dedicated to each and every woman who takes on the role of mother each and every day, be it a tía, a friend, or the teacher who cares for our children each day. This song “Mamá te quiero mucho” is especally for the mothers who take the time to nurture their children with music, play, and creativity. It is for the moms who show their children each day what love is not only through their words but their loving actions and beautiful songs.

¡Feliz Día de la Madre!

sara quintanarSara Quintanar is a Los Angeles based musician and music teacher. She is a mother of three bilingual children and teaches music in Spanish at Franklin Magnet School in Glendale. Her classes include bilingual music classes for babies and toddlers. Find more info about her classes on her blog Music With Sara. Follow on Facebook and Twitter.

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