Musical Spanish Review - Read Reviews of Musical Spanish

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Discoveryschool.com (the Discovery Channel)

The Bottom Line... (Chosen for Award of Excellence)
The concept behind this package is original and fresh — clearly voiced Spanish songs are the take-off point for learning the Spanish language. Musical Spanish would make an effective supplement to any child's Spanish-learning program, and is particularly useful for less-motivated kids who would benefit from a novel approach to learning a second language. Read full review

Education Update

While innumerable attempts have been made to produce superior ways of introducing young minds to the benefits of language enrichment, most have suffered from either basic pedagogical flaws, or being what is often known in layman's terms as "dry as sawdust." It was a pleasure then to see the alternative that Musical Spanish CD series offers beginning students. Read full review

NECTFL Review

In creating Musical Spanish, which consists of a well-designed, 112-page, four-color book, music CD, and interactive CD-ROM, Stacey Tipton has cleverly combined students’ love of popular music and computers. Taking ten popular songs and changing the lyrics to fit specific learning objectives while at the same time using clever animations that move across the lyrics on the computer screen in keeping with the beat of the music, Tipton has produced an innovative and engaging method for helping students gain confidence in their Spanish skills, especially their oral skills, and have a blast doing it. Great for beginning Spanish students of all ages, Musical Spanish more importantly promotes the retention of essential grammar structures, since students are not so much memorizing grammar rules as learning them intrinsically through the music. Read full review

The Calico Review of Software

Musical Spanish is an innovative, interactive program that places students well on the road to learning the Spanish language. Fellow reviewers have also termed this program a "highly original contribution for beginning learners of all ages" (Bruce D. Willis, University of South Alabama). Indeed, to my knowledge, there are no other purely music oriented software applications available. The strength of this program, therefore, lies in the opportunity for students "of all ages" to explore Spanish through song and to experience the music and lyrics in fun-filled but also cognitively different ways...Read full review (note: this is the most detailed review available of Musical Spanish)

5 Hearts from Heartland Reviews

Musical Spanish is a combination language manual and an interactive/musical CD for teaching Spanish. The author uses very cleanly pronounced pop Spanish songs to assist in teaching the language. The music makes the instructional material appealing. More importantly, music is well known to open up the brain to language assimilation (proven by the Bulgarians in the 1970s and the Canadians in the 1980s). This package is compatible with both Mac and PC environments and is very professionally done. As a degreed singer in the German, Italian, and Latin languages, this reviewer found the transition to Spanish to be smooth and interesting. The subtleties of correct pronunciation came through very well. The author does an excellent job of building on the foundations laid out by these delightful songs to develop a solid approach to language learning. We rated this curricula supplement a solid five hearts. Visit Heartland Reviews Website

The Old Schoolhouse™

The Musical Spanish program, with it's 10 song CD, has been a very fun and educational addition to my family's goal of learning the Spanish language. We use a variety of learning products, from my three year old watching "Dora the Explorer" on Nick, Jr, to my 15 year old learning pronunciation and vocabulary words in a textbook. It has been so much fun to listen to and sing songs such as, "La Bamba" and "La Cucaracha" with our children. The songs are matched up with great learning activities in the book that accompanies the CD. We often follow up the songs and activities with a bit of culture learning. It's so amazing to hear our children sing a song in Spanish and hum it to themselves throughout the day. This program is a great addition to your Spanish learning experience.

Midwest Book Review

Musical Spanish is a unique book and multimedia PC CD-ROM/audio CD combination, to help beginning Spanish students better learn and understand the language through 10 different popular songs. Filled with basic lesson primers, activities, and consumable workbook pages, the guide helps the student better grasp basic Spanish grammar while the music reinforces language learning on multiple aural and conceptual levels. A computer is not required to take advantage of Musical Spanish; the enhanced CD-ROM/audio CD can play its Spanish music on a personal computer or a standard stereo CD player. Musical Spanish is a unique and highly recommended supplement for enthusiastic language learners.

Bookviews by Alan Caruba

As the Hispanic population grows more Americans will find that being able to speak Spanish will prove helpful. For youngsters and adults alike, Musical Spanish ($29.99, www.musicalspanish.com) is a clever, new program that teaches Spanish through music and a 112-page color book that contains an interactive CD-ROM and an audio CD of ten traditional Spanish songs presented in a contemporary dance-pop style. In includes essential travel phrases and a teacher’s guide to using songs in the classroom. (There are discounts for schools.) Language teachers have gone nuts for this delightful, educational tool.

Good Stuff, Home Education Magazine

A CD-and-book set by Stacey Tipton, the Musical Linguist. "Why music?" the book's introduction asks. Well, the truth is you're not going to learn Spanish just by listening to pop songs. On other other hand, as Tipton points out, music taps into the brain's natural language-learning and memory mechanisms, and gets us ready to learn. And it's fun to listen to. This is great stuff: La Bamba, La Cucaracha, Cielito Lindo, Guantanamera, and six more. The songs are used as jumping-off points for teaching the nitty-gritty of Spanish grammar and vocabulary; each chapter includes printed song lyrics with a pronunciation key, explanations, activities, and exercises. The book - a nicely designed 112-page paperback - is illustrated with bright little cartoon characters; the interactive CD includes the text of the book and all of the songs, with options for a karaoke feature - sing along in Spanish - and animations. The animated versions of the songs are great: humorous cartoons accompanied by the Spanish lyrics in big print. Musical Spanish is recommended for beginners of all ages, though looks most workable for ages 10-12 and up.

School Library Journal

Children can enjoy language learning with this book and enhanced CD. Basic vocabulary and pronunciation are delivered in a fun musical format. Vocabulary skills, idioms, and pronunciation are the central focus; rules on grammar are lightly stressed. The text presents the information in a clear, readable, and easy to follow style with some illustrations to help reinforce the lessons. Exercises are direct and fun. The upbeat rhythms and simple lyrics in the ten pop songs strengthen grammar concepts. Among the songs are "La Bamba," "La Cucaracha," "Guantanamera," and "La Adelita." The enhanced CD for PCs contains grammar assistance as well as vocabulary building games, interactive quizzes, and karaoke fun. The audio CD lends itself to group listening, but the text and CD-rom are best for individual learning.

Martin Howfield, Spanish professor in NYC

This is outrageously great! I have been looking for something like this for years. Great Job! As an educator who works on a university and district level I would advise all teachers to buy this.... I have now planted the song "La Cucaracha" in the heads of my kids even against their wills. LOL They all walk around the hall...."Hola ...Carolina...Hola...." Congrats!

Spanish Teacher from Pittsburgh

Dear Stacey,

I have waited to write about the materials received until I had used them with my students a little longer. My students find the grammar a lot simpler to follow than that of the textbooks and needless to say. If you can sing it, you will remember it!! My students are having a ball singing, dancing and adapting the techniques to other styles of music. You would HOWL to see them rapping, and singing to odd beats in Spanish. There is nothing like "activity days" to get them going! (Except cooking days, of course...).By the way, the next verse on "La Adelita" is:

Si Adelita se fuera con otro
si Adelita fuera mi mujer
le compraria un vestido de seda
para llevarla a bailar al cuartel.
The last one I believe is:
Y si acaso yo muero en la guerra
y mi cuerpo en la tierra ha de quedar
Adelita por Dios te lo ruego
que por mi no vayas a llorar.

PS. My students think "Adelita" is a rat!!!
Thanks again. (Señora from Pittsburgh, PA)

Erica Vaugh, Spanish student in Kansas

Dear Ms. Tipton,

Muchos gracias! I love your book/CD-ROM/CD! I actually discovered it while searching the web for the songs that I had learned in my Spanish class as a child, particularly "Alla en el Rancho Grande". I've fallen in love with "Cielito Lindo". Are there any CD's that you recommend for the traditional version (particularly sung by Erick)? Ustedes son muy, muy excellente! Thank you so...

Letter about a student who loves Musical Spanish!

Thought you might get a kick out of this one... I was just up at my parents' place this past weekend. On an earlier visit I took the Spanish CD and gave it to good friends of mine. The two little guys go to a school where all of their classes are taught in Spanish. The youngest who's in first grade absolutely, positively loves the CD and has committed several of the songs to memory. He even took the CD to school for show and tell and did a Karaoke version of La Cucaracha for his class. He is currently working on memorizing the "Tumbata" song. (Forget what the real name is but it's the one about the little car.) You should hear him sing -- it's soooooo cute!

Best wishes, Keli

Elaine Davis, Spanish teacher in Dalton Georgia

I wish you could have been una mosca parada en la pared when your program came on Saturday. It was one of those "gotta do this, gotta do that days".....granddaughter Morgan and I helping each other to learn patience. She is 7. Well I just dropped everything put the CD on in the kitchen and we started to boogie down with La Bamba.........I am 56. We were both so engaged and excited before we knew it......the pressure was gone and we were learning lots of things and having fun...The colors and content are wonderful.......oh the software......all the songs are "my favorite".........the little tender touches of the color index tabs.........WOW....the music.....OH the music is fantastic.....and I just love the large letters on the software.....especially since I lost my vision last March in my right eye due to a detached retina. I have no problem seeing the words and just love the clips.....I could go on and on........

Sandy Tobey, Spanish student in Largo, Florida

Dear Stacey, I love the CD! I can't believe you can make it better. I listen to it every day. It's so much fun. The book is great,too. I hadn't realized you were the author. Great work. Your CD has been the most fun way to learn so far. I've just about memorized half of the songs because I play it so much. Thanks again, Sandy

Word Trade, Sept 2001

Musical Spanish...is an fun way to approach learning Spanish, It is a basic book with a music CD and interactive CD-ROM that teaches the language through pop music lyrics. The book comes with an audio CD of 10 traditional Spanish songs presented in a dance-pop present-day style, and an interactive CD-ROM program that brings the songs to life through animation. Includes travel phrases section and teacher's guide to using songs in the classroom. Music therapists have long recognized that by including music one engages more levels of brain associations, which helps to make the listening, learning and speaking of the language more vividly expressive and experimental. Such engagement strengthens the memory and makes learning basic forms of the language more natural. Highly recommended as a supplement to regular Spanish study.

EXTERNAL Links to Reviews

The Calico Review (software review by academics)
Discoveryschool.com (the Discovery Channel)
Education Update
NECTFL Reviews
The Old Schoolhouse tm
Juegos y Canciones
Midwest Book Review
Bookviews (Alan Caruba)
Word Trade
Frank Fogg, Software Reviewer

Planeta.com's Ron Mader
Interview by Homeschoolzone.com