ACA Explorers – Blog

The ACA Explorers Musical Repetoire

Here at ACA, we have grown and developed so much throughout the past two years. Two years ago, I wasn’t part of ACA. I was studying at the University of Illinois living a completely different life with no idea I would be here. Christopher was just starting the beginnings of ACA and had no idea how far he would have progressed by now and the ways the ACA idea would change and transform.

ACA is our life’s mission. We want to bring better education on how to learn and remember to as much of the world as possible. We want to show people that there should be no child who says “School sucks” or “I don’t like learning”. Those words break our little hearts. We truly believe we can reteach the art of learning to make it enjoyable for everyone.

So, you’re waiting to see the repetoire right???

THE ACA EXPLORERS REPETOIRE 

Hello, How are you?– the most classic ACA song. It is one of the first songs Christopher started teaching and is incredibly useful. It teaches students how to approach and start a conversation as well as the appropriate answers to “how are you?”. The exercises we do along with the song teach us the forms of “to be” and their much more commonly used contractions- I‘m, You’re, She’s, He’s, We’re, They’re. So many Colombian children have this song stuck in their heads at this very moment, I can confirm it.

There are many versions of this on our YouTube channel, check them all out!

Here’s a video of the students asking their classmates how they are and responding!

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes– probably our second biggest song! This (and its variations) has been such a great tool for teaching! First of all, it uses TPR (Total Physical Response) which we have talked about in a variety of our posts. Using our body stimulates the way we learn and remember! Second of all, the melody is very catchy and kids tend to learn it quickly! Third of all it does the practical task of teaching us the names of our body parts… and without translating! Instead we connect the English word to the actual part of the body. What a song….

Think, Carry, Bend and Kick– This song is relatively new but when the students used it to show off to some gringos in the park today, I realized it truly has become an ACA classic! This song was created when we started learning about the actions that the body parts from ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’ perform. First we learned the actions and had the students perform the action when we said the body part or viceversa we would perform the action and have them say the body part BUT when it transformed into a song it became solidified in the repetoire! This song is great and more versions of ‘Head, Shoulders Knees and Toes’ and ‘Think, Carry, Bend and Kick’ are on their way!

Row, Row, Row Your Boat– We turn into a full-on choir when we start singing this song. It proved to be GREAT pronunciation practice for the rhotic r (row, merrily), the g (gently), the tricky “str” combo from stream, and an all around great English tongue twister for the kids! With actions and all, I’d say this song has earned its place in the ACA repetoire.

Happy Birthday!– This song is a must-know for any English speaker. We have taught it on birthdays of our students. Of course, many students already think they know it but after we go over the pronunciation they realize there is a lot to be learned! Even in a simple song like Happy Birthday with repeating lyrics, pronunciation can always be improved.

*Some of our main working points are making the “a” in happy more like an American “a” and less like “hoppy”, birthday which is a really hard word- we work on the “th” and also the “r” right before and the “d” right after which make it QUITE a word to achieve native pronunciation with, and making the “t” nice and sharp instead of the spanish “t” that is like a “th” in English. 

We Wish You A Merry Christmas– Around Christmastime we were deciding between songs to teach the kids and I definitely think we made the right choice! So many Christmas songs have way too many lyrics or use weird words that are really only used at Christmastime (therefore not very helpful in a basic English vocabulary). This song is repetitive and straight to the point. It allowed us to really focus on the pronunciation of this one line (and a happy new year… year was the hardest word for sure!) The Explorers haven’t stopped singing it yet (January 11th) so I’m glad we picked a song that could really stick in their heads and is another pronunciation tool for the books!

More songs will come but this is our repetoire for now! Please comment with more songs that you think go along with our methodology and would be enjoyable for the Explorers!

 

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