Kid Music Series: Authentic Mexican Songs For Cinco de Mayo and More
My Dolls from Mexico Agree with Your Kids!
Add Some Spice to Your Celebration!
Does your family say ho hum to the same old music like The Mexican Hat Dance and La Cucaracha?
As an elementary general music teacher, I've listened through many recordings of Mexican music. Although there are many nice collections, I've found it better to handpick the best songs separately and create your own Party CD for your background music.
The traditional folk songs can be just as exciting and vibrant as rock and roll if you get the right performances. In addition, you can expose your kids to a wonderful variety of instrumentation. Some of the music has guitars, trumpets and violins, some have harps, some have marimbas. You can't always get those on one disc.
I would avoid the electronic synthesized party tapes; they're okay but they don't have that zesty 'flavor' of the real instruments. It's like the difference between jar salsa and your homemade salsa. Es Verdad?
Maria Chuchena - Mariachi Nacional de Don Arcadio Elias
This performance with beautiful harp, guitars and lively speed is my favorite. Enjoy!
Shake it don't break it!
I am partial to the Mariachi Music from Mexico. A traditional Mariachi band is usually made up of guitars of different sizes, violins, trumpets and more. The costumes are colorful and striking, especially when they wear the sombreros.
One of the perks living in San Francisco was traveling through the Mission District in the evening. As you walked past the restaurants and bars, you would hear live bands playing Mariachi music. If you peeked your head in, you would get an earful of music and an eyeful of musicians in costume playing and singing. Sometimes they would actually be strolling through the club while serenading their audiences.
Educational Links on Mariachi Music
- Smithsonian Folkways - Que Viva el Mariachi!
Here is a web page that explains the history of the Mariachi as well as show videos and music examples.
- HowStuffWorks Videos Discovery Atlas: Mariachi Music
Mexico is known for its Mariachi music. The bright songs are usually filled with horns, strings and guitar. Learn more about this distinct musical style on Discovery Channel's series, "Discovery Atlas: Mexico Revealed."
I'm a Big Fan - of the Following Performances
My Recommended Favorites
Song - Artist - Album
Maria Chuchena - Mariachi Nacional de Don Arcadio Elias - Sones
This performance is my favorite with beautiful harp, guitars and lively speed. Enjoy!
Jesusita en Chihuahua (polka) - Mariachi México de Pepe Villa - Feria del Mariachi
This 'polka' has plucking violins, guitars and woodwinds. Chihuahua is an actual region in Mexico and has a long tradition of dance music.
El Camino de San Cristoball - Marimba Flor Del Sureste - Reventón Tropical Puros Éxitos De..Marimba
Marimbas, Marimbas, Marimbas! Although xylophones and diatonic (do, re, mi scale) melodic percussion instruments have been used all over including Africa and Southeast Asia, the diatonic marimba (with all the notes a piano has) was invented in 1892 by Corazón de Jesús Borras Moreno in Chiapas, Mexico. I was a percussion minor in college and got to practice on the modern marimba with the rosewood bars.
La Bamba - Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan - Series 20 Exitos
We've heard the great Ritchie Valens version but La Bamba is a traditional song. Enjoy this performance.
Las Perlitas - Mariachi Oro Y Plata De Pepe Chavez - Mexican Music: Pasos Dobles And Polkas (with Mariachi)
Swing your partner and do-si-do! Another fun song with those plucking violins.
Bamboleo - Gipsy Kings - Gipsy Kings
The Gipsy Kings rule! Your party goers will be so busy dancing and playing air guitar, they won't even stop to eat. Gipsy Kings are NOT Mariachi, they are a Spanish Romani from the South of France, but I felt they were appropriate for this collection. Listen and you'll see why.
A wonderful parade in a beautiful area.
The Chihuahua district is not only known for its namesake pooch but for beautiful dancing.
Love the Harp Playing
Putumayo has wonderful compilations. Putumayo Presents: Mexico fits right in the fiesta theme.