Wednesday, December 12, 2018

For Learning English, A Song Of Freedom

by Grant Blankenship (@Grant_Blank_,
Georgia Public Broadcasting
March 16, 2017
Reprinted by permission of the author.

We use singing to teach English, and they're going from pre-Kindergarten English to 8th grade English in two to three years. The easiest way to learn something is singing it. 
(Elise Witt)

The middle school students of the Global Village Project during a visit to the Tubman African American Museum in Macon.  GRANT BLANKENSHIP /  GPB
Learning English is not easy.

That can be true even for immigrants to the United States who have had the benefit of the best education available in the countries where they grew up.

Now imagine you're a kid from a country torn apart by war or political unrest. You may be lucky to be literate in your first language. Taking a child like that from speaking no English to speaking the language well enough to go to high school is no mean feat. 

Yet that is just what the Global Village Project has done in Decatur, Ga. for the last eight years. There they teach about 40 middle school age girls, all political refugees, speaking something like 17 different languages. Among the tools the school uses to teach English is music, in particular singing. In this short video, hear how singer/songwriter Elise Witt uses Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" in the curriculum. Witt says the power is in the verses you may not have learned in school.

Video: Mastering English is hard. So at the Global Village Project Middle School in Decatur, Georgia, musician Elise Witt uses song to make make English easier for students who are also political refugees. Here’s Witt and the students with Woody Guthrie’s This Land Is Your Land. Witt says the power is in the verses you probably didn't learn in school.

Link to the original article at

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

New songbook PDFs available for download!

After eight fun-filled months of karaoke Friday nights at Oso Azul and a full year of stagefright and delight at La Choperia, I've finally uploaded new songbooks integrating all those "new songs of the month" pages that you see in the physical books (uploads in English only so far...Spanish and other languages coming soon).

Here's where to find them:

May 2018 Update: We now have more than 10,000 titles in English and more than 6,000 in Spanish! Click on the links below for PDF versions of the songbooks.

Español por artista/Spanish by artist (actualizada 14 de Septiembre de 2018)

English by artist/Inglés por artista (updated 14 September 2018)
English by title/Inglés por título (updated 14 September 2018)

Broadway & Film Tunes (updated 14 September 2018)

(also a few holiday songs in French and German)