Sunday, May 2, 2010

Actividades especiales para ninos en New York!

Here are some great activities for kids in the month of May:

You gotta love the title (it's so much spicier than Mother's Day!). This FREE event put on by Ballet Hispanico offers moms and their monos a variety of dance classes including salsa, Afro-Caribbean and Latin Ballroom, and even the opportunity for your budding artista to make you a gift at their arts and crafts station.
WHEN: Saturday, May 8, 11 am to 3 pm (a day before the official Mamitas Day ;)
WHERE: Ballet Hispanico, 167 W. 89th St., Columbus/Amsterdam Aves, Manhattan
AGES: From 2 years through teens
MORE INFO: 212-362-6710,

During the month of May Teatro SEA is offering two old chestnuts with a new spin, and a musical (zarzuela) from Spain. In the famous folktale about a wooden boy, Pinocho is a young Mexican immigrant trying to hold on to his cultural heritage after moving to the States; Goldielocks learns to take responsibility and say she's sorry; and a stubborn King learns to love and respect others.
WHEN: Various dates between May 8th and 29th
WHERE: Various locations in Manhattan
PRICES: Children 2-12, $12.50; under 2 free; adults $15

In addition to getting to explore the museum's collection free, there are special activities planned for families all day around the neighborhood.
WHEN: Saturday, May 15, 11 am to 6 pm
WHERE: Various locations near El Museo, 1230 Fifth Ave, E. 104/105 Sts, Manhattan
MORE INFO: 212-831-7272,

This Peruvian theater company uses nontraditional puppets to enact short stories. There's an evening performance on Friday, but on Saturday there's a workshop where kids will explore mime and create characters making funny shapes with their hands.
WHEN: Friday, May 28, 7 pm; Saturday, May 29, 1 pm
WHERE: Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Blvd at Main St., Flushing, Queens
AGES: Old enough to sit through a theater performance (my guess)
PRICES: Children under 13, $8, adults, $12
MORE INFO: 718-463-7700,

The name says it all! Although their spring session just began, it's worth contacting them to see if you can still sign up; if not, find out about future sessions.
WHEN: May 1 to June 19
WHERE: 78 Reade St. at Church St., Manhattan
AGES: 18m to 6 years
PRICES: $125 for 6 week session

Please let me know of any other activities for kids that are in Spanish, Spanish and English, or of interest to Hispanics and hispanophiles.

Que gocen!

Friday, March 12, 2010

¡Música para adultos!

Here are some more musical suggestions for ways to spend your date nights (you are remembering to make some time for your spouse, right?).

One of our Upper West Side moms, jazz singer Sari Kessler, performs with her trio in the neighborhood every Wednesday at Bar Luna. Check out her vocals at

Argentine Sofia Tosello (a former MPM teacher who still subs for us) is singing tangos on Thursdays this month at Tutuma Social Club in Midtown on the east side. I just heard her there last night and was blown away by her beautiful, impassioned singing. You can hear samples from her recently release cd at Tutuma is a small club on E. 56th, with wonderful Peruvian food, which is a bit pricey, but there's no cover charge or minimum, so it works out to be about the same as having dinner at any club with a cover charge.

So get a sitter, ask abuela to do her duty, take an evening off from being mamá and papá, and enjoy some music for adults!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Guerra de bolas de nieve!

Snowball fights might be a little violent for the little ones ;) so I've added a verse about snow to this rain song:

Si los copos de nieve fueran malvaviscos
Me encantaría estar ahí!
Abriría la boca para saborear
ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah
Si los copos de nieve fueran malvaviscos
Me encantaría estar ahi!

If snowflakes were marshmallows
I'd love to be there!
I'd open my mouth to taste
ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah
If snowflakes were marshmallows
I'd love to be there!

I learned the song a decade ago from a little girl on Culebra, the beautiful island off of Puerto Rico (where my daughter and I will be vacationing this spring, woo-hoo!). But it's actually an American English song which was translated into Spanish, so I don't include it in the Musica Para Mi repertoire (we stick to traditional Hispanic children's songs). Those of you who grew up in the States may know the original version:

If all the raindrops were lemondrops and gumdrops
oh what a rain that would be!
Standing outside with my mouth open wide,
ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah
If all the raindrops were lemondrops and gumdrops
oh what a rain that would be!

After doublechecking the lyrics online I saw that there are also lyrics in English for snowflakes and sunbeams.

So just go outside and open wide!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Canciones Infantiles

I'm often asked for recommendations of children's music cd's, but sometimes it's hard to find them available for purchase in the U.S., even online. Of those available, my personal favorite is aptly named Canciones Infantiles, and is available at It has a lovely old-fashioned sound; although the cd doesn't say when it was initially recorded, it sounds like it's either from the '40's or '50's. Unfortunately the musicians aren't credited either, so I don't know how to thank them for bringing their sweet sounds to children's ears! Isla is an online store with products from Puerto Rico, and also offers a selection of books for children and a few stuffed animals, including a coqui who makes the inimitable sound of the national symbol!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Familias musicales

I am very proud to count among my students many whose parents are musicians. The daughter of musicians myself (you can listen to some of my father's music at, I am living proof of the benefits of early exposure to music. I feel particularly honored when musicians choose to send their children to Música Para Mí because I know they're entrusting me with sharing in their greatest passion with their children.

I will occasionally let you know when some of our families' talents are being showcased locally. This is the first such occasion.

Pedro Giraudo is the father of Vera, who comes to one of our Boerum Hill classes. He is my favorite living composer! His amazing Argentine-flavored jazz orchestra will be performing at the Jazz Standard in Manhattan next Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, March 2nd and 3rd.

I know it's a big deal to get a night out when you've got a little one, but if you're a jazz fan I guarantee this performance would be worth the trouble!

I'll be there on Tuesday, so be sure to come up and say hi if you can make it.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

A mimir

That's baby talk for time to go to sleep, something parents wish we could make them do when we'd like a rest ourselves! I just found a really lovely recording of canciones de cuna (lullabies) that's kind of like acoustic trance music for babies! The musicians chose instruments perfect for a sort of "sleepytime in the jungle" way to send your little one into slumber. Driver alert: if you play this in the car you may fall asleep yourself...I swear my lids started getting heavy listening.

It's called "Canciones de cuna/Lullabies" aptly enough. You can preview it on cdbaby.

Let me know if it helps get your pequenito a mimir!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A cumbanchero!

Check out this boy on a TV show in Cali, Colombia, cutting a rug to Ismael Rivera's recording of Rafael Hernandez' hit "El Cumbanchero", one of our songs this winter!