Nathalia: Bilingual Children's Songwriter On Learning Foreign Languages Via Song
Posted: Jan 21 2015
We recently had the opportunity to speak with Nathalia, a California based bilingual singer/songwriter who has debuted two musical albums ‘Nathalia, From Here to There’ and the most recent: ‘Sueña un Poquito’ (‘Dream a Little’).
With a background in music therapy and coming from a musical family in Latin America, Nathalia is a natural for music and singing. Nathalia’s background includes many years of working in schools, hospitals, early childhood education, and preschools together with music. Music so much so, especially singing, that her husband said ‘her children lived in a musical’. While singing to her children, Nathalia realized that music and song was an easy way to teach children Spanish.
Learning music via song is something Nathalia says comes easily for children. ‘It’s a lot more fun than sitting in class and is a lot less stressful’. In her experience as a music therapist, Nathalia says music engages different parts of the brain, and the way people process music (melody), is similar to the way we learn language. We all remember learning our ‘ABC’s with the alphabet song!
Nathalia’s first album debuted in 2012 and is bilingual with some songs in English and some in Spanish. The songs on the album were songs she had composed on her guitar and had been singing to her own children and her preschool students. The songs on Nathalia’s album, Nathalia: From Here to There, combine Latin and bluesy style music in English and some Spanish language songs. The name of her first album reflects that the songs came from a variety of sources and inspirations.
With the new album, Sueña un Poquito (Dream a Little), Nathalia says her inspiration came from her oldest daughter who is in the ‘tween’ stage. Her daughter still had that childhood ‘magic’ of living split between a dreamland of fairies and believing in Santa, while at the same time growing up into a teenager.
Watching her daughter caught between a kid and young adult world, while capturing the energy of her toddler boy, the album Sueña un Poquito (Dream a Little) was born. Nathalia’s new album has 10 songs in ‘Spanglish’ and even includes learning planets in Spanish! A true collaboration songwriting with her husband Brian McLaughlin, Nathalia says ‘the album comes from the heart’.
Ages 1 - 7: From Here to There
Ages 3 -12 Dream a Little (Sueña un Poquito)
For more information on Nathalia, visit her website