A Transcription and Analysis of Mexican Children's Singing Games and Rhymes

November 19, 2009 / By: Andrew Ellingsen

The problem of this thesis was to transcribe examples of Mexican children’s oral culture and analyze them for potential pedagogic use in a Kodály-inspired music curriculum.  Research questions addressed the contents of the songs as related to a sequenced music curriculum in the content areas of melody, rhythm, and form, and in the skill domains of singing and vocal development, movement development, improvisation development, and inner hearing development.

Also, Spanish-language song collections published within the last twenty-five years for use in the elementary music classroom have been critically reviewed. The purpose of this approach was two-fold: reviewing the Spanish language literature informed the precise research procedures used in this thesis; and readers of this thesis are afforded a concise consideration of a wealth of potential material for classroom use.

The Kodály approach, the role of the folk song in the Kodály approach, and the importance of teaching folk songs from other cultures are discussed, as is a rationale of the transcription style used.

In all, thirteen singing games and rhymes were transcribed and analyzed for curricular applications.  All four of the transcriptions with sung portions contained melodic patterns that would be useful in teaching.  Similarly, useful rhythmic extractable patterns were found in twelve of the thirteen songs and poems.  The forms of eight of the transcriptions are appropriate examples for examination with students.