MP3 Groovi Pauli - Mandarin Chinese Songs for Kids
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18 MP3 Songs in this album (38:17) !
Related styles: KIDS/FAMILY: Educational, KIDS/FAMILY: Kid Friendly
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Groovi Pauli is the moniker used by Pauli Haakenson in this fun, widely diverse album to introduce English-speaking kids aged 4-8 to Mandarin Chinese. Pauli is a Scandinavian-American man living in Hong Kong who teaches Mandarin Chinese to expatriate kids there. He notes, âNow that my own bilingual children Aoife (8) and Björn (4) have hit the age range I am teaching, I am surrounded all day, every day with developing bilingual competence in children.â The album includes musical genres such as blues, country, reggae, hip-hop, trance, smooth jazz and a ballad at the end.
In addition to Pauliâs voice, other Mandarin Chinese contributors to the album include his daughter Aoife (pronounced âeefaâ), son Björn, Taiwan-born Max and Hanna (of America), Indonesian-born Milan and his father Craig (of Australia), Anna (of South Africa), and quadralingual Wheldon (of Canada).
The album developed out of a need to have more options to help English-speaking kids practice new phrases they were learning in Mandarin Chinese. Pauli remarks, âIn my job as a Mandarin Chinese teacher to kids aged 4-8, I quickly realized there was little in the way of fun, catchy music to help non-native speakers learn Mandarin Chinese. Most of the kidsâ music in Mandarin Chinese is geared towards native speakers. So, I began to write songs based on the language goals for the kids and they responded enthusiastically.â
Track 6 âWhat country are you from?â is a good illustration of this as he says, âthe kids picked up that phrase even before they completely understood each word... that is one of the most satisfying feelings any musician can have, writing to a specific audience and seeing the faces light up to a new song.â
Purists might take issue with his approach to most songs on this album, since both Mandarin Chinese and English are used, largely as translation. These purists may say, âIf you are writing for Mandarin Chinese language development, there should be NO English in the song whatsoever.â Groovi Pauli disagrees with this because he thinks building on a childâs first language - assuming it is English here - allows the kid to make strong language connections in their brain. Both track 2 (âMandarin in your English brainâ) and track 9 (âGoing up/going downâ) are good examples of these where the words in Mandarin Chinese are followed by a translation in English. Pauli says, âHeck, if Dora the Explorer can get away with mixing Spanish into a largely English language T.V. show, then I should be able to as well!â
This album basically has four parts:
A. Introduction to Mandarin Chinese: track 1 âIntroduction,â track 2 âMandarin in your English brain,â and track 3 âOnly four tonesâ (which illustrates the tonal aspect of Mandarin Chinese).
B. The Basic Questions: These are typically the first things anyone would try to learn in a new language such as track 4, âWhat is your name?â track 5, âHow old are you?â track 6 âWhat country are you from?â and track 7 âWhat do you like to eat?â
C. Language Points: These three tracks came out of class experiences focusing on specific points, such as basic colors on track 8 âColor Samba,â track 9 âGoing up/going downâ which talks about two of the most commonly used Chinese characters and track 10 âHave, have notâ which is a commonly spoken phrase.
D. Feelings: Pauli says, âThese 8 short songs started out as a feelings medley, but they morphed into separate songs as I explored how to get the music to match each feeling.â All of them are written from the perspective of 4-8 year-old kids, so they can identify more with the lyrics. The feelings include track 11 âThe angry song,â track 12 âHappy,â track 13 âSo sad blues,â track 14 âIâm hungryâ (one of my personal favorites), track 15 âDonât be bored,â track 16 âScared,â track 17 âSurprised,â and finally track 18 âIâm sleepy and tired.â
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