Skip to main content
Lesson Plan

Bonkers for Bailecitos in Bolivia

Designed by: Jennifer Vannatta-Hall
Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN

Summary
In this series of three lessons, students will exercise critical listening, singing, dancing, and playing instruments to traditional music of Bolivia. They will improvise rhythms, compose a song, and draw connections across a wide variety of disciplines.

Suggested Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12
Country: Bolivia
Region: South America
Culture Group: Bolivian
Genre: Bolivian folk music and dances
Instruments: Voice, guitars, body percussion
Language: Spanish
Co-Curricular Areas: Geography, social studies, language arts (foreign language)
National Standards:
Segment 1: 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9
Segment 2: 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9
Segment 3: 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9
Prerequisites: Prior experience moving and dancing, playing guitar, and improvising rhythms in simple meter.

Objectives:

Lesson 1 - The students will:

  • Identify the quena, charango, and bombo folk instruments by listening to “La Mariposa.” (NS #6)
  • Sing the melody of “La Mariposa.” (NS #1, 5)
  • Play guitar chords to accompany “La Mariposa.” (NS #2, 6)
  • Perform the Morenada dance to “La Mariposa.” (NS #6, 8, 9)

Lessons 2 - The students will:

  • Critically listen to “Boquito Colorada.” (NS #6)
  • Sing the melody of “Boquito Colorada.” (NS #1, 5)
  • Perform a bailecito dance to “Boquito Colorada.” (NS #6, 8, 9)
  • Improvise a rhythm in 6/8 on Latin percussion instruments. (NS #3)

Lesson 3 - The students will:

  • Critically listen to “Subo, Subo.” (NS #6)
  • Demonstrate 3/4 meter using tennis balls.” (NS #2, 6)
    Tennis balls are used as sound makers (instruments) for this segment.
  • Differentiate the lyrics, music, and mood of “Subo, Subo” with “Lonesome Road.” (NS #6, 7, 9)
  • Compose lyrics in the style of “Subo, Subo.” (NS #4, 8)

Material:

Lesson 1

Lesson 2

Lesson 3

Lesson Segments:

  1. La Mariposa, Morenada Dance (National Standards 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9)
  2. Boquita Colorada, Bailecito Dance (National Standards 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9)
  3. Subo, Subo, Lamento Indie (1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9)

1. La Mariposa (The Butterfly) - example of a bailecito (folk dance of Bolivia)

Recording available here.

  1. Attentive listening. Students listen to the first half of the recording (to 1:08) with the following questions in mind:
    1. From where in the world is the music? Bolivia
    2. Pretend-play the instruments you hear.
  2. Integrating world music. Teacher shows map of Bolivia via this link (or search the Internet for “Where is Bolivia”). Teacher solicits answers from students regarding what instruments they heard. Teacher then shows pictures of the Bolivian folk instruments collected from the Internet:
    1. Quena (flute)
    2. Charango (higher-pitched stringed instrument)
    3. Bombo (drum)
    Other instruments included in this segment of the recording were the guitar, tambourine, and voice.
  3. Attentive listening. Teacher displays visual below and asks students to listen to the beginning of the recording (until 0:49) and determine what is happening in the music when they see the “squiggly symbol” (the trill articulation). Teacher further engages students by asking them to pretend-play the “squiggly.”

  1. Attentive listening. Students listen to the second half of the recording (1:09-end) with the following questions in mind:
    1. Do you hear any new sound makers?singing and clapping
    2. What happens to the tempo at the end? gets faster
  2. Engaged listening. Students sing softly along with second half of recording (1:09-end)
  3. Engaged listening. Teacher sings and performs body percussion for the phrases, “con las manos” (clap, clap, clap) and “con los pies” (stamp, stamp, stamp), preluding with “What do you think the words mean?”With your hands (clap, clap, clap),
    With your feet (stamp, stamp, stamp)
  4. Enactive listening. Students sing slightly modified version below without the recording.

Process for teaching song:

    1. Sing phrase 1 on “bah.”
    2. Echo-speak the Spanish text for phrase 1. Briefly highlight the English translation. We are all playing and singing and dancing the morenada.
      Las matracas are percussion instruments consisting of a wooden body that is joined by a mobile hammer similar in sound to a ratchet.
    3. Sing phrase 1 in Spanish.
    4. Echo-speak the Spanish text for phrase 2 with body percussion patterns.
    5. Sing and perform body percussion (clap and stamp) for phrase 2.
    6. Sing phrase 3 on “lai.”
    7. Sing all in Spanish and perform body percussion.
  1. Enactive listening. Students play the chord progression for “La Mariposa” on guitars (or any chordophone) without the recording.

  1. Enactive listening. Teacher leads students through the basic steps of the Morenada. The Morenada (Dance of the Black Slaves) is inspired by the Spanish colonization in the 16th century, which involved imported African black slaves (mainly from Guinea) to work in the mines of Potosi.

    Step the beat, alternating right and left. Take small steps in your place.
    Arm that’s “up” bends at the elbow.
    Upper torso pivots slightly in the direction of the arm that’s “up.

  1. Integrating world music. Show students a video from the Internet of Bolivians dancing the Morenada. The working conditions of the African slaves mining in Potosi are transcribed in the steps of the dancers and their imposing costumes. The white wig at the top of the masks worn by male dancers symbolizes the snow that the slaves discovered when they arrived in Bolivia.
  2. Engaged listening. Students perform with the recording. Girls dance the morenada; guys play guitars.

Extension:
Students compare and contrast the Carnaval de Oruro (Oruro, Bolivia) with Mardi Gras (New Orleans, LA) using a Venn diagram.

Assessment:
In addition to the teacher’s ongoing informal assessment, the teacher will formally assess the students using the rubric below. Students will also self-assess themselves using the same rubric (students are usually very honest about their music performance skills).

 

4

3

2

1

Melodic Accuracy
Sings/plays all pitches accurately in a steady tempo.
Sings/plays most pitches accurately in a steady tempo.
Sings/plays some pitches accurately, varying tempo when necessary, to accommodate unfamiliar sections.
Sings/plays few pitches accurately, varying tempo when necessary to accommodate unfamiliar sections.
Rhythmic Accuracy
Performs all rhythms accurately in a steady tempo.
Performs most rhythms accurately in a steady tempo.
Performs some rhythms accurately, varying tempo when necessary to accommodate unfamiliar sections.
Performs few rhythms accurately, varying tempo when necessary to accommodate unfamiliar sections.
Harmonic Accuracy
Plays all chords accurately in a steady tempo, demonstrates advanced technique in changing from chord to chord.
Plays most chords accurately in a steady tempo.
Plays some chords accurately, varying tempo when necessary to accommodate unfamiliar chord changes.
Plays few chords accurately, varying tempo when necessary to accommodate unfamiliar chord changes.
Participa-tion
Alwayschooses to be actively engaged in the activity. Stays on task all of the time.
Chooses to be actively engaged in the activity most of the time. Stays on task mostof the time.
Sometimes chooses to be actively engaged in the activity. Stays on task someof the time
Rarely chooses to be actively engaged in the activity.

2. Boquito Colorada - example of a bailecito (folk dance of Bolivia)

Recording available here

Click to view recording details

“Boquita Colorada - Bailecito”
from Songs and Dances of Bolivia (1959) | FW06871

  1. Attentive listening. Students listen to the first segment of the recording (to 0:48) with the following questions in mind:
    1. What is the tempo? Students choose how to show the beat as they listen.
    2. How is the beat organized? Compound
  2. Attentive listening. Students listen to the middle segment of the recording (0:49-1:34) with the following questions in mind:
    1. What instruments do you hear?
    2. Do the instruments always stay together? The accordion is sometimes syncopated
  3. Integrating world music. Teacher solicits answers from students regarding what instruments they heard, then displays pictures of the instruments used in the recording.Charango, accordion, guitar
    Teacher further solicits student responses regarding whether the instruments “stayed together.”

    Teacher displays Spanish text and English translation:

    Boquita colorada, color de guinda,
    tus besos los he deseado,
    boquita linda.

    Beautiful little red mouth,
    color of wine,
    How I’ve desired your kisses,
    beautiful little mouth.

  4. Engaged listening. Students sing the refrain “lai, lai...” without the recording

  1. Enactive listening. Students dance the Bailecito.

Bailecito (from liner notes of album)

Click to enlarge

  1. Creating world music. Students improvise a 6-beat rhythm in 6/8 meter on Latin percussion instruments. Allow each student to solo his/her improvisation. Then, perform rhythms with recording.

Extension:
Students read and discuss the Bolivian folk tale, “Armadillo’s Song” (available on the Internet). The Armadillo yearns to sing like the frogs and the crickets and the birds, but is he willing to pay the price to learn?

Assessment:
In addition to the teacher’s ongoing informal assessment, the teacher will formally assess the students using the rubric below. Students will also self-assess themselves using the same rubric.

 

3

2

1

Overall Improvisation
Improvises within specified guidelines, displays skill and a high degree of accuracy, and demonstrates creativity.
Improvises within specified guidelines, performs minor inaccuracies that do not affect the overall result, and demonstrates creativity.
Improvises within specified guidelines with frequent assistance and exhibits numerous errors that detract from the overall result.
Participation
Alwayschooses to be actively engaged in the activity. Stays on task all of the time.
Chooses to be actively engaged in the activity most of the time. Stays on task mostof the time.
Rarely chooses to be actively engaged in the activity.

3. Subo, Subo (I Climb, I Climb) - example of a lamento Indie

Recording available here

Click to view recording details

“Subo Subo”
from Latin American Festival (1994) | MON71390

Okay...so this is NOT a Bolivian folk dance, but it is another example of Bolivian folk music. This segment will elicit more personal than communal responses from students.

  1. Attentive listening. Students listen to the first segment of the recording (to 0:58) with the following questions in mind:
    1. How does the music make you feel?
    2. What do you think he is singing about?
  2. Integrating world music. Teacher solicits answers from students regarding what he is singing about.
    This song is a lamento Indie (sad song). Peru and Bolivia, two parts of the erstwhile Inca civilization, have retained a pervasive Indian feeling in most of their songs.

    Teacher displays Spanish text and English translation:

    Me voy a los cerros altos,
    a llorar a solas, lejos.,
    [Refrain]
    A ver si se apuna el dolor,
    Subo...Subo!


    La “quena” muy triste toco
    Y me habla llorando de vos.
    [Refrain]

    Los “ranchos” quedaron atras,
    Las nubes mus cerca están ya.
    [Refrain]


    I am going to the high mountain
    To cry alone, far away.

    Perhaps there I’ll get rid of my sorrow,
    I climb up, I climb up....


    I play sadly my “quena”
    And it cries telling me about you.

    All the houses remained far behind me.
    The clouds are close to me now.

  3. Engaged listening. Students pat-snap-snap to the beat in 3/4 as they listen to the second segment of the recording (0:59-1:48). Teacher asks the students, “What is the tempo?”
  4. Engaged listening. For the final segment of the recording (1:48-end), students show 3/4 meter with a tennis ball, demonstrating the pattern “bounce-catch-switch.” “Switch” indicates switching to the other hand.
  5. Engaged listening. Students softly hum the melody of the first verse as the recording plays.
  6. Integrating world music. Students compare and contrast the lyrics of “Subo, Subo” with the lyrics of James Taylor’s “Lonesome Road.”
  7. Creating world music. Using the lyric structure of “Subo, Subo,” students will create one verse and one chorus using the “Subo, Subo” melody, as a class. The subject of the text is something sad or emotional.
    Then, the students will independently create one verse and one chorus using the “Subo” melody.

Assessment:
The teacher will informally assess whether or not students are able to demonstrate 3/4 meter. The teacher will also assess the students’ compositions, with the only competency being that students followed the guideline of using the “Subo” lyric structure.

No Comments

Comments powered by Disqus
View comment(s)

.