THE D.E. STORY

14th ago 2014
dancingenglish

QUALITY MUSIC FOR LEARNING ENGLISH
WHY TREAT BIG KIDS LIKE LITTLE KIDS?

 

Dancing English creator Daniel Griffin has something of a split personality. Sometimes called “the Max Weinberg of Spain” due to his touring and recording with Spanish mega-stars Fito y Fitipaldis, he´s also Spain´s #1 children´s performer in English (2,500 concerts in schools!). As a songwriter, for Oxford University Press and other publishers, he´s written and/or produced some 400 songs for English-language textbooks—plus 9 of his own children´s CDs. In addition, he trains educators how to use songs to teach English, and he spent 2 years in his native Chicago as a primary bilingual classroom teacher.

Daniel´s unorthodox resumé blends children´s concerts, classroom experience, big-time rock´n´roll drumming, and writing songs for English-teaching textbooks. Mix it all up and out comes the high-energy sound of Dancing English. “There´s no difference whatsoever between the energy needed to drive a show for 35,000 rocking adults, and the energy needed to get 1,000 kids singing and jumping and dancing. It´s that spirit I most love to capture in the Dancing English songs. I try to harness that super-charged energy and put it behind lyrics that really help kids learn English, along with meaningful movements that support those lyrics and totally involve them in the songs.”

Don´t just sing. Move2

In language education, the use of movement to support music is hardly a new idea. But for Dancing English, it´s absolutely essential. When he started delving into children´s music, Daniel noticed that physical movements were usually added on as an afterthought, rather than thoughtfully created while a song is being written. Or movement might be used for some of the lines in a song, but not all of them.

From the moment Daniel sits down to compose, Dancing English songs are conceived of to be accompanied by meaningful movement 100% of the time—not just part of time. That´s why every line of every song has a meaningful action, one that supports the lyric and gives useful clues about a song´s meaning to young and foreign-language learners. It´s what makes Dancing English a whole-body experience.

Founder Daniel Griffin playing for 20,000 people in Barcelona Founder Daniel Griffin playing for 20,000 people in Barcelona

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