Whistlefritz is a new CD that helps English speaking children learn Spanish or French through catchy songs and fun tunes. It has been academically proven that learning a second language at a young age can benefit children cognitively. Research suggests that immersive language learning is most effective because the focus on context helps kids better understand the language.
Studies have also shown that music and language are linked. Hence, learning a new language through music makes it easier to memorize vocabulary and phrases. The Whistlefritz program uses musical immersive learning to uniquely and creatively apply vocabulary and provide entertaining educational content for children. Founder Heidi Stock works with award-winning musicians to create lively, high-quality musical content for kids.
Based in the Washington DC area, the artists of Whistlefritz use their unique musical experiences and talent to create these catchy tunes. The programs allow kids to engage in a new language through music and video. Offered in Spanish and French, the catchy tunes of El Baile De Las Manos (The Hand Dance) or Carnaval will have everyone on their feet.
One of the participating musical artists is Jorge Anaya. Jorge is an award-winning singer and songwriter, who has delighted audiences of all ages across the United States and Latin America. Jorge has been performing for children and adults for decades. A native of El Salvador, Jorge Anaya is currently a citizen of the United States residing in the Washington, DC area.
He recently discussed his involvement in this project via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you initially get interested in music and how come you decided to turn your focus on kid’s music?
Jorge Anaya (JA): My interest in music started at home, watching my father and his friends play music and hearing stories about my grandfather, who I never met, as a band director. I was 8 years old the first time I sang for an audience. I began writing original songs in my late teens. In the back of my head I thought about one day writing children songs, but it wasn’t until I met Heidi Stock from Whistlefritz that my thought came to be realized.
MM: How much of your El Salvadoran roots influence your music?
JA: A lot! I also enjoyed listening to American rock and even played in the school band. I grew up listening to my father’s music, which kept me connected to my roots.
MM: How did you get involved with the “Whistlefritz” Project?
JA: I was supposed to be the guitar player for Pablo, a singer on the first Whistlefritz CD. On our way to the studio, Pablo decided to exchange our roles and said my voice would be more appropriate for this project. I will always be grateful for his decision.
MM: How many songs did you create for the program and what are they about?
JA: I’m still writing songs, I think we’re up to 4 or 5 CD’s, mostly used for teaching Spanish numbers, letters, colors, and animals.
MM: Of all the songs, have you any special favorites?
JA: Yes! Some of my favorites are:
“Ere y Erre”: about the R and double R sounds in Spanish.
“Arcoiris”: teaches the colors of the rainbow.
“En el Zoologico”: Animals at the zoo dancing!
MM: Aside from working with Whistlefritz, what else is happening in your career?
JA: I am performing in the Washington DC area, as I have for over 20 years. I’ve been fortunate to perform in theater productions for Shakespeare Theaters, Arena Stage, Teatro Gala and Teatro De La Luna. I was the Latino performer for President Obama’s Halloween party at The White House. I also sang for Pope John Paul II on his visit to The Organization of American States and have performed across the country for a variety of parties and events.
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Meagan J. Meehan is a published author, poet, cartoonist, and produced playwright. She pens columns for the Great South Bay Magazine, Blasting News, and Entertainment Vine. She is also a stop-motion animator and an award-winning abstract artist. Meagan holds a BA in English Literature and a MA in Communication. She is also an animal advocate and a fledging toy and game designer.
Meagan is a contributing editor to Kidskintha writing on Toys, Games, Entertainment, and other topics that are happy and fun!