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Kids learn Spanish with music

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By Daniel Curtin
Hometown Weekly Reporter

Kids and families at the Needham Library had a great time singing, dancing and learning Spanish last Monday morning.

Marcos Valles, the man behind Rockabye Beats, entertained all in attendance with his upbeat musical program that taught the tots different words and phrases - among them numbers, colors, and body parts - in Spanish. The well-attended program involved movement, as well, as kids played with rojo scarves, azul scarves, and verde scarves while singing a song about colors.

Marcos Valles graduated from Emerson College and spent 15 years as a drummer, singer and songwriter. Valles, who is originally from Puerto Rico, comes from a musical family and wanted to share his passion for learning and music with the youths.

“It’s proven that kids learn quicker and they‘re [like] sponges. They’re going to soak it in quickly and they have a knack for learning it. It’s really important for them to have language and music,” Valles said.

The children were given different musical instruments, like sticks, shaker eggs, and tambourines. They were playing along as Valles performed songs in English and Spanish about such topics as making sure to buckle up and a musical island.

“They watch Dora [the Explorer] so they understand Spanish a little bit,” said Donna Still, who had brought her three babysitting charges for the sing-along. “I thought he was very engaging. It was awesome.”

For the grand finale of the show, the youngsters were hopping up and down as bubbles filled the function room of the library.

“He’s one of the best we have been to at the library,” said Courtney Ross, who has been to several different children’s programs at the library. [Valles is] very patient and bubbles were a good way to end,” Ross said.

“I want to make it fun for the kids, but I also want to make sure the adults are having fun, too,” Valles said of his engaging program. “That’s really important, because it’s the community experience that really adds to it.”

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