If you are a Teacher/Professor at an educational institution (elementary school, middle school, high school, community college, or university/four-year college), you have arrived at the section of the Mariachi for Gringos website expressly created for you.
The primary question that you need answered is . . . how can I use Mariachi for Gringos as an effective instructional tool at my particular level of education?
Since I am an elementary school teacher, my answers in that particular milieu will be more specific than in the others. So let's start there.
Just this past week, I taught a Special Education (at least 50% ESL) class of 4th and 5th graders. I decided to use Mariachi for Gringos as an effective means of communication. I told the class (each student had a copy of the book) what went into this particular effort. First, I explained to them what a Dedication was and explained to them how my late son inspired me to write the book. They were genuinely touched by this and seemed to focus in on me very intently after making this connection. I explained how the front and back covers were created and then talked about the research that is needed before ever really writing something original. They appreciated the process and really related to the survey that produced The Top 50 Most Requested Songs (by the way, you can preview all of this by clicking the links on the left side of the page under About the Book). I then asked if anyone in the class was about to celebrate a birthday.
One of the students, Jimmy had a birthday, was due on November 23rd so I asked everyone to turn to page 100 and join in singing "Las Mananitas" (The Mexican equivalent of 'Happy Birthday To You') for him. As we finished each verse (with the assistance of a marvelous aide named Veronica), I went to the white board and wrote the equivalent English translation next to the Spanish word on each line that I thought might cause the most difficulty. To put it mildly, the 'unit' using the book was a great success.
I had also had success in using the History section of the book with a 4th grade class to discuss the significance of Hernan Cortez and how he 'convinced' his troops to stay in Mexico and conquer the New World.
Last Cinco de Mayo, I used "La Adelita" (a song of the Mexican Revolution)with a 6th grade class (the book was then in manuscript form) to discuss the sacrifices that have to be made in times of conflict and how spirituality can inspire great acts of courage.
Right after Mariachi for Gringos was originally published (October 2006), Latin American Book Source called this little book a 'great reference work' (see their review at www.latambooks.com). Since this firm sells primarily to major public libraries, the valid assumption is that adults will be referring to the book to answer questions far above the elementary school level.
As a recipient of a Masters Degree in History from Stanford, I firmly believe that what sets this book apart is its ability to be used by all levels from elementary school to university. It is also a wonderful resource for music teachers and its cultural aspects have led one teacher to call it, quite flatteringly, " . . . a bridge between two cultures."
Start by checking out the left side rollovers to find where the book fits for you. Then click on 'Contact Us' or 'Buy Now' if you'd like to go further.
Thanks for all your support.