Jody’s Background:

Jody Dreher has been combining her passion for language, music and education since she can remember. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from Georgetown University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa. She attended La Universidad de Barcelona in Spain for a year of undergraduate studies, and spent a year and a half studying German in Munich, where she earned Das Kleine Deutsche Sprachdiplom. Jody went on to attend Florida International University on a full academic scholarship where she took masters level classes in Spanish, earning a Master of Arts Degree in Linguistics. Upon graduation she received the award of Outstanding Academic Achievement. Believing in incorporating the arts into her lessons, Jody participated in the Kennedy Center's Artists as Educators Seminar, "Laying a Foundation: Defining Arts Integration." Her Sing Your Way to Spanish CDs are Parents Choice Approved Award Winners. In addition to writing music, creating curricula and teaching, Jody performs language cultural shows around the country, and does teacher trainings on creating communicative language lesson plans using music. Jody has taught Spanish to all ages including preschool, elementary, secondary, college and adults.

Jody’s Teaching Philosophy

I  believe we learn  a foreign language to COMMUNICATE,  to be able to understand others and express our thoughts and wishes.  This COMMUNICATIVE method focuses first on comprehensible input, hearing and seeing words and images that we can understand in the foreign language.  Rules and grammar are presented only as needed in order to communicate rather than as lessons for their own sake.  With little ones, grammar is completely unnecessary as long as input is comprehensible.  For older students, learning a language’s structure can help us internalize the logical “systems” or grammar of that language, but should be presented only as an aid to actually communicating.  Output, which is speaking and writing, follows input, in a step by step progression, just as it did when we learned our first language.

After being exposed to comprehensible input through listening (and reading for those old enough),  we might find that we comprehend more than we can say.  Sing Your Way to Spanish is a big help here, allowing those who are initially more tongue tied to have a musical anchor to help them along.  For some children it is quite natural to say nothing for months in the new language. But don’t let that fool you. As long as a student is interested in what s/he is hearing,  s/he is processing the language. I had a child in one of my classes who sat on her mother’s lap for an entire year, shy as could be,  not saying a word. The following year she decided she was ready to speak and amazed us all by knowing every word we had learned over the past year!

Sing Your Way To Spanish with Jody takes advantage of an incredibly strong tool we all possess…MUSIC MEMORY. Have you ever heard a song on the radio that you hadn’t heard in years, and found that all the words came right back to you? If so, you know that songs we memorize stay with us forever! Sing Your Way to Spanish with Jody uses this musical memory that we all have as the key to enjoying what we are learning and being able to retrieve what we have learned for years to come.

In addition to music that both you and your child will love to listen to, Sing Your Way To Spanish with Jody introduces vocabulary that you use everyday, phrases you use to communicate. All song lyrics are words and short phrases that make sense to use repeatedly like “Let’s go! ¡Vámonos!”, or, “¡Buenos días! Good Morning!”, or “This tastes good! ¡ Qué rico!”.

Sing Your Way to Spanish with Jody works wonderfully for families who are teaching young children Spanish without knowing it themselve because each song translates itself as it goes along – English - Spanish - English - Spanish. First you will be drawn in by the music. Then your ear will attach to the words in your native language, be it Spanish or English. . And then as you naturally begin to memorize the song you will find yourself memorizing the words in the foreign language as well…and knowing just what those words mean. When your child has learned all the Spanish on the bilingual CD, start playing the all-Spanish version for them. They will be able to let go of the English easier than you think.

The CD also provides dialogue between the songs, which is spoken on the CD and written in the CD jacket. All words from the songs and dialogue are spelled out in the CD jacket for those who wish to read the Spanish or English as well as listen to it.

¡Ven Conmigo! Join me as we play the songs, and play with the songs. The results will amaze you! You’ll hear the music in your head and surprise surprise, the Spanish will be there too!!


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