More Than Music

As you may have read, Mental Note Music has now become Mental Note Media. This is because of my new novel aimed at students of Spanish, and because I have begun to offer video-based educational materials (free-of-charge) for Spanish teachers. I’ve also got some ideas to offer a line of country-by-country cultural videos you’ll be able to show in your classroom that will end the frustrations you probably have with the travel-oriented videos you’ve been showing. But that’s a ways off. That’s going to cost money that I will only be able to invest if lots of teachers buy (and don’t illegally copy) the music and the book that are found on this site.

This portion of my site will be the place where I share my approach to teaching, along with materials that have sprung from the off-kilter way I tend to think about language and teaching.

By the way, for Spanish teachers, Mental Note Media is me—Todd Hawkins—the guy in the photo at the top-right of this page. I’m a veteran Spanish teacher, and I write, perform and record all-or-most of the sounds heard on my CDs. I also produce, make most of the noises, and record the CDs of the other Mental Note songwriter—my brother-in-law—Thom Miller. (Thom’s music covers topics in English for upper-elementary students.)

The title above, “More Than Music”, does not primarily refer to the name change of my business. It refers to the fact that, although I’m very gratified by the way students and teachers have embraced my music, the most important contribution that I hope to make to the impression has nothing to do with music. I want to help teachers adopt an approach to teaching that is based upon comprehensible input. I want to help teachers simplify their grammatical explanations, but make them more complete at the same time. And I want to share with teachers the activities that I have created that help students learn efficiently and for the long-term within the comprehensible-input framework.

Please check out the various categories of posts and know that it will mean a lot to me if you can examine what I have to offer, ask me about it, challenge it, and ultimately use it to teach kids lots of Spanish.

Buen camino,

Todd

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