Like Riding a Bike…?

So maybe the key to writing songs again–or learning to write songs again–after a decade off, is finding the time. I drive my daughter at least once a week, twenty minutes each way, to a three-hour play rehearsal. I can add forty productive minutes to my life by staying at the facility rather than driving back-and-forth, and while I’m there, there are a lot of things I can’t do. That’s a perfect combination, and I decided to take advantage of it.

So Saturday I devoted almost three solid hours to songwriting at a table in an out-of-the-way corner of the YMCA in the Athenaeum in downtown Indianapolis.

To add the element of urgency, I decided to focus first on songs that I will be able to use this semester in my Spanish II classes, including songs that students in the past have asked me to write. I began by working on a song to teach the imperfect tense endings.

I’m a little conflicted because I realize that imperfect forms are ridiculously easy, but by the time I introduce imperfect forms, students have become accustomed to having a song for most new topics. Also, it seems oddly asymmetrical to have songs about the preterite forms, but none about the imperfect.

I also put some time into the hace time expression, and something I don’t do a good enough job teaching systematically: the use of infinitives.

One thing about this CD: for those of you who use comprehensible input-based instruction, you’re going to see explicit grammar instruction in this CD and think I’m not one of you. The trouble is that I’m one teacher in a huge department, and am expected to prepare students to function in a system based on explicit grammar instruction. I know that many teachers are in the same boat, so I hope that these songs will take some of the sting out of the grammar for them and their students. I’m going to try to include several CI-based songs. I’m excited that the song about the use of infinitives is one of them.

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