National Hispanic Heritage Month is from September 15- October 15 each year. It’s a time to recognize the “contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.” (from Wikipedia)
History of National Hispanic Heritage Month
Why was September 15 chosen as the starting point for the National Hispanic Heritage Month? September 15 is the anniversary of independence of the Hispanic countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua who all declared independence in 1821.
In 1968 President Lyndon Johnson signed into law Hispanic Heritage Week, and it was expanded to a month by a law signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.
Understanding the terms Hispanic and Latino
Who does “Hispanic” refer to? According to Wikipedia, Hispanic “is used to refer to modern Spain, to the Spanish language, and to the Spanish-speaking nations of the world, particularly the Americas, Pacific Islands and Asia, such as the Philippines.”
Even though Brazilians don’t speak Spanish–they speak Portuguese–, I’m going to include Brazil in today’s lesson because they are part of Latin America.
Music Lessons for National Hispanic Heritage Month
Have fun with the following music lessons!
Most of these are free, but some are part of paid courses or memberships. Enjoy!
- 15-Minute Music Lesson for Cinco de Mayo (with a free printable)
- 15-Minute Music Lesson on the Music of Brazil and Heitor Villa-Lobos (with a free printable)
- See young musicians from Mexico and a bottle dancer from Paraguay
- Make your own Latin American instruments like maracas, drums, and guitars.
- See a Christmas in Mexico lesson as part of the Music of Christmas online course
- See Rita Moreno in “America” from the musical West Side Story (about Puerto Rican Americans) here.
- Listen to a song sung by Linda Ronstadt here: “Poor Wandering One” from The Pirates of Penzance.
- Hamilton the Musical was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Find it featured in the 15 Must-See Movie Musicals for High School Students.
- There is also a masterclass for high schoolers in the Music in Our Homeschool Plus music and fine arts membership experience called Hamilton the Musical: How and Why it Became a Sensation! by Gena Mayo
- Here is a Latin Dance Masterclass that’s part of the Music in Our Homeschool Plus music and fine arts membership experience.
- Have your teens try out these Hamilton the Musical Projects.
- Learn about the Spanish composers Manuel de Falla and Enrique Granados in the 20th Century Music Appreciation online course.
- Learn about Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos and Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera in the 20th Century Music Appreciation online course.
- Learn to sing this song in Spanish: “Fum, Fum, Fum” (Catalonian, in Spanish) as part of the Singing Made Easy ~ Level 4 online course.
- Learn to sing this song in Spanish: “De Colores” (part of the A Folk Song a Week online course)
There are lots of Music Lessons for Latin American countries in the World Music for Elementary online course:
- Puerto Rico
- Bolivia and the Andean region
- Central American countries
- Ecuador and the Andean region
- Find a free Fast Fact Country card for Bolivia here.
- Music Lessons for Holidays & Special Days has a music lesson for Cinco de Mayo.
- Learn about Spanish composer Isaac Albéniz in the Music Appreciation of the Romantic Era online course.
- “Visit” Mexico, Spain, & Central and South American countries in the My First Amazing Journey Around the World online course.
**What other Music Lessons for National Hispanic Heritage Month would you like to see? Please leave a comment below to let me know!
- How to Use Music Lessons for Black History Month
- Free Music of Israel music lesson
- Countries of the World Fast Fact Cards and Notebooking Pages