This is Megan Rooney. She’s the founder and director of Pittsburgh’s La Escuelita Arcoiris–a Spanish Immersion preschool and kindergarten in Squirrel Hill. She wrote into Locally Toned this summer, asked if I had any Spanish tones in the project, and said she’d love to have her students help make an Hola ringtone (or two) for the project. Being very interested in the diversification of the project in relation to language, I was interested. And as a part time/life-long learner of Spanish myself, I felt the project could use a tone submission from locals learning a new language.
Megan asked permission from all the parents of the children attending the school, and then asked me to come to La Escuelita Arcoiris during afternoon circle time. After getting my equipment ready, I sat down in the middle of the circle to work on setting audio levels (to ensure that I’d capture a good recording of the children singing). Some of the little ones seemed a bit shy around me (a stranger directing strange objects, the microphone and recorder, at them), so I asked Megan if I could introduce myself (and my equipment) to the students. “Hola, mi nombre es Teresa! This is my microphone,” I said. “The microphone is kind of like an ear. What do ears do?”
“Hear!” a bold little girl explained.
“That’s exactly right. Ears hear and so do microphones. So if you want my microphone to hear you sing, you can come close to the microphone and sing,” I said, showing them exactly how close they could get. Some students eagerly moved forward.
The audio content of La Escuelita Arcoiris tones are charming to me because they’re so candid–you can rehearse as much as you like with preschoolers and kindergartners, but whatever happens, happens. What you get is what you get (bumps and all).
Here’s the first (and shorter) tone from our session–the Hola Escuelita (Hello, Little School!) Tone.
And this is the Hola Amiguitos (Hello, Little Friends!) Tone–slightly longer than most tones in the project (at 33 seconds). I’d describe it as hyper-preschool/kindergarten realistic and “of the [cold] season”–listen carefully and you’ll hear a little sniffle. You’ll definately hear the cough in the second part of the tone.
Thanks to the Arcoiris staff, families and students for helping to contribute two very sweet tones to the project!