Graduation Date

Spring 2020

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Education

Committee Chair Name

David Ellerd

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Eric Van Duzer

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories



Positive connections between school and home have been shown to increase student achievement. Currently there are few resources available in the United States that allow teachers to incorporate aspects of Filipino American culture into their instruction practices. Through the use of traditional children’s songs and singing games, the K-6 classroom music curriculum can serve as an effective vehicle to establish these connections.

In interviews with members of the California Filipino American community, we discussed the musical culture of the Philippines. Informants shared how musical traditions are transmitted and shared in the Philippines and United States. Participants also discussed possible ways that an elementary school classroom can make connections to this musical culture. Using this information, I have selected culturally authentic folk songs and games that are appropriate for use in K-6 general music classes.

Using standard notation this project includes 15 transcriptions of traditional children’s songs and singing games from the Philippines. The original Tagalog lyrics, along with a direct English translation, and detailed instructions for activities have been included with each song. The short simple melodies allow for opportunities for the music teacher to teach music literacy. In order for the material to be easily accessible to teachers and students who may not have a background in the Tagalog language, the songs that were selected for inclusion in this resource have brief lyrics that often feature repetition and nonsense syllables.

Filipino musical culture has a strong tradition of group play. Traditional games are an important part of childhood in the Philippines. Each folk song collected in this project contains a detailed description of the activity or game children will play as they sing. In these games students chase, guess, improvise, dance and work together as a team. The materials are examples of Filipino musical culture that allow students to make connections between home and school experiences.

Citation Style


2020 03-28 ltr_common rule_approval_exempt.pdf (226 kB)
IRB approval memo

Filipino Children's songs.pdf (1424 kB)
Filipino Children's Songs