The first songs I had ever heard in Cree where mostly Cree hymns back home. They sounded very beautiful but I never thought about using music as a memory aid to learning Cree before I met Belinda Daniels who taught me the weather song in Cree. She sang it along with some actions to with each of the weather terms and the song stuck. I continued to use it in my classroom and shared it with others as well. Another song that was taught by an OCN Music teacher was the "tansi" song. It is a soothing song and generally, people love it. I use music with my children using YouTube "Cree Songs" which has over 30 videos (I love singing along and singing to my son) and Darlene Auger's Cree lullabies for nap/bedtimes. On Spotify, a free app, you can also find some Cree music from Art Napoleon and some of Darlene Auger's Cree lullabies. I also have bought Brian McDonald's Cree songs CD which I use in the Car.
Using music helps as a memory aid, it's catchy and it 'sticks'. I sometimes catch students singing the lyrics and humming to the tune of any song we practiced. It's a great learning tool in any classroom and in the home.
I'm sharing a couple of the videos that I have recorded on this blog. One of which was the "tansi" song with some students from B.C and Prince Albert during the nehiyawak Language camp. I'm also adding one of my personal favourites "I'm all shook up" by Deloris Sand. Find more like this on Cree Simon Says YouTube Channel and Gift of Language and Culture.
To read more about the benefits of using music to learn a language read the following blogger Benny Lewis at https://www.fluentin3months.com/learning-a-language-through-music/