PRODUCT REVIEWS – Allons Danser ! – Let’s Dance

 

“Whistlefritz continues to impress our testers with adorable and educational offerings that introduce children to new languages. In Allons Danser! testers found a collection of songs on a CD that they found to be both entertaining and captivating. There are very familiar songs like Old McDonald and Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes that sound both unique and adorable when sung in French. There are many others included but both children and their parents told us that they found the songs to be catchy and joyful. The vocals on the CD were universally praised. The singer’s voice is beautiful and lyrical with very clear pronunciation, this really caught the fancy of all who heard it. The enclosed book of lyrics and translations are a big help as it breaks down each word by syllable making it easier to follow.”

The National Parenting Center

“Once again, Whistlefritz uses its winning formula to introduce language-learning through song. Native French speaker and vocalist Marie-Louise Desage and musician Didier Prossaird join together to perform on this lively 20-track CD. Adhering to the Whistlefritz methods, word-by-word translations are provided. Appealing songs and rhythms introduce beginning French words, numbers (“Un, Deux et Trois“), parts of the body (“La Tête, Les Épaules/Head, Shoulders“), and a fun-filled version of “Le Vieux MacDonald (Old MacDonald)” will have the basse-cour (barnyard) humming.”

Parents’ Choice Foundation

XylophoneAllonsDanser“I’m in the car, a LOT. I’m in the car with Alice almost daily. I like to introduce her to new music as much a possible. I want Alice to have an appreciation for all sorts of music. Country, Rock, Disco, Oldies, Opera, Foreign Language. I play it all!! Okay, that’s not quite true, I draw the line at rap. Uncle Zac will have to teach her that one.

We have a couple of CD’s and DVD’s from Whistlefritz and we just added Allons Danser CD to our collection. This is a FUN upbeat CD. Allons Danser! (Let’s Dance) is so fun I find myself listening to this one when I’m in the car ALONE!!

I cannot speak, nor understand French. BUT, the first song on the CD, Quand Je Serai Grand (When I’m Big), makes me sing along. POORLY, mind you… like I said I can’t speak French, but it’s such a fun song, I try anyway.

One song Alice and I do sing along to is: Le Vieux MacDonald (Old MacDonald). This song we actually do pretty darn good with!!

This is a language learning CD. This entire CD is fun-filled and performed by acclaimed French artists Marie-Louise Desage and Didier Prossaird.

This CD really is so upbeat that Alice is be-boppin’ in her car seat for the whole CD. There is a booklet that comes with the CD that has the songs written out, along with the translation for several words. The songs introduce French words and phrases, like numbers, parts of the body, animals, jobs, toys, clean up time, bath time and MORE!

Peanut Butter and Whine

“For a couple of months now, the kids and I have been listening to Allons Danser! – a CD with French music for kids, produced by Whistlefritz. It has been such a great tool for my French Play Group, not just for my children. We use the Bonjour, Les Amis song to start the meeting and Au Revoir to close.

At home, I play the entire CD as the children play and I cook or do some other housework. It’s the best background music. You know how music can influence your mood even if you don’t understand the words? Marie-Louise Desage’s crystal-clear voice gives me joy. And although I understand the words, the music makes me feel like I am on a beach vacation as I wipe kitchen counters or peel potatoes.

The Carribean-infused melodies, written by Didier Prossaird, go along well with summer time or any time of the year when you wish you could have summer back. In short, these songs put me in a good mood – a vacation mode. They are not just for the kids.

We all memorize so much better if the words are set to music. This collection will be the perfect addition to your French class. We listen to it in the car, too. I am still amazed by how much I can retain just by listening to 15 minutes of French music a couple of times a week. If you, like me, are looking for ways to maximize learning throughout the day, you will appreciate this CD you can add to your car schooling supply list.

The CD booklet contains all the French lyrics, as well as a vocabulary list for each song. Thus, instead of paraphrasing so you get the gist of the song, Whistlefritz gives you word-by-word translations to help with your goal of learning French. How helpful is that? Any homeschooling mom who took some French and remembers some should be able to utilize this CD and help introduce her children to the sounds of the beautiful French language.

My children break into song in French out of the blue, while playing or running around outside. Their pronunciation may not be all there and they may not understand everything they are saying, but it’s a start. Plus, it is a great opportunity for me to join them in song. Sometimes I exaggerate a bit the correct pronunciation so they can correct themselves. Other times I just sing and have fun along with them.

I highly recommend the Allons Danser! CD above any other language learning CDs I have bought – and I bought a few.”

Homeschool Ways

BONJOUR LES AMIS! Today I am going to tell you about a CD that I received for review but it’s not just any CD, it’s one that was created to help you learn French through music. Allons Dancer! Let’s Dance! by Whistlefritz, the producers of the award winning French for Kids and Spanish for Kids, is a fun way not just for your children to learn another language but for you as well. It offers classic songs, performed by Marie-Louise Desage, that you and your children probably already sing together with a French twist. A few of the titles that may sound a little familiar to you are:

  • La Tête, Les Épaules (Head and Shoulders) teaches them some of the body parts.
  • Le Vieux MacDonald teaches them some animal words.
  • Le Bain teaches them about washing and bath time fun.

My favourite feature of our new learning tool is the fact that the cover, which is also a lyric book that holds all of the songs, also comes with the translations for each one. This makes it so much easier for me, who had one French class a week up until I was in grade 9 and can’t remember a thing, decipher to my son (when he’s not teaching me) what they are singing about. The best part for me was being able to see how much my son has learnt since he started French Immersion in September, as we were listening to the music, he would say “Mommy, that means this and this means that!”, obviously not in those exact words but I’m sure you get my meaning. He loves his new CD so much that he couldn’t wait to go to school and tell his teacher all about it.”

The Mommy Mix

“I’m so excited that Whistlefritz has released their newest French CD! When I was informed they released “Allons Danser!” – French Learning Songs I knew it would be another great addition to our curriculum!

We use the Cha, Cha, Cha! CD and the Dedans et Dehors DVD. I love their belief in exposing children to a second language while they are young ensures learning success, and that they continue to use the latest research on teaching children languages. They use techniques that are proven – and FUN! They have received many awards and continue to receive more!

We now incorporate it as part of circle time in our homeschool day as well and alternate the two CD’s. It also comes with a translation guide in the front of the CD as well as the lyrics in French and a list of vocabulary.

Allons Danser, which means “let’s dance” is definitely an appropriate title. The kids were so excited to receive another Whistlefritz DVD, and they are loving it! They love to get up and dance! We have had SO much fun! This is our time to dance and enjoy. Like with the other CD, I do not give full lessons, but rather use immersion as recommended. We do go over the vocabulary, and I often act out words in the songs which really helps.

Like Cha Cha Cha! the songs are repetitious. This has been so helpful in our children’s learning. All three children (ages 8, 6, and 4) already sing along to many of them! The songs cover quite a broad vocabulary including counting, parts of the body, daily routines, toys, greetings and salutations, weather, and more!

Something that took us by surprise with Allons Danser! is that it has a song with which we’re very familiar! “Le Vieux MacDonald.” When the kids heard the tune for “Old MacDonald,” they were SO excited! I found this was helpful because they already know the words to the English song, and if they weren’t sure which animal we were singing about, they could easily discover it when we sang the sound the animals make! It was such a fun discovery and is one of their favorite songs on the CD!

We are so excited for yet another great French CD from Whistlefritz! Whistlefritz does also offer numerous resources for Spanish education including Spanish education resources for homeschoolers. I cannot wait until the next French resource is introduced!”

Pea of Sweetness

“I absolutely love this CD! I have wanted my kids to learn French since they were born but they are so stubborn! Within 2 minutes of putting this in to listen to, my 6 yo was thrilled and spinning. I caught myself singling along too! I can speak French so I understood what was being sung. But for those that don’t speak it, there is a booklet that comes with it with the words and translations. This, I can tell, is going to be a long standing favorite CD in our home!”

Debra’s Random Rambles

“My daughter is just over 2 and she loves music. I was very excited to be approved for the cd Allons Danser! (Let’s dance!).

We do not speak French in our house, but the toddler has shown interest in listening to other languages, so we have been encouraging this. The new cd we received lets her enjoy the sound of French, along with some very catchy tunes.

The first time we listened to the cd my daughter started squealing and dancing around in circles. It is her way to show her joy, and it is a pretty awesome thing to behold. ( The minute the camera comes out she stops of course.)

When I sing along with the lyrics, she stops and watches me. This especially happens with “Le Vieux MacDonald (Old MacDonald)“. She recognizes that this is not the usual stuff I say and not the song she usually hears- but another language. She is pretty fascinated.

Right now she is just barely starting to sing along with songs, and I think this is going to be one of the ones she picks up fast. She enjoys the music so much! Eventually she will learn all the words, and we can talk about what it all means. There is a real learning opportunity here.

Mostly though, I love how she dances about. It is sometimes hard to motivate toddlers to move about when they know the television is right there, but she really likes this cd and it gets her moving.

Thanks so much to Whistlefritz for letting us review their awesome product!”

Itzybellababy

“…What I appreciate about these French CDs is their appealing world music and the song selections.

Cha Cha Cha was recorded by a pair of musicians with extensive jazz, Caribbean, and salsa backgrounds, so they transform (and translate) American songs like B-I-N-G-O and French classics like Sur le pont d’Avignon into catchy rhythms that I enjoy as much as my kids do.

Whistlefritz’s first French CD, Allons Danser!, was recorded by the same musician and another excellent female jazz vocalist, and while slightly less peppy, it features creative and original tunes that my daughter has begun to spontaneously sing long after the music has stopped.

Honestly, I would have loved to have both of these CDs when I was teaching high school French, because the songs cover many basic vocabulary topics (weather, professions, counting, etc.) while remaining extremely catchy and upbeat. Normally I don’t enjoy music recorded for language-learning purposes because it often lacks quality and contains only the most basic vocabulary phrases, but Whistlefritz has convinced my skeptical side that their music is enjoyable and worth buying.”

Intentional Mama

“As you might know, we are already a bilingual family. Living in Montréal, my husband speaks to Cub in French, as does our extended family and his gardienne (home day care Mama). Although I speak French and am a French-as-a-Second-Language teacher in another life, my mother tongue is English and I generally speak to Cub in English.

Even though I speak to him in English and I’m my son’s primary caregiver, his first words are all in French, so I’m not too worried about him mastering it. The reason I wanted to try this CD was because I’ve had many readers ask me about teaching their children French, and because my husband claims to know no French children’s songs.

I put the CD on for the first time in the car, and I liked it immediately: it’s important for children’s music to be pleasant to the ear for us parents, and I assure you the music on this CD is not irritating! Yes, the songs get stuck in your head, but guess what? If they’re stuck in your head, you’re learning French! (If you’ve got the Super Why theme stuck in your head, you’re not learning anything except that you hate Super Why…)

So, while the CD is intended to teach children French, it in no way has the feel of an educational/language-learning CD. It is, quite simply, a CD of songs in French for children. It would pass easily in a classroom full of native French speaking children, which is important. Authenticity is a critical part of language learning. (I have my B.Ed. in second-language teaching, you know!)

My favourite song on the CD is “Le Vieux MacDonald,” a French verison of “Old MacDonald.” Despite only knowing the song in English (or so I thought), Cub was immediately singing along with the animal noises and using his two favourite words (chat and chien, cat and dog). Turns out, one of his buddies at day care had been singing the French version, so it wasn’t Cub’s first time hearing the song!

My husband loves the CD too, and yesterday I caught him singing “Ma journée” (My Day),” a song about your daily routine.

The earlier kids get started learning French, the easier it will be for them. I took my first French classes in Grade 8, but I never forgot the few French songs and lessons I had in preschool. I recommend this CD wholeheartedly to introduce your kids to French and brush up on your own. The CD comes with translations of all the song lyrics, too!”

Maman Loup’s Den

“Prior to being a dad I taught ESL for two years. I’m a big proponent for children learning a second language ASAP. I also know that the best way to learn is total immersion. The problem with children learning a second language is that they start too late and it isn’t total immersion in some educational instances. Whistlefritz is a learning language program for children. Their Spanish program has been out for a while and we got the change to review some of their newly released French programs.

For now their French for Kids releases include a DVD, Dedans et Dehors (Inside and Out) and an audio CD, Allons Danser!, (Let’s Dance). These are total immersion programs, no English in the educational content at all – and that is why it’s so great at teaching kids a second language.

Our oldest is 4 years old and I speak all of the Spanish I know in front of him. “I don’t want to play I Spy in Spanish – in English!” is a frequent rallying cry from the back seat. It’s far from total immersion, but it’s a start that will help build his Spanish vocabulary and pronunciation as he continues to hear more.

Now I can do the same in French. Before receiving the Whistlefritz releases I spoke more French than Spanish and knew some Japanese too. Because I’m exposed to more Spanish that was easiest for me. However, since listening to Allons Danser by Whistlefritz my French is back and I’m able to sing along with the songs.

But I don’t speak any bit of a second language you say to yourself.

In the liner notes of the CD are basic vocabulary in French and English. Within a couple listens you’ll be able to break down the words in the songs, anticipate them in the songs and then be able to use them around the house. Really.

The French for Kids DVD: Dedans et Dehors is just as effective in teaching. There are no English subtitles when they’re teaching vocabulary. If the host is teaching you ‘pomme’ then they’ll show you an apple and say “pomme“, “une pomme“. The host will then ask you, “tu’ame une pomme?” The children on the video say “Oui! J’aime des pommes!” My spoken French is passable, my written French needs work, but you get the idea.

From an educational point of view both French for Kids: Dedans et Dehors and Allons Danser are exceptional. Adult music purists will point out that the music in Allons Danser is kind of sing songy and features very similar song structure. However, it’s important to remember that this is intended for children. More importantly, they, the children, enjoy listening to it. Our oldest even brought his xylophone into the car so that he can play along with the song.”

Daddy Mojo

“My daughter has been learning Latin and Spanish since she was in kindergarten and I am happy to now say that she is adding French to that list as well. Her Latin and Spanish have been part of her schooling and now we are learning some French together at home.

Recently I was sent a copy of Wistlefritz French Learning Songs on CD and their French for Kids DVD. I enjoy learning new things and the songs and the way that they teach the kids is so upbeat. My daughter and I could not resist dancing along to the music on the CD and laughing and learning along with the DVD. This is honestly something I would purchase for her in the future now that I have seen how well they really do work. My daughter might not know the exact words she is singing yet but she is able to sing along with the songs easily and she loves it!”

Heavenly Savings and Homemaking

“A few months ago I got the chance to review the French DVD for Kids Dedans et Dehors from Whistlefritz.

This time we got to sing and dance along with Allons Danser! (Let’s Dance!) from Whistlefritz.

Allons Danser! is a French music CD with irresistible rhythms and catchy songs that introduce French words and phrases such as numbers, parts of the body and children’s favorite topics.

My kids have been having a blast listening to the songs, and I love that they are learning while doing it. The songs are upbeat, and fun to listen to, and at the same time, they are learning.

Fluent in French myself, I really appreciate the fact that the songs are sang by native French speakers.

I also really enjoyed seeing traditional French songs such as “La Barbichette“, mixed with traditional American songs translated in French such as “Le Vieux MacDonald (Old MacDonald)“.

This is a fun CD to listen to at home or in the car, and also a great product to use in addition to other materials to learn French.”

Kids and Deals

As a dance teacher and a mama, I have listened to a lot of children’s music. Some of it’s tolerable, a good portion of it is awful (annoying music, poorly written lyrics, “tinny” vocals, etc.), but there are some gems that make me smile. This is one of those gems. I could listen to Allons Danser ! over and over again and not feel like I was going crazy. In fact, I enjoy the music myself!

Let’s dance!” (or “Allons danser !“) is a phrase our family already says often, but this CD gets us dancing even more. Every time I start it, someone starts dancing — the boys, my husband, myself, or my mom or dad! It’s upbeat and fun and you really can’t help not dancing while it’s playing. Since we’ve listened to it frequently over the last couple of weeks, I’ve even heard Callan running through the house singing some sort of French gibberish, and I could tell what song he was trying to mimic.

Some of the songs are ones you will probably be familiar with, such as Old MacDonald and Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes. Other songs, such as It’s Not a Party Without Cake (Y’a Pas de Fête Sans Gateau) will likely be new to you. I think our favorites are Les Doigts, Les Petits Poissons, and En Haut, En Bas, which is perfect for using in dance classes. You can hear samples of the different tracks on the Whistlefritz website. The CD insert includes the lyrics in French, as well as the translation in English.

When I received my CD from Whistlefritz (that company name makes me smile), they also sent along a printed copy of the Six Tips for Ensuring Second Language Learning Success for Kids from their website. I was already aware of tips such as exposing children early, and immersing your kids in the language if possible. But the one suggestion I really loved was to “skip the translation.” It makes complete sense, but I had never thought about it before.

As parents, when we teach our kids a second language, we tend to point at an object and say it in both our native language and the language we want our children to learn, in an effort to help them connect the new word to the familiar object. However, we’re also told that we need to think in that new language — rather than running words through an English-French translator in our heads, we should just know the French words. As babies, we learn our native tongue without having anything else to compare it to, so it makes sense that we should learn a second language the same way.

McMama Says – mcmamasays.com

My Review:

First I have to totally apologize for not reviewing this the second I got it and fell in love with it… Rue (my 2 year old) somehow managed to get into my pile of “To Review” stuff and several items went missing… not the CD,  but that’s in the car and we all know about out of sight and out of mind… sigh.

Anyways, I love the CD. Since I’m first generation here in the grand ol’ US of A, and my maman was from France, I try hard to keep the language and at least some of the traditions alive for my kids… even if they think I’m a little nutty for it.

We had the pleasure of getting to review the other CD and DVD in the French section and my kids loved- even thought my 6 year old was a little leery at first I totally caught him stopping to watch the little mouse and sing along. HA!

This CD travels a lot with us and I always try to bring it back in the house. In the car, it plays and the kids sing along as they do other things (clearly the words are getting through!) and I love hearing them in the seat behind me. It really makes me smile. When I bring it back in the house and crack up the tunes, my daughter is the first to start dancing to it.

Since the songs are familiar, it really makes it easy for them to catch the tunes and roll with it. You can totally hear them switch between the two languages without even pausing.

If you want a great way to teach your kids French (and I suspect their Spanish ones are just as amazing) then check out this CD and the parts offered! SO GOOD!

Jesse Kimmel-Freeman, The Insane Ramblings of a Crazed Writer