El Abuelo / The Tree & The Donkey Who Loved to Sing

Type: Assembly
Art Form: Music
Grade Level: TK-8
Scheduling Request

This bilingual, highly participatory and original story explodes with the song, ancient musical instruments, poly-rhythms, and sweet characters of Mexican traditional music and dance. The audience will sing like owls, dance like vultures and laugh with the humorous “Abuelo”. Improvisation, inventiveness, life cycles of nature, and the making of musical instruments and song are strong themes highlighted in this program. (Trio)

In a bilingual weave that entices participation, the duet tells the story of a lonely tree and a donkey who loves to sing. Their communication is the percussive dance of the tree and the rhythms of the donkey jaw bone. Their music attracts the birds, the animals and one special human: Abuelito (grandfather). The life cycle turns and with the donkey’s jaw bone and the wood of the tree abuelito makes musical instruments; the dance of his townsfolk in community echoes the heartbeat of the tree. Children and their families are invited to sing, dance and play with traditional songs and dance pieces from different regions of Mexico. At the end, the audience is invited to touch and play the instruments, or for larger assemblies, a 5-10 minute Q & A is offered.

“El Abuelo” is a beautiful gift to any child and parent. The bilingual storytelling is intelligently engaging, featuring charming characters full of artistry, music and fun. The kids eagerly completed el abuelito’s sentences and couldn’t wait to get on stage – which they did, several times." Leida Tolentino, UCSB MultiCultural Center

For a preview of Cascada de Flores, please click below:


Photo credit: Maurice Ramírez, Permissions: Rhythmix Cultural Works

Length: 45 Minutes
Audience Size: Up to 500
Curriculum Connection: Identity and Historical connections, Spanish, Indigenous & African Influences in Mexican/Latina Culture, Instrument Making, Music, Community Building, STEM, Storytelling, Creative Movement

$1,170/up to two back-to-back assemblies

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