“Cuentos y Canciones: Mama Edie’s Monolingual & Bilingual Storytelling, Percussion and Songs

“Cuentos y Canciones: Mama Edie’s Monolingual & Bilingual Storytelling, Percussion and Songs Logo

Basic Information

Address: P.O. Box 178153, Chicago, IL 60617
Phone Number: (773) 879-6773
Fax Number: N/A
Director: Mama Edie McLoud Armstrong

Action Shots

“Cuentos y Canciones: Mama Edie’s Monolingual & Bilingual Storytelling, Percussion and Songs
“Cuentos y Canciones: Mama Edie’s Monolingual & Bilingual Storytelling, Percussion and Songs
“Cuentos y Canciones: Mama Edie’s Monolingual & Bilingual Storytelling, Percussion and Songs
“Cuentos y Canciones: Mama Edie’s Monolingual & Bilingual Storytelling, Percussion and Songs

* Click each thumbnail for a larger version.

Additional Information

Focus: Storytelling for Personal Empowerment, Language, Literacy & Cultural Pride
Grade Levels: Pre-K, K-5
Length: 45 minute performances; 90 minute workshops

Unlimited domestic and international bookings available. Travel and/or overnight accommodations charges may apply outside of the Chicago Metropolitan area.

Pricing: $300 minimum for pre-schools. Most elementary school bookings: $500 minimum. Other settings negotiated individually. Multiple schools booking within 2 days of each other or as part of a tour week may split the travel and/or overnight accommodations fee. Recommendations that result in confirmed bookings may reduce the cost for the originating client and the additional schools or other venues as well. Tour bookings may be combined with other schools, public libraries, museums, universities, community centers, etc. Family Literacy Nights, Cultural Festivals and weekend events may be included.

Exploring Language & Literacy through Storytelling and Song
Fun and Phonics through Storytelling, Music & Movement
I Love Myself! (stories that explore the empowerment of truly loving yourself and others)
Boca Linda, the Shrinking Girl (original stories inspired by traditional song from Trinidad)
Tropical Dreams (imaginative stories inspired by Caribbean and African lands)
El Dia de los Tres Reyes (Three Kings Day: Puerto Rico, Cuba)
Tribute to African, Latin & Native American Cousins of the Caribbean, Europe & the Americas
Of Beauties and Beasts (stories that suggest what true beauty is)
When the Animals in Africa Could Speak (Ananse stories and more!)
It’s Kwanzaa Time!!
Embracing Diversity and Loving It (workshop for corporate and other professional entities)
Celebrating el Cinco de Mayo (May 5th, Mexico)
Bringing History to Life through Rhythm, Story and Rhyme!
Rhythmical Rhyming Tribute to the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters
Ballin’ the Jack, Langston Hughes & the Revival of the Harlem Renaissance
El Dia de los Muertos
Dream a Little Dream with Me (participatory stories and songs for our elders)
Finding the Light Inside (stories that celebrate the discovery and importance of our uniqueness)
Long Live Planet Earth!
Spiritual, Healing Stories and Songs from Around the World
Finding the Stories That Need to be Told (workshop for older children and adults)
Original Story of the Cherokee Cradleboard (Inspired by John York’s Cherokee Cradleboard Song)
The Trail of Tears: How Escaped, Enslaved Africans and the Seminole and Cherokee Became Family
Healing through Intentional Language, Silence and Sound (may include guided meditation)
Exploring Stories Behind Works of Art (for art museums and special exhibits)
Speech and Language Development (What’s normal? What’s Not? What Can I Do?)
So, Who Speaks the King’s English Anyway? (Understanding the Potential Power of Cultural Dialects and the
Ability to Code-Switch)
Messages from the Native American Medicine Wheel: Wisdom of the Animals and All of our Relations
The Message is in the Music (analytical workshop for adolescents and young adults)
Joy Will Come in the Morning! On-Site One Day Educators Retreat for Self-Awareness and Personal Power
through Silence and Sound

Residencies: Any of the workshops listed may be developed as residencies as well.
Setup: 15 minutes
Takedown: 15 minutes
Equipment: 4' - 6' rectangular table and microphone requested of hosting venue. Multicultural musical instruments, cultural dolls, age-appropriate books for reference and display will be provided by the performer. Power point may be provided for specific programs.
Special Requirements: a performance area that is clean and with minimal distraction from highly engaging and/or loud activities nearby

Mama Edie's Most Frequently Requested Shows!

ǃCuentos y Canciones! Interactive Bilingual Stories, Songs & Percussion
These are bilingual performances blending Spanish and English in stories, games and songs from Latin American countries. English-speaking children may learn the importance of speaking another language in stories such as the Cuban Folktale of a mouse who saved her family's life by learning to bark! Spanish-speaking children and their families will have the pleasure of experiencing how other people can enjoy their cultures! Spanish and English speakers together will come to see that learning each other's language isn't as hard as they might have thought! And so much FUN!!
Objectives: cultural enrichment; expressive language development; comprehensive language development; public speaking skills; clear speech articulation; geography; history; cultural literature/folklore

The Magic of the Talking Drum!
This program welcomes children to experience the famous Talking Drum of West Africa. They will begin to understand how a drum can actually talk and even saved lives in the past! They will also learn to play the drum so that they too can make it SPEAK!! Stories from Ghana, West Africa, the Caribbean Islands, African Americans and First Nations cultures of the US will be shared around the power of the drum.
Objectives: music appreciation; expressive language development; comprehensive language development; history; geography; cultural enrichment; FUN!

Language, Literacy, Storytelling & Song!
To effectively communicate our thoughts, feelings and ideas is like gold! Children will become the detectives as they figure out how to "crack the code," moving from cultural dialects to Standard English and back again! They must figure out missing words or parts of words that will help them to solve the mystery of the way the story ends! Then they will celebrate their victory with percussion, dancing and songs!

Objectives: Expressive and comprehensive language development; closure skills; auditory perception; phonemic awareness; speech articulation; critical thinking skills; imagination; FUN!

History, Mystery & Cultural Pride!
With the use of multi-cultural instruments and dolls, this program energetically relives the lives and events of world history that your children probably never knew and in ways that they may have never seen before! They TOO become a part of the story and come to see how they are connected to history, why knowledge of history and their connection to it matters and why they too are important at this point in time. Some programs may include power point with video or photo images from Mama Edie's world travels and performances.

Objectives: world history, geography, critical thinking skills, imagination, personal empowerment, self-esteem, cultural awareness and pride; FUN!

One Same Family: Social & Environmental Justice
Explore what it feels like to "walk in someone else's shoes," to live as someone from another culture, lifestyle or from another part of the world. This program includes true stories, folktales and fiction to inspire children to see each other - and all of creation - as family and to stand up for justice in every day ways. Students will help to create group stories and songs, also exploring the music and sounds of nature and of our many other environments. From Mama Edie's African and Native American ancestries, lessons through story from the Native American and West African Medicine Wheels will be provided and their similarities explored.

Objectives: cultural awareness and pride, multicultural families, animal study, insects, the earth, critical thinking skills, imagination, personal empowerment, self-esteem

These stories can help audiences to see how a child born with polio, and was often teased, later learned to walk, saved his country from its conquerors, became king and the first emperor of Mali, West Africa! Mansa Sundiata Keita was called the Lion King!! These stories also explore the lives of children who once could not see their own beauty, power or light but then in amazing ways, came to find light inside themselves - and learned to let it shine!
Objectives: self-esteem; bullying; critical thinking skills; disability sensitivity; cultural sensitivity; bi-racial/bicultural sensitivity; comprehensive and receptive language development; history through storytelling; geography
This performance, workshop or residency is especially designed to give students ample time to BE the storyteller themselves!! They will be guided through story starters, plot and character development, vocal dynamics, facial and other bodily expressions, creating short chants and melodies to support the story, and exploring the reasons of why one tells stories in the first place.

Objectives: creative and critical thinking skills; expressive language development; sequencing of events; conflict resolution; self-esteem; oral speech development; dynamics of public speaking; enhancement of imagination

Mission Statement:

Mama Edie is the Singing, SIGNING, Spanish-Speaking, Storytelling, Percussion Playing Speech Pathologist who is on a mission to excite a love, wonder and appreciation for the power of story and words, of silence and sound, and the many fun ways they can learn to ignite their own imaginings in order to create the world they want to live in.

Philosophy/Belief Statement: Mama Edie believes that we are all of one same family. Through the power of our words, we can build bridges that move us beyond any perceptions of our differences to the creation of a world that we will all treasure, protect and enjoy.
Program History:

Mama Edie Productions have been provided for more than 25 years, evolving from a profession as a speech and language pathologist in the schools after coming to realize that her children needed much more than articulation and language therapy. So, she began writing stories, songs, poetry and plays that spoke to her children's apparent needs as she incorporated the focus of her IEP (Individualized Education Plan) objectives into the creation of these stimulus activities.
When Mama Edie left the Chicago Public School system in 1989, colleagues began to ask her to provide for a fee what she had done for 11 years simply as part of her language therapy programs, which featured her therapy students in assembly programs and engaged them on various field trips around the city. These included horseback riding, cultural arts festivals and cable TV presentations on weekends. Mama Edie has performed in museums, universities and in the corporate sector; has been featured at national and international storytelling festivals, on PBS TV and radio; and was interviewed by and is now archived with The History Makers. Some of her original stories have been published, as well as various articles on topics such as speech and language development, literacy and cultural pride through storytelling and music; techniques on how to reach multi-lingual audiences; and of a storyteller's experience as an invited guest to an international peace conference in 2017 in Iraq. She has performed in countries such as Ghana, West Africa; Trinidad; India; Mexico; South Africa; Togo; Benin and throughout the US. She serves as a university guest lecturer for children's literature courses and uses the power of story and song to help listeners to learn to walk through life situations with confidence, moving them to a place of personal empowerment, self-love, joy and peace.

Testimonials: Your sensitivity to the kids is palpable in your close interactions with them, in your choice of activities and in your storytelling. “ - Kay Berkson, Founder, Changing Worlds, Arts in Education Organization April 2016. “That was an amazing assembly! Mama Edie is something! What a wonderful real life perspective. Bravo to you and your (planning) team!” - L. Barnes, Lake Forest Country Day School - January 2019 (per Nicky Pitman, Lake Forest Drama Teacher). “That was AMAZING!!!!!” - Louisa, 8th Grade Parent, Lake Forest Country Day School “Louisa, who seldom sings high praises, LOVED the time with Mama Edie! Well done!” -M, Teacher at Lake Forest Country Day School. "It is sometimes hard to appeal to such a massive and diverse audience. However, you had the entire IMSA Community on the edge of their seats, yearning to hear more and to walk in your shoes, if only for a few minutes. You definitely made IMSA’s MLK Celebration very special! Thank you again and we welcome you back at any time!" - Adrienne Coleman, Multicultural Education Specialist, Illinois Math and Science Academy, Aurora, IL. “I’ve never seen colleagues so engaged in a workshop activity in my entire professional career!” – Brenda Dobbins Noel, The Ounce of Prevention Fund