I’ve always struggled with traditional methods of learning stuff. I’ve always been the kind of student that always had to look for my own way of doing things in school. It didn’t matter if it was Math, History, or English, my thing was that I had to find a way of making those subjects interesting to learn. Fast forward a few years (ok, maybe more than a few, lol), now I have so many English students with the same problem: studying English isn’t fun for them. Well, if you’re one of those students, tag along! I might be able to help you.
One thing that is almost as universally accepted as pizza (or popcorn), is probably music. Who doesn’t like music, right? We all have different tastes in it, but we all appreciate it. Music is something fun, exciting, and sometimes it can even be a great tool to learn a new language.
Think about it: if you listen to a pop song you’ll most likely learn lots of vocabulary words, “new” words being used currently in the language, and pronunciation. If you like rap, think about how many slangs you can learn in just 3 minutes? In this post, I’ll teach you four of many ways of learning the language through music that really helped me in the past, and it still helps me as I try to learn new languages (Ich lerne Deustch, or at least I try). Ready?
Choose a song you love.
Yes, this is a very important first step. Don’t just choose a song you like, choose a song you love. Choose the kind of song you would listen to for days. This will help you with one of the most important points in this: repetition. It is crucial that you are able to listen to the same song as many times as you can so you can retain as much information as possible.
Look for the lyrics in English and in your native language.
This is also a great thing: comparing your native language to your target language. With this, you’ll be able to see the similarities and differences from both languages, which will help you in the long term. This idea will also help you learn vocabulary, which is one of the goals in learning with music.
Take notes (with a pen)!
So many of my students simply don’t take notes anymore. They just type everything in their computers or smartphones, and although I’m a tech head, there’s nothing like writing what you want to remember. So, in this case, when you learn a new word, write it down. Another thing I recommend is having a notebook just for new vocabulary and learning English with music. This can help you review those words in the future in an easier way.
This is probably the best part of it all. It’s the part where you get to practice pronunciation. The good thing about learning with music is that you minimize the need of a tutor, because the singer will model the correct pronunciation for you. Sometimes, the vocalist may change the stressed syllable or the way of pronouncing a word to make it sound better, so having someone who understands English is always beneficial.