Updated: Oct 26, 2020
Let's talk about MUSIC
“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.”
― Albert Einstein
Do you enjoy listening to music? I do. Recently, I learned that music is good for my health.
In this post, I want to talk about music and how it can improve your health as well as your English.
I've always enjoyed music. It has always been an important part of my life. Consequently, it came natural for me to use songs to learn German, Spanish and Italian. What I didn't realize was that scientific researchers have evidence that shows music improves memory, reduces stress, improves the quality of sleep, and helps us stay healthy.
So, now, I have excellent reasons to sing Nena's "99 Luftballons" under the shower. 😉
If you don't use music to learn a language, here are five reasons you should consider adding learning song lyrics to your day and remember, you must sing them out loud. ;-)
#1 Music is sticky
Have you ever heard a song that you may not have liked, but it stuck in your head for an extended period of time? I certainly have. That's because music is sticky. A simple upbeat melody or catchy repetitive lyric will help your brain create new synapses and associate meaning and feelings to a specific English colloquium, expression, or word.
# 2 Music improves your pronunciation
Singing along with your favorite English songs will help you learn how to pronounce English words accurately and will also help improve your intonation and fluency. You will learn more about the rhythm of sentences and how to link your words together when you speak. Pronunciation is physical, so remember to sing the song out loud. You don't need to learn the whole song at once, but if you learn parts of the song in small chunks, it allows you to hone into specific sounds, one verse at a time.
#3 Music helps you learn new vocabulary
Listening to music will help you learn new vocabulary. You are more likely to remember new words and expressions because you'll use them in a specific context. Hearing a language spoken in songs will help you recognize how expressions, intonation and form are used, from employing poetic devices to understanding an informal style that you can't learn in the classroom.
#4 Music helps you learn about grammar
You might think that you should learn grammar in a very structured way, but listening to music will help you remember grammar patterns and learn how to use grammar correctly in everyday conversation.
#5 It helps you learn about a new culture
Every culture has its form of music as it is an ultimate form of art; it's a moment of celebration, a type of expression. It's a powerful tool to understand how different people communicate in a fun and lighthearted way.
So, (1) go ahead and choose a song that you like, look for the lyrics on websites like www.lyrics.com or www.azlyrics.com and (2) translate the whole song or words you don't understand. (3) While you listen to the song, read the terms and (4) analyze any new grammatical structures. It's amazing what you'll discover. Sometimes the music is quite upbeat and joyful, but once you translate the words, you may find a very profound work of art. The most important aspect of this whole process is that you will enjoy small victories once you start understanding more and more of what you hear.
I hope this has been helpful and if you'd care to join my Musical Mondays, then please sign up to the English Coach community. I'll be sending you a new song each Monday. If you have any musical preferences, I'd love to hear them. Just write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.