Music and Language Learning. Does it help?

Language, Learning

During your language learning journey, you may have been told to listen to music. The concept is that music would help you learn a new language with ease. Let’s review this statement in a phased manner.

Science behind music and learning in general.

Firstly, does music help in general learning? You may have been exposed to savants’ and awe inspiring footage of young musicians playing the violin or piano. But does this affirm the concept that music helps in learning?

Musical training or general music appreciation has significant impacts to brain development. By playing, listening or appreciating music, many regions of the brain are activated.

Playing, listening or even appreciating music exercises your brain. This in turn stimulates stronger neural connections. All in all, a nimbler brain can tackle learning and language lessons with greater ease.


Learning a new language through songs

Can we make use of music and songs, to help us learn a new language? Yes, but with limitations. As we have affirmed, music in general helps with general learning.

Let’s explore how we can make use of the science of music and songs to learn a new language.


Science behind music and language learning

How does music help with learning a new language? It is important to note that music aids memory in language learning. Learning a new language requires the student to learn new words and vocabulary.

In a recent study by Dr. Roediger – Research participants made bigger strides in acquiring Hungarian when they sang their new language. Dr. Roediger’s research notes that music creates a sticky structure that gloms to key information and helps it all get extracted when you need it.

What is a “sticky structure” ? Remember learning the order of the alphabet? You would have learnt a catchy tune in kindergarten to remember the order of the alphabet. This tune would have remained with you through adulthood to help in recall.


Making use of music to learn a new language

So now that we understand that music can aid in learning a new language and is a useful tool to spur you on your journey.

How can we use music and songs to help? Let us explore 3 simple ways and tips to spur you on your melodious journey to a new language.

1. Pick songs that you enjoy!

This should be pretty straightforward. Listen to some songs in the language you wish to learn. Find artistes or genres that either soothes you after work or you would be able to “rock” to at work.

You would most likely already know the songs you prefer in English or your native tongue. But finding similar songs in your chose new language may prove to be difficult.

These music applications may prove to help you explore the different songs,

  • Spotify
  • Pandora
  • iTunes
  • YouTube Music

2. Get the original lyrics and translations

There are different approaches to learning your new favourite song. You may prefer to memorise the lyrics verbatim without reading through the translation. You may be than listening to the lyrics whilst reading the translation.

No matter the approach you take, having both the original lyrics and translation side-by-side will help you to understand the song and the meaning behind the song. This in turn will help you pick up a few phrases as well as vocabulary that you can use in your chosen new language.

3. Have fun with it

Don’t be compelled to churn through a song and feel overwhelmed by the phrases used whilst ad-libbing. Break the song into phrases. Learn the catchy chorus, and slowly build into each verse.

Last but not least, “SING!” Don’t be bashful, tap and sing to your new favourite song in the shower or whilst driving.

Learn to sing a few songs in the new language you have chosen, and in no time you will have a playlist.


Learn with us!

At Agape School of Education, we understand that learning a new language can be difficult. We are here to help! Through our experienced educators we ensure that you learn the language you have chosen with ease.

Expose yourself to a new language at Agape School of Education through our carefully crafted Courses. Find a language you’re keen on learning through our Courses and begin your language learning experience with us. Invest in your SkillsFuture credit with us!



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