Stimulates the mind. Have you ever found yourself singing along to a new song or reciting a line from a movie? You might find that familiar songs trigger memories from the past. It is said that music can affect neurological, psychological and physical areas of the brain. Studies have shown that even advanced Alzheimer’s and dementia patients also benefit from musical stimulation. Music is such a complex neural stimulus that it affects the functions of learning, processing language, emotion, and memory. Why not use music to retain information and enhance learning? And hey, it just puts you in a better mood for learning!
Singing is engaging! Learning lyrics increases vocabulary. Songs often contain typical phrases which make it easier to learn words. Before the Internet, I forced myself to follow a set of lyrics to the beat of the music as best as I could. If you’re learning a new language it can definitely be a challenge but it might help you learn faster than you think! It’s similar to speed-reading! Technology is so great because now you can watch lyric videos on YouTube or download language learning apps that provide lyrics for you. Be proactive and don’t shy away from any tool that can help you learn!
Better pronunciation. Reduce your foreign-sounding accent. If you do have an accent, singing often smooths them out. Listening and following along a native is a great way to improve. Suggestion: Record yourself reading or singing the lyrics and play it back. Compare the original song to your own recording. Do you hear a difference? Listen and repeat until you get it, after all practice makes perfect!
Listening improves comprehension. Listen, listen, listen! Every minute of your effort counts. And I say this because there’s nothing more frustrating than trying your hardest to hear new words or a phrase and not understand one bit of it. But it won’t happen overnight and some things are learnt best without short cuts. Once you get your Eureka! moment, learning becomes even more fun. Put in the time and effort and open those ears! Tip: Listen to things that interest you. There are lots to choose from: podcasts, audio books, radio programs, recorded TV shows, if you have a tutor try recording your lesson and review it at home. Take turns reading movie scripts with clear, short dialogues and switch up characters for extra practice.
It’s fun! Listening to music is positive and enjoyable. It inspires emotion, moors learning in memory, and lowers stress levels that inhibit learning. So turn it up and start learning some new words!
We’d love to hear about any movies, songs, tools, or stories about how you got to learn a new language!