How music can help you improve your language skills

Growing up in a musical home, I always had a passion for music, and so I tried to find and create a connection between these artistic mediums.Obviously, there is a close relation between poetry and lyrics. But songs and their lyrics can be even more helpful in learning a language. Why?

– Usually a simple and everyday language is used
– Listening to a song and singing along will improve your pronunciation
– Reading lyrics will enrich your vocabulary
– Music will help you understand the culture of your target language better
– You will learn stressed (accented) and non-stressed syllables of words
– Writing your own lyrics, well, that just helps for everything. Finding rhymes will enrich your vocabulary. Lyrics are short texts, so it is less effort than writing a long story.

I recommend: Think of a topic, an idea, what you would like to write a song (or poem) about. Make a list of words you already know in your target language. The internet will be your best friend: there you will find rhymes, synonyms, …Let´s say you want to write about “winter season”. A thesaurus will give you all kinds of related words, words you wouldn’t even think about. Now write down your basic idea, 10 words and rhymes for these 10 words. Think of a rhyme scheme, something like abab or abba. Read the words out loud, where do you emphasize the word? Where are your stressed (accented) and non-stressed syllables? How many stressed syllables do you want to have in each verse? (Pat Pattison, 2009: Writing better lyrics). This will help you a lot with your pronunciation and with getting a feeling for how to emphasize words in other languages.

Ok, now double check the articles of your nouns, the cases you used and make a list of all your new words. Or just start singing your lyrics, and you will never forget this new vocabulary again.
Feeling overwhelmed? Start writing a short song for kids. And most importantly: Have fun!

Find out more about how music can improve your ability to learn languages!