Does your pronunciation sound amazingly gringo? Listening to music is a great way to hear the unique sounds of Spanish. Not only will your listening and speaking skills get better, but you'll also be able to understand what others say more easily.
What a nightmare! Can you imagine life without music? No rhythm, no harmony, no melody. Horror movies would be ordinary, action movies would be dull, romance would lack the sweetness. Birds could not sing. Walking down the aisle in silence. Dancing in silence. That sounds horrible.
Learning Spanish with music is a dream come true. That same rhythm, pitch, harmony, tone, melody of music is also found in language. And every language has a unique sound that cannot be explained in print. Listening to music in Spanish is the answer.
By listening to Spanish songs, learners boost all their language skills. Music trains your ear to distinguish the different sounds of Spanish. And every other skill - speaking, reading and writing gets stronger too. You'll understand more and sound better when you speak Spanish.
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What does music teach you about Spanish?
Learning Spanish with music is a great way to improve all your language skills, including memory and thinking. Listening to music creates new language pathways in the brain. In fact, Spanish music is one of the best language sources for auditory learners. They learn best with listening, talking, singing and rhythm.
The truth is everyone benefits from using music to learn Spanish. As you'll see below research shows that music is a powerful learning tool. But first, let's see why music should be a part of your Spanish study plan.
Music improves language skills
Just google search music and language learning research and tons of research proves the benefits of listening to music. Songs are good for us. They have a positive impact on our mood, life enjoyment and yes, of course learning. Especially Spanish learning language.
Music and language go hand in hand. Both music and language have a sound structure with grammar, harmony and rhythm. So, naturally the two complement each other with some pretty amazing benefits.
Benefits of listening to music for language learners
Here's what the researchers prove in the branch of neuromusicology, the study of the effects of music on the nervous system (the brain, nerves, senses). In other words, how music affects the learning processes, specifically language learning for us.
Music improves your...
- Understanding new sound structures and speech - listening skills (phonological perception)
- Pronunciation - speaking the new set of sounds - speaking skills (phonological production)
- Enhanced reading comprehension - reading skills
- Sound and speech processing in the brain - thinking skills (phonological processing)
- Increased vocabulary to understand and express (verbal working memory)
- Naming of words - verbal and written expression skills
My focus is specifically on the benefits of music for growing listening, speaking, reading and writing skills to be able to use Spanish in your real life. Listening is the foundational skill. Spanish has a unique set of sounds, pitch, rhythm, duration, and words.
How does music help learn languages?
Naturally, by listening actively to songs, your brain is doing some advanced work picking up all those details. That's stuff you can't put into writing.
Boost your listening and speaking skills with music
From listening to music, you train your ear to distinguish the different sounds. This means you can understand others speech better. You will recognize the new sounds. And what's probably more challenging is how the words emphasized and blended in conversations.
Then, once those differences are learned, you'll learn how to say the new sounds accurately. Pronunciation makes a big difference in how well others can understand you. Your speaking skills will grow too.
Music improves memory and learning
This is the gift that keeps on giving your whole life - longevity for your mind. Learning a second language creates new pathways in the brain. You get smarter and sharper in your thinking. It's mental exercise that keeps your mind fit.
Now that you know the benefits...
How to Learn Spanish with Music
This is the fun part - listening to music. I mean active listening for a purpose. This requires engagement of the mind and senses through your choice of activity. First, you need some Spanish songs. I give you an easy start with this free playlist.
Get Latin Artists 101 Playlist
Spanish songs to learn Spanish
Everyone has their preference of music genre. Some are eclectic and others are picky. You remember in high school there were groups of punk rockers with long hair, hip hop with big pants... Well this playlist has many of the great Latin singers and songwriters.
There is salsa, boleros, pop, indie, ranchera, golden age, rock, mambo made by artists from all the Latin American countries (plus a couple from Spain). Use this playlist to discover artists and music styles you've never heard of before. Choose your favorites and go from there.
Find Your Favorite Artists and Genre
What should I listen to to learn Spanish?
You will love learning Spanish with music and get the most benefits with your favorite songs. Find your favorites. From the artists on the playlist, explore the rest of the album and their other albums. A list of similar artists will appear below the current song.
Listen to the song, then
- The other songs on same album
- Other albums by the same artist
- Similar artists
- The songs in the genre
By doing this you can create your own custom playlist of music you enjoy listening to.
Learn Spanish with song lyrics
For beginners, the biggest challenge is not understanding what the words mean. Get comfortable with feeling lost. Turn it around and let that feeling be your signal - THIS IS SOMETHING I NEED TO LEARN. Let that thought guide your discovery process.
The power of learning with music is through repetition and active listening.
I've never used it but this app looks like a great way to focus on the lyrics while listening https://lyricstraining.com/es
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Activities to Grow All Spanish Language Skills
These activities are ways for you to turn the listening experience into a powerful learning experience. Through engagement you will create new language pathways, growing your thinking and memory of sounds and words. As you listen pick up on different sounds and new words and phrases.
TOP TEN SPANISH MUSIC LISTENING ACTIVITIES
Whichever activity you choose, combining reading, saying, listening and writing gives the most widespread benefits. Here it is Letterman style:
10. Listen and read the lyrics
9. Copy the lyrics with pen and paper
8. Imitate a sound you've never heard before
7. Repeat a new word
6. Play musical chairs with your kids or group
5. Stop the music and finish singing that part
4. Watch a music video to see how they pronounce the sounds and words
3. Recite the lyrics like a poetry reading
2. Listen and repeat while you exercise
1. Listen and sing
As you include Spanish music into your study routine, you'll see massive growth in all your language skills. Your conversations will be smoother and you'll see your pronunciation improve. Regularly adding in some listening time with an activity will really get you engaged with the Spanish language and create new thinking pathways for lifetime benefits.