Music to your ears
Forget the old boring idea of the textbook and the dictionary! There are different ways to learn a language apart from the traditional ones. And yes, you’re right – today I will be talking about music.
We all know the benefits of music. It can change our mood, reduce stress and improve motivation. And we love it! But, how can this be related to learning? Research suggests that language learners’ skills are greatly improved when memorising to music. You can read it here and here. Music stimulates memory, improves comprehension and if you also sing along, it can increase your vocabulary and improve pronunciation. So far, so good!
Let’s look at some resources and websites that can help you achieve these goals:
No matter how difficult to remember Spanish grammar might be, just find the right catchy tune and you will remember it forever! My beginners’ greatest hits so far are:
- The alphabet song: I am sure that the minute you listen to it, you will get an awkward conga dance feeling. Don’t fight it back! Join in, sing along and dance if you feel like it. Ok, maybe it is not your cup of tea in terms of music style but, I can guarantee that this catchy tune will get stuck in your head and you will never forget the Spanish alphabet.
- Pronouns’ paradise: Do you remember Coolio’s Gangster’s paradise? If you do, you will find really easy to learn Spanish pronouns with this new version (“Yo is I, and then there’s tú, don’t you know that’s the informal you? The formal you is called usted, you gotta get the difference in your head’). Don’t worry if you don’t know the original song, the rhythm will immediately catch you and you will memorise the uses of Spanish pronouns regardless.
- Princess of ser: From the producers of Pronoun’s paradise, we welcome this Fresh Prince of Bel Air version on the conjugation of the verb ser. If you find it too fast to follow, you can choose this other song, slow paced and with a tune that will also be familiar to you.
- Estar+Gerundio: Presented as a silent film with rap singing over it, this video explains how to form the present progressive and how to conjugate the verb estar. After listening to it, you can try to make up your own version!
Vocabulary and listening skills
Fill in the gaps in the lyrics is not a new idea, but being able to do it online and to the sound of some of the best known Spanish speaking artists, it is great! On Lyrics Training you can choose different languages to practise. I know, you are fans of Spanish, but it can also be helpful for those of you learning or speaking other languages. For each song you will be given different levels to choose: beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert. Depending on the difficulty you will have to fill in more or less gaps.
On Profe de Ele you can also find songs amongst other interesting resources for students. Songs are already divided into levels according to the CEFR levels. Choose one on your level and extend yourself by trying a song slightly above it. It’s up to you! You can fill in the gaps online and download extra activities.
No matter what your level is, listening to music in the language that you are learning will always be an enjoyable and enriching experience. Appreciate the different sounds and the melody on different accents. Play it as background music when you are cooking at home, listen to it while running at the park, or use it as a way to activate when you get up in the mornings. This time don’t think about memorising sentences or understanding words. Just feel the music!
¡Hola! I’m Inés from Madrid, Spain's capital and largest city! I hold a BA (Hons) in Communication, Media and Journalism from the Universidad Complutense in Madrid and a Certificate in Teaching Spanish as a foreign language from Cálamo&Cran (Madrid) and Instituto Cervantes (London). For eight years I worked in live studio and outside broadcast productions. I started teaching languages as a hobby and the experience turned out to be so rewarding and motivating that I made the decision to change my career.
Keep on learning Spanish
Have fun learning Spanish as we upload the A1 and A2 episodes of Cava Baja, our cartoon soap in Madrid.For higher levels, we'll test your Spanish with specially written articles from topics we find of interest from the news each week.Plus we'll keep you in touch with Hispanic culture in London, our teacher blogs and social events in the school. Have fun learning with Vamos.