It starts when we are young, the repetitive rhythm, the easy words and a pattern that can easily be understood and imitated. Music is an integral part of our development as humans; it starts with Nursery Rhymes when we are young and develops incessantly as we grow up. This is true for all languages and all cultures.
Our brains are notably receptive to repetition and it is for this reason that while you are walking down the street, that tune that you may not have even been consciously listening to will pop into your head and, whether you like it or not, will be stuck there all day.
For this reason specifically, music is an absolutely great tool to be used in the learning process. I have often had students sitting at the back of the class singing through perfect renditions of the latest pop songs or punk rock lyrics without even thinking about it, but when asked to explain something basic like their daily routine, they struggle to put the sentences together in quite the same fashion as the lyrics they know by heart.
In my previous post I mentioned the importance of music, but how can you use music to aid your learning process?
There are many apps and websites these days that are either free or really affordable and easy to use and will not only allow you the opportunity to listen to the music but help you learn through it.
Deezer – While mainly being a music streaming platform, Deezer has a really handy tool on the app which allows you to read the, correct, lyrics while listening to your favourite songs, so no more misunderstandings and half-finished lines. The greatest part is that Deezer is free to use when you have a wi-fi connection. (If you would like to disable ads and download music it only costs R59.99 per month)
Musixmatch – This app is quite a treat for finding lyrics in real time with any other music playing software, but the kicker here is that it gives you instant translations from other languages into English and vice versa to allow for beginners to start adding to their vocabulary right from the get go.
Lyricstraining.com – This site is one that I rather enjoyed. It allows you to listen to a song and provides gap fill exercises for the listener while the song plays. There are four difficulty levels to choose from; Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Expert and each are adjusted from a few words in the song in Beginner, to going through the song word for word in Expert. To keep things exciting, you are also racing against a clock and if you don’t get the words in time, it’s game over. But don’t worry you can always start over and try again and it’s completely free.
So, no matter whether you’re an English beginner or an expert with the fluency of a native speaker, there is an app or website out there that is going to help you develop your skills.