Music is a great tool to learn a second language especially when you are wanting to learn Spanish. Learning Spanish can be so much fun if you use the right tools to learn.
Music in the Spanish language and especially Latin American music, is always very catchy and it always makes you very happy and really encouraging you to get up and dance. Latin American music has a way of getting into our heads due to the musical rhythm and catchy lyrics.
Even if you are just starting to learn Spanish and you are an absolute beginner there is a good chance that you will be able to catch a lot of the words in the songs and you are likely to want to know what the song is saying.
As you listened to music in Spanish you are memorizing a lot of vocabulary without you even realizing it. Learning Spanish through music is a great way to improve your language skills and get to know the language in a fun way.
The Power Of Music
You may be wondering why learning Spanish through music is so important. Learning Spanish through songs is a great powerful way to get vocabulary and language expressions to stay in your mind for a long time.
Scientists have develop a theory of how our minds work when learn a language through music. They call it "cognitive itch or a brain itch". Music activates the auditory part of our brains and when we are singing or repeating a song our brains fill in the missing gaps in the rhythm and we tend to repeat it over and over again. When you repeat a tune in your head you are scratching the itch.
Scientists from all around the world have different theories for why this happens. Marketing companies and commercials are constantly coming up with new jingles that get stuck in our heads and this often works very well. We can use the same method to learn Spanish. If we can remember a commercial or a theme song it makes sense that we have the capacity to remember words from a song in Spanish.
Learning Spanish in a fun way
Learning a new Language is hard and if we learn it in the traditional way sitting in a class room or using a textbook it can be boring and uninspiring. As a Spanish teacher I really like my students to interact with authentic Spanish language and culture.
By learning Spanish through songs your brain is able to make the connection between the songs you are listening to and the vocabulary and language concepts you are learning.
A Taste of Culture
Music is a great way to get an insight into the Spanish/ Latin American culture that cannot be learned from a book,
Every country in Latin America has a different accent but with the exception of Brazil all the major countries speak Spanish. (Dutch is spoken in Suriname, English in Guyana and French in French Guiana). Latin American music is a mix of different styles and influences that gets everybody dancing.
I like to introduce a bit of Latin American music so people can have a taste of the culture and listen to different accents and different beats and rhythms. \Listening to Latin American music can be a very fun and effective way to learn Spanish.
Learning songs in Spanish not only expands your vocabulary and knowledge of popular Spanish culture, but it also allows you to get to know the regional accents and slang.
How to learn Spanish with Music
As I mentioned before we get songs stuck in our heads a lot of the time. If we listen to something long enough we will begin to recognize the beat and some of the beginning and ending notes and lyrics of the songs . Eventually with repetition you will soon find yourself singing along a lot of the songs without even trying.
However in order to learn Spanish the right way there are some steps that will need to be followed to make the most of the songs .Here are some things that you should look for when learning Spanish:
Clear Pronunciation: You want to choose a song where you can understand the lyrics and you are able to follow them. If you are a beginner choose a song where the singer does not mumble and the lyrics are hard to understand. It would be a good idea to use a song that uses very simple lyrics and one where the pronunciation is clear and easy to understand.
Catchy beat: To learn Spanish it is bet to choose a song that is catchy and upbeat and that you like. You will need to choose a song that will get stuck in your head and that you probably will most likely be singing everywhere you go!
Repeating Chorus/ verses: The best songs to learn Spanish are the ones who have repeating phrases in the chorus or verses that contain the same lyrics The more repetitive the song is the more you will be familiar with the lyrics and you will be able to follow the song with more accuracy.
A familiar song dubbed in Spanish: Learning completely new songs in Spanish can be difficult so it is probably a good idea to choose a familiar song and find a Spanish version of it. You can do this for theme songs, your favourite songs or listen to familiar artists who also sing in Spanish.
Look up unknown words: It is very useful to write down any words that you are not familiar with. You can then look them up in a dictionary and find out their meaning. It is a good idea to review them from time to time so you can get familiar with these new words.
I personally enjoy introducing my students to Latin American music as it is such a good way for them to acquire greater vocabulary but also to become introduced to the Latin American culture. Latin American songs are loved by adults, children and teenagers.
Music is a great teaching tool for learning Spanish it makes Spanish fun and easy to learn,