Learning Spanish using music

Learn spanish listening to music


Learning Spanish using music may not be the first thing you consider when embarking on your journey into foreign language learning, but it should not be overlooked. Music can be an extremely valuable and enjoyable Spanish learning resource.

The key is the word ‘enjoyable’. Who doesn’t love music? It has the ability to relax or to stimulate us, to open our minds, to focus our concentration, and to transport us to places new. These are qualities that are ideally suited to learning a foreign language and that is why learning Spanish using music is a match made in heaven.

When learning a foreign language the words we encounter are new, the grammar structures are new, the sound is new, the culture is new. And music is a fine way to assist the channelling of ourselves into this unfamiliar territory and our morphing, little by little, into a new bilingual being.

You start off by buying your books, finding a good course with a good teacher, and learning your grammar and vocabulary. Then you set about practising and see how things progress.

It is not unusual for the Spanish student to commence strongly and then slowly fizzle out with the realisation that learning Spanish is not something you accomplish in a matter of months and takes constant, dedicated application.

The books can become tiresome. The vocabulary can seem like an insurmountable mountain to climb. The grammar structures can be plain boring to learn. Everything can get a bit overwhelming and that is where learning Spanish using music or films or TV or through real fun conversations steps in and provides great relief.

Music is cool, entertaining, fun. You can listen to a song you like by a Spanish or Latin American artist and be toe tapping away and singing along in seconds. You might not be fully focused on the words, the words you are singing will more than likely be gobbledegook, but your subconscious will be filling with invaluable information.

This is the holy grail of foreign language learning: inputting data from native sources without really trying and with a smile on your face. That type of data is sure to stick and you will be constantly hungry for more.

Music has the added benefit as a language learning tool in that its melody acts as a powerful memory trigger. We can memorize vocabulary and phrases so much easier if we have a catchy melody to hook them onto in our heads. The melody and rhythm also help us to differentiate and articulate Spanish words and to develop a more ‘native’ pronunciation.

So, are there any rules about how we should go about learning Spanish using music? Well, there are different schools of thought.

Some favour a rigid approach whereby you concentrate on understanding every lyric, learning the words systematically by heart, and maybe putting up post-it notes and flashcards around your house to reinforce the vocabulary and phrases you have learned.

Others argue that we learn best when we are not ‘studying’ at all and focus instead of keeping things fresh and fun for the long haul by listening to lots of music and saturating the subconscious over time.

Maybe the best approach is to keep things flexible depending on the individual student. You have to make your own decisions on what suits you best.

Try to find good sources of advice and information, but also make sure you follow your heart. Whenever you start getting those ‘This is boring!’ or ‘I am thinking of jacking this in!’ feelings, switch things around and learn in a different way.

Learning Spanish using music is always a great option to be that ‘different way’ because it is infinitely varied and infinitely wonderful.

There are so many different artists from all around Spain and Latin America with so many different artistic styles representing their own personal life experiences, culture and traditions from their own particular region of Spain or Latin America.

These sonic streams are widely available for you to tap into thanks to the internet and modern technology and the artists can become your new native Spanish speaking friends and teachers.

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