10 tips for learning English with songs and music

Versión en español

If you haven’t started, now is the time and the good thing is that learning English with songs is not tedious nor boring, all the contrary, it is a process that will be natural and never annoying.

learning English with songs

Songs express emotions using rythm and harmony.

They are sticky and hard to forget.

They return to us in the form of subconscious repetition.

It is easy to carry your favorite songs in an ipod.


Why learn English through songs?

The effects of music on people, ranging from babies to adults has been scientifically proven as a positive result for many skills including language acquisition. We also have the famous theory of the Mozart Effect . This theory makes the claim that listening to Mozart or classical music boosts mental performance for tasks such as language learning. Frances Rauscher, a psychologist now at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, and her colleagues made waves with the discovery that listening to Mozart improved people’s mathematical and spatial reasoning. Even rats ran mazes faster and more accurately after hearing Mozart than after white noise or music by the minimalist composer Philip Glass. Last year, Rauscher reported that, for rats at least, a Mozart piano sonata seems to stimulate activity in three genes involved in nerve-cell signalling in the brain.


.Slang and Colloquial language are a dime a dozen in songs, and the use of informal language is the bread and butter of most language-relaxed genres. Informal expression is best accepted in modern music and you will hardly ever hear any formal language being expressed in any genre. This is a great opportunity to compliment what you’ve been studying which is more formal and go the extra mile with the common colloquial speech.


. English pronunciation when sung sounds the same (and thank god!) when sang by English speakers from around the world. The beauty about music is that it harmonizes the language into a unical expression, allowing us to listen to English music from around the world and beeing able to understand all the words.


. Sticky stuff. English songs are very sticky, and repetition inside your head will provide you with words that even if you don’t know the meaning, they will still resound as ghosts of something to be filled with content. There are cases where we are repeating words in English without knowing them because we learned them in songs. You can take a different approach to that of the non-learning song listener and focus on these empty words and fill them up with content.


. It’s all about emotions with songs, and emotions are the linking element between words and meaning. Songs express things that we can relate to, and even if a song was meant to talk about something else, we can always relate to different fragments in a song. Our emotional attachment to these will guarantee an unforgettable list of vocabulary and expressions.

 My 10 great tips for learning English with Songs.


  1. Find the right songs by using important sites like youtube.

Youtube has the advantage of having visible lyrics.


  1. Select songs you enjoy. It is true, you are learning, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy while doing it.


A good start is songs for children, try to go up in difficulty with popular pop songs and avoid the indistinct singers from rock and metal bands until your hearing ability improves.


  1. Create a vocabulary list (view my example) to scaffold the words you are not so familiar with and continue practicing them by getting familiar with their synonyms and antonyms. Search for example sentences on the internet with these words. You can follow songs by looking at the corresponding lyrics: there are great sites with the lyrics for songs.


Lyrics.com and Smartlyrics.com offer a wide library of lyrics and you will most certainly find any song you are looking for.


  1. Study the voculary and lyrics methodically. By this I mean: pick out the difficult words and try writing sentences with them and incorporating them into your everyday vocabulary. Practice these new words with friends on chat groups or even with your English Teacher. Try listening to lyrics of other songs that might make use of the same words.


  1. Singing in the shower. Unless you have a rockband or are in an English speaking Choir, you really have no choice but to sing in the shower. And seeing how intimidating singing can be for one who is not used to the sage, this is a great and private way to practice what you have learned.



  1. Come back to your old songs frequently. Make a playlist of songs you’ve played alot. Make a list of new songs and go back and forth from one to the other, never abandoning the old ones. Everytime you go back to those old songs you will understand them better.


  1. Listen to rock music once you feel your listening ability has improved. This will be your next challenge and will enhance your hearing ability a great deal.


  1. Find music that improves on what you have already learned. Go from hip-hop to pop and from pop to rock, but don’t be too drastic and go from children’s songs to heavy metal, since it could be discouraging. One step at a time.


  1. Smule is a great karaoke app that lets you sing with others around the world, it shows lyrics of songs and you can post these songs on your facebook page. You can listen to other people’s pronunciation during their singing and compare it to yours. It’s a great way to get you comfortable with singing and it is so enjoable.

learning English with songs

  1. Go have a look into the children’s songs repertoir. Compare the tunes to the songs you listened to when you where a child and get a feel for them.


Allmusic.com has a wonderful selection of children’s most popular songs.



Additional sources for learning English with songs.


Beny Lewis shares his tips on learning through music.

Posted in Polyglot by Alberto Monroy

TAGS: #learnenglish #aprendeingles #escueladeingles #institutodeidiomas  #learnenglishwithsongs #aprendeinglesconcanciones