So what is it about songs that make them such effective English language learning tools?
• It works. There is considerable scientific evidence that demonstrates how music can help second language learners acquire grammar and vocabulary and improve spelling. Then there is the so-called “Mozart Effect”, the concept that listening to classic musical boosts the performance of mental tasks like learning.
• Everyday language and colloquial speech. Songs and music almost always contain a lot of useful vocabulary, phrases and expressions. And since the intended audience is native speakers, songs and music include up-to-date language and colloquialisms. The language used in songs is casual and actually usable, if you pick the right music.
• Get familiar with the sound of English. Listening to songs will also allow you to focus on your pronunciation and understanding of the English language’s rhythm, tone and beat.
• Get English stuck inside your head. Many of the words and sound patterns within a song are repetitive and this makes it easier for them to stick in your mind. You probably already know this. Music has an uncanny ability of getting stuck in our heads. Tunes and lyrics will often infiltrate our thoughts and play over and over in our minds. All of which will help you to learn English through songs as you easily memorize vocabulary and phrases. In fact, after a short period of time you will find it almost impossible to forget them.
• Songs are emotional. Our relationship with music is deep, powerful and hugely rewarding. It is a key that unlocks our emotions, influences our moods and enhances our mental and physical well-being. When something is emotional, then of course it is also easier to remember.
• Music is an easy habit. One reason people find language learning difficult is they don’t have an extra minute in the day to devote to their studies. But when you’re learning English through songs, you don’t need to set aside too much time because you can take the music with you wherever you go. You can have English songs playing in the car, the kitchen and the shower. And by picking music you like, you can listen to the same material over and over again, without becoming bored.
• Music teaches you English culture. Music gives you insight into English-speaking culture and how English-speaking people think and feel. Familiarity with popular songs and artists gives you something to talk about with your English-speaking friends.