Music, memory and language learning
Combining language and music seems to be a effective way of learning. The rhythmic nature of music can apparently stimulate parts of your brain that ordinary studying cannot reach, and this makes words and phrases stick in your memory. Moreover, listening to music is something that most people enjoy, so it can make learning enjoyable and perhaps makes you more receptive to new information.
The Suggestopedia teaching method, developed by the Bulgarian doctor and psychotherapist Georgi Lozanov, uses carefully selected classical music to help make student’s feel relaxed and receptive. Has anybody experienced this?
I certainly enjoy learning songs in other languages. In fact it was partly or mainly music that sparked my interest in quite a few languages, particularly Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Spanish and Portuguese. When listening to foreign songs I find it quite difficult to understand them, but after hearing them many times I start to pick out some of the lyrics. Sometimes I’m listening to a song and suddenly realise what part of it means – it’s like a picture that’s come into focus after being a bit fuzzy. Moments like that help sustain my enthusiasm for language learning.