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Learn Spanish Faster with Music

How to learn Spanish using music to speak like a native speaker

I have a confession to make—I hate studying Spanish.

Opening up a grammar textbook and committing to a few hours of intense study it is at the bottom of my to-do list.

Without context, I would quickly forget what I had learned.

The game changer for me was discovering salsa music.  I fell in love with the rhythms and the sound of the language. This was the driving force that motivated me to learn more Spanish.

I used my desire to understand the meaning behind the music to increase my proficiency.  This is when I learned a key lesson: learning Spanish does not have to be boring.

There are fun and fascinating ways to learn Spanish without relying only on textbooks and apps that give you unrealistic or irrelevant language examples.  Following my own interests, I was able to sustain my motivation and drive long enough to reach a high level of Spanish proficiency.

Can You Really Learn Spanish with Music?

Music has this magical ability to worm its way into our brains and cement itself there.

Whether you want to admit it or not, you still know all of those nursery rhymes you learned as a child.

Luckily, this powerful property of music is universal, which makes it a great tool for acquiring a second language.

Here are some tips for using music to learn Spanish:

Step 1: Choose music you like

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you are going to learn much more from music you enjoy listening to than music you hate.

With the diversity of types of music in Spanish, you should have no trouble finding a favorite genre and/or artist.

Step 2: Start Slow

Slower paced music is the best starting point when you are a beginner.

 

You can also use the “slow playback” feature on YouTube or on any mobile apps you use to listen to music. This is especially helpful with fast-paced genres like salsa and reggaeton.

Children’s music can also be an excellent resource if you are just starting out, since you will learn basic vocabulary and pronunciation.

Step 3: Look up the words

Don’t make the mistake of listening to a song over and over again without understanding it.

This is fine in the beginning so you get used to the singer’s voice and pronunciation, but eventually you will need to look up the words.

Learning language with music is only effective if you know what you are listening to.

If you listen to a song a million times and understand nothing, your Spanish skills won’t improve too drastically. To use songs as a learning tool you need to familiarize yourself with the lyrics.

Luckily, there are some awesome sites that have already matched the songs and lyrics for your learning pleasure.

Here are some resources I recommend based on your current Spanish level:

  • All Levels – Spanish Con Salsa provides lyrics to Latin music in Spanish with English translations and explanations of colloquial phrases. The site also features slow-speed audio of songs broken down by section, interactive quizzes, and private Facebook community.
  • Beginner – Rockalingua is an online resource to help children and beginners learn Spanish with music-based lessons.
  • Intermediate – Earworms offers audio lessons of Spanish words and phrases with catchy tunes.

Ear Worms Spanish

  • Advanced – Lyrics Training provides songs with lyrics in Spanish in a game format with video. It does not provide translation for the lyrics, so I recommend this resource for more advanced learners.

There you have it—a simple, fun, textbook-free way to learn Spanish. Start singing along and immerse yourself in Spanish music and culture.

Want more details on how to learn Spanish with music?  Check out the course How to Master Spanish with Music and get the step-by-step method I use to improve my Spanish with music.