Language learning, as we have known, happens through nature and nurture. Studies show that music and speech functions have many aspects in common and that several neural modules are similarly involved in speech and music. We know that it is beneficial to be bilingual and become musically trained… But what is the relationship between the two? Are musicians better at learning a new language? There is evidence that speech functions can benefit from music functions and vice versa. In fact, music has been so effective that it is often incorporated into early childhood learning. Music has shown that it makes us better language learners of a second or third language. And several studies have shown that apart from being bilingual, having musical training can also help protect oneself against cognitive declines such as dementia.
How does music help with language learning?
Synonymous to many cultures, music can have surprising benefits for acquiring language, improving memory, focusing attention, and developing physical coordination. Children who grow up listening to music develop music-related solid connections that strengthen their language skills. Music also plays a significant part in learning our native language and additional languages. As children, we can imitate our mother tongue’s rhythm and musical structure long before we can say the words. Most of us can remember songs and nursery rhymes we learned as children. Music helps us retain words and expressions much more effectively. The rhythm of the music and the repetitive patterns within the song help us memorise words. Polyglot children, in particular, can benefit from singing songs in their second language or third language.
By enrolling children in music classes, they can have a better sense of grammar and a higher verbal IQ.
Parents now can begin their children’s music lessons earlier than they’ve imagined. If you think anything younger than a year is too early, you might be inaccurate. In fact, many tutors or teachers are even encouraging the use of music in classrooms to help students learn their lessons! If you’re wondering how would you go about this, start by studying the lyrics. Then try to peel the layers by understanding the choice of words, vocabulary, grammatical rules, etc.
Exceptional musical ability is common among multilingual individuals. Likewise, musical people learn foreign languages more quickly due to their superior ability to perceive, process, and reproduce accents. When listening to music, following the lyrics, melody, rhythm and beat utilises both sides of the brain. Studying a new language can be fun as you can learn a new language by watching movies, reading comic books, and even listening to foreign music. The sky is your limit as long as you put your mind to it.