Music is one my favorite tools to integrate into the language learning process for little kids. Songs provide a simple, fun and interactive way for children to interact with language and with culture. There are also many benefits to incorporating music

Feb 21, 2017, 08:30 AM

Music is one my favorite tools to integrate into the language learning process for little kids.  Songs provide a simple, fun and interactive way for children to interact with language and with culture. There are also many benefits to incorporating music into your language journey. Read through this list and see if you can avoid humming a few of your favorite tunes! Nursery rhymes provide the opportunity for lots of repetition which in turn builds on your child’s memory skills.  Memory skills are critical for language learning since our little ones have to remember all the new words they are learning throughout their day. Songs can also help preserve culture through generations!  These tunes get passed down from grandparents to parents to kids creating a connection that travels across decades. Music is just fun! There is also something highly satisfying about indulging in the auditory sense. You will often find me break into song when my kiddos are not having the best of their days. Almost always, like magic, it can turn their frown upside down. Are you sold on why you need to make this front and center on your language journey? I know what you may be thinking.  Finding music in your target language isn’t always easy!   I am hoping I can change your mind after reading this post! We are so lucky to live in such a powerful digital age withe endless possibilities, one of them being the ability to stream music! On a previous post, Todd shared how he often listens to Disney Princess in Spanish in the car while driving our kids.  He uses a playlist from Apple Music to do so. This service is amazing because it allows you to stream music found in the app.  You can even download it to your phone so you can listen to it on the go. We use Apple Music but there are many other services such as Spotify, Tidal, Pandora to name a few.  Now there are some country limitations.  For example, when we lived in Germany we did not have access to Pandora, however, we did have access to Spotify.  Your choices may or may not be limited depending of your region of the world. Perhaps the best part about most of these music streaming services is that they offer access to music from artists from all over the world.  This makes it so much easier to find music in the language you are working on with your kids. For some of these services you can create a personalized list of songs based on artists that you enjoy.  You could pick a handful of artists that sing in your target language and the services does the rest of the work for you. This could be hit or miss based on your language.  For example, when my first was born about 4.5 years ago there were only a handful of children's songs in Spanish on Pandora and our list was, therefore, fairly limited but it was still better than nothing. If you are not using a streaming service to get a better variety of music in your target language I strongly encourage you to do so. Especially since for most of these services if you pay the monthly or annual fee you have the ability to download songs to your phone so you can listen to them with your kids any time you want. I have a mix of kinds songs in Spanish and a few of my favorite artists.  I am not one that gets tired of listening to the same song time after time. However, I do need to sometimes get a break from kids’ music.  I can pop in an artist like Franco de Vita and know that the kiddos are still listening to Spanish words even if just passively. How can you use this tool in your home to infuse more exposure to your day?