Last Friday, my husband and I went to a little beer garden right outside of town. It’s fairly new and we’ve driven past it many times but have never gone. It’s behind a gas station and we were at least a little skeptical of what it could have to offer. What finally convinced us to go was that one of my husband’s supervising doctors from his last rotation (he’s a 3rd year medical student) is in a band named “More y Mas” and they were playing there. I was excited to see them for a few reasons: they were playing at a venue behind a gas station – sure to be interesting; at least one of the members is a doctor by day – doctor/musician=awesome; and their bilingual name. We enjoyed an evening of sitting outside, drinking good beer, and listening to music. One of the songs, “Rosa Maria”, was very catchy and got stuck in our heads.
We caught some of the words while we were listening in person (me a few more than my less-español-inclined-but-still-wonderful esposo) and then looked them up the next day at home and listened to it a few times. I love the infectious beat and the fact that it makes you want to dance. The lyrics are fairly simple and repetitive, which makes it absolutely great for someone trying to acquire and practice Spanish.
Without really intending to, I had a pretty great learning experience. I encountered the language in a natural and enjoyable way, which helped me remember that it’s not just about studying Spanish, it’s also about experiencing and using Spanish for fun. After hearing the language in an authentic way, I went home and looked up the lyrics to confirm the parts I had understood, correct the parts I had misheard, and fill in the parts I had totally missed. There is one line in the song that is pretty quick and totally went in one ear and out the other when I first heard the song. Now that I’ve been able to read the lyrics and look at the words while listening to the song at the same time, I can follow it when I hear and plan to practice to try to be able to sing along.
Music is such a great tool for acquiring a language because it is fun, multi-sensory, and accessible. There are so many great songs out there and more digital content is being created all the time. There are of course tons of tips about language, and it’s important to consider as many as you can and find what works best for you. As a learner and a teacher, I have found that music works for just about everyone and is an effective way to acquire language, so it is always one of my top tips.
Audio input of all kinds is very important for gaining, improving, and maintaining fluency. Pars Omni Spanish Voices is an excellent source of quality audio material that will help you acquire and improve your Spanish. Download it for free today!