Learning a language involves many steps and levels. One can learn a language for various purposes. For example, one may just want to speak a language, certain others may want to write it too. One of the first steps of learning a language can be identifying where a word ends and where the next one begins. A language can be learnt either formally or informally.
Musicians and lyricists use language slightly differently. They are flexible with grammar, spelling and pronunciation of languages. Music helps immensely in the context of language learning. Listening to something you like in a language you want to learn will be a good start. It will motivate the aspiring individual to learn that language.
The relevance of music for therapeutic and developmental purposes has been widely popular since time immemorial. There is a profound relationship between music and language which affirms that the use of music leads to better outcomes in language learning.
Music positively affects accent, memory and grammar in language learning. It enhances mood, enjoyment and motivation as well. Human beings hear music and sounds even before they are born. Through the mother’s body, womb and amniotic fluid a fetus cannot hear consonants, but it only hears the musical vowel sounds. A child can imitate the rhythm and musical contours of a language long before he can utter words in that language.
Earlier researchers were of the opinion that the musical aspects of language, tone, pauses, stress and timbre are sonorous units into which phonemes, the consonant and vowel sounds of language are later placed. Children undergo the indispensable developmental stages of cooing and babbling before they could be vocal in language.
Music serves as the carrier for communicative intent in human beings. Both music and language grow from the common sources such as direction, frequency, intensity, duration, tempo, intonation, pitch and rhythm. Language teachers and music therapists should hold joint ventures because they have much to offer each other.
Learning to play a musical instrument can change the human brain for good. It leads to a host of potential benefits which include improved learning and understanding of language. During musical training there are some connections made between brain cells and these newly formed connections aid other forms of communication such as speech, reading and understanding of a foreign language.
The effects of music lessons are very much similar to physical exercises. It entails physical, emotional and cognitive health. Memory and attention skills increase through music. Musically trained children have better vocabularies and reading abilities and they are better off at putting together different sound patterns in the languages they learn.
Musical training helps children with language disorders like dyslexia. Such children will be able to make a distinction between background noise and the actual language spoken to them or the lessons taught to them. The synergy between music and language cannot be underestimated since music stimulates a complimentary part of the brain which is essential for language learning. Therefore, music can be effectively taken as a means of teaching language.
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