Can listening to classical music help us learn languages?

Listening to music is a great way to learn a foreign language. Classical music is particularly effective because we are capable of memorizing significantly more than while listening to music containing lyrics.

In fact, the brain is constantly analyzing our environment to assure that everything is in order; that we’re not in danger. However, every time it hears the human voice, it aims to know what is being said to determine whether danger is present. It’s for this reason that some people fall rapidly tired during their first few weeks overseas. The reason is that their brain is constantly having to analyze a language that it doesn’t recognize. This takes a significant effort and, thus, causes fatigue.


The benefit of listening to classical music :

Certain types of music help our brains learn.

Explanation : the ear translates sound into electricity, which the brain needs to function.

Of course, not all music creates the same kind of electricity. Classical music, in particular baroque (Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi, Haendel, Haydn, etc.) is favorable for the brain and helps it function better. Luckily, it’s not even necessary to like classical music in order to reap the benefits.

To optimize concentration, the music needs to be played relatively quietly.


Science proves that listening to classical music helps us learn :

A study conducted by the University of Edimbourg (results published in the review ‘Memory and Cognition’) presents evidence that listening to classical music has a positive influence on language learning. During this study, 3 groups of 20 people were formed. each group had to learn Hungarian vocabulary using different methods : classic, rhythmical, or while listening to classical music. They found that the group listening to classical music while studying obtained the best results.

Hungarian was used to generate authentic results, as none of the participants had any exposure to the language before the experiment.

It’s clear, then, that listening to classical music facilitates language learning.

Et vous, qu’en pensez-vous ? Appréciez-vous d’écouter de la musique tout en étudiant ?

Est-ce que cela vous apporte une aide pour apprendre l’anglais ?

Sources :
Livres :
Bruno Hourst , dans son livre « Au bon plaisir d’apprendre », consacre un chapitre entier sur la musique.
Olivier Starks, éminent neurologue et mélomane, évoque dans son ouvrage « Musicophilia, la musique, le cerveau et nous » de l’état des connaissances scientifiques sur le lien entre le cerveau et la musique.

Discographie :
Stephen Halpern « Music for accelerated learning » : 12 morceaux à écouter.
La méthode Superlearning (Editions Marabout 1991) recense les bienfaits de l’écoute musicale pour l’apprentissage en général et pour apprendre une langue particulièrement, et cite certaines œuvres de Bach, Vivaldi ou Haendel.

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