Sing Your Way to Fluency: 5 Modern Songs For Learning English Grammar

Sing Your Way to Fluency: 5 Modern Songs For Learning English Grammar

Music is relaxing, easy to digest and comforting. 

Learning can be tedious, confusing and time consuming. 

But what if I told you you could combine these two to effectively learn English grammar?

What if we told you there are English songs that might already be on your playlist that can teach you English grammar and even pronunciation?

You might think that you have to listen to a grammar lesson to be able to learn.

No, you don’t have to.

There are songs that could be in the same genre as what you have on your Spotify account or in your YouTube playlist.

Before we give you some playlist suggestions, let’s explain why music is one of the greatest teachers there is.

Why is Music an Effective Tool in Teaching English?

Music transcends cultures and social boundaries.

Whether a musical piece has lyrics or it has lyrics but in a different language, people will still appreciate it.

Why does music have that effect?

It conveys the feelings and emotions that people can relate to. Even if it’s only a piece without lyrics, the melody in itself gives away what the composer and singer are trying to convey.

Songs speak volumes, that's why it attracts attention so easily. 

Repeat a song twice or thrice and you can at least memorize the chorus. 

Read a grammar lesson twice or thrice, you’ll barely memorize three sentences in verbatim.

That’s how music penetrates our psyche.

Music can easily be absorbed by the brain and it also helps with learning and other mental tasks.

Why Should I Use Songs to Learn English Grammar?

Kids learn to sing when we constantly let them listen to nursery rhymes.

It’s basically the same concept.

Most English songs follow the correct grammatical rules that’s why if we keep listening and singing along, it gets stuck in our heads and eventually we get used to speaking or writing it following the correct rules.

It’s a long shot but it’s a good start.

It also helps us widen our vocabulary, teaches us figurative language and familiarizes us with colloquialisms. 

You can even learn phonetics when listening to songs. 

Songs are just like any written composition. It just uses a more freestyle approach in terms of structure and sentence construction similar to poetry. 

And like poetry, it is filled to the brim with emotions that’s why it’s memorable and relatable. 

We want that same effect while learning English grammar.

What Songs Should I Listen to?

There’s no particular genre or classification that you should listen to if you want to learn. 

The songs should be in the English language, of course.

And it’s necessary that you can hear and understand the words easily. There are lyrics that can be a bit garbled or are too fast paced in some so let’s not add them to the list for now. 

Let’s just focus on songs with clear lyrics and possibly in a genre that you’re more into so that you’ll be able to enjoy learning.

If you’re learning with kids, it also has to be age appropriate to make sure they are paying attention. 

Although some kids can already memorize and sing adult songs but for the sake of learning grammar, it would be best if you chose songs that would also fit their level of learning.

It would also be nice if you could download music videos with subtitles so you can read the lyrics of the songs just as it’s sung. 

You can also print out the lyrics or have it ready on your phone if you’re just listening to audio files. 

Even if you haven’t memorized the lyrics, you can still sing along and pronounce the words just as you hear them.

Songs with catchy tunes and lyrics that can easily be memorized are the best songs for learning. 

There are plenty of songs to choose from but we’ve chosen 8 popular songs for learning English Grammar.

Here you go.

The Best Songs for Learning English Grammar 

Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton (Present Simple Tense)

It’s a soothing romantic ballad that narrates in real-time the interaction between a man and woman, obviously lovers, who are preparing to go out for the night. 

The verbs used in this song are mostly in the present simple tense form because the man is describing what’s going on as it is happening.

The melody is slow, that's why the singer is able to enunciate the words so clearly. It’s almost impossible to miss out on any word that he’s singing.

It’s modern, not exactly new, catchy and you can even slow dance to it. 

Here are a few lines of the song where the verbs in the present tense are highlighted.

“She puts on her make-up and brushes her long blonde hair

And then she asks me, Do I look all right? And I say, "Yes, you look wonderful tonight”

Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion (Past Simple Tense)

It’s a song that could be dedicated to a lover, a parent, a friend, or anyone who has loved you. 

And since the operative word is “loved” and also in the past simple tense, it’s possible that the person this is being dedicated to has already passed away or has left for good.

It’s one of her most popular songs which has touched the lives of a lot of people since its release. 

The verbs in the past simple tense are in almost all the lines. 

I liked it so much in the past that I wrote a poem inspired by it. 

It’s a song that’s easy to memorize since there are plenty of words or phrases that are being repeated in every chorus. 

The singer also did a good job of enunciating the words that’s why it’s very ideal for learning.

“For all those times you stood by me

For all the truth that you made me see

For all the joy you brought to my life

For all the wrong that you made right

For every dream you made come true

For all the love I found in you”

 

True Colors by Cyndi Lauper/Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake from Trolls (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Adjectives)

This song is popular even with kids because the second version is the original soundtrack of the animated movie “Trolls” that was released in 2016.

The original version by Cyndi Lauper that was released in the summer of 1986 is a bit more upbeat and fast-paced. 

The newer version is made for easy listening and has a mellow acoustic quality possibly because the expected audience is children since it’s a soundtrack of an animated movie.

There are several examples of adjectives in this song.

Adjectives describe nouns so it gives us a better idea of how we can picture it out in our mind. 

It gives color, substance and depth to nouns and breathes life into it.

This song is also best for learners who have just begun exploring the English grammar like kids and beginners.

The adjectives used as highlighted below, and how it’s being used is simple and understandable.

“You with the sad eyes

Don't be discouraged, oh I realize

It's hard to take courage

In a world full of people

You can lose sight of it all

The darkness inside you

Can make you feel so small

Firework by Katy Perry (Figurative Language - Simile and Metaphor)

The title of the song is already an example of figures of speech because the persona or the one singing the song describes herself as such.

Figurative language or figures of speech are words or phrases that intentionally deviate from ordinary or common language. 

This song is littered with similes and metaphors, these are figures of speech which compares one object or idea with another in a non-literal sense.

Simile uses the words like or as to compare.

Metaphors directly compare words.

Both figures of speech are commonly used, that's why they are easily recognized and learned. 

The highlighted words below are either a simile or a metaphor.

“Do you ever feel like a plastic bag

Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?

Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin

Like a house of cards, one blow from cavin' in?

Do you ever feel already buried deep?

Six feet under screams, but no one seems to hear a thing”

Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran (Idiomatic Expressions)

A man promising his lover of the same unfading and unwaning love even if they are old and grey is the gist of this love song. 

It’s been quite popular since its release 2014 and has been covered by several artists around the world. 

Other than that, the other reason why this is a great song for learning English grammar is because it has more than a handful of idioms. 

The title of the song is, in fact, an idiom. 

What are idioms?

These are phrases or expressions that have a non-literal meaning that is different from its literal meaning. 

Some idioms originated from their literal meanings but have veered towards a non-literal or figurative meaning as time passed and its frequent usage 

It’s a quite complex part of grammar but if you are fond of reading and listening to English poetry, prose or songs, these are quite familiar to you. 

Some may not even know that the phrases they may have used already are idioms. 

The English language has approximately 25,000 idioms

Let’s take a look at the lines in this song which contain common idioms and we’ll provide the meaning.

“I'm thinking out loud” 

  • When someone is saying as many ideas as  he or she can that may not make any sense at all. It’s similar to saying you are brainstorming.

“And I can't sweep you off of your feet”

 

  • A person is falling in love with you and is doing something surprising, impressive and romantic for you to also make you fall in love with him or her. The original term is “sweep you off your feet”. 

“Oh me I fall in love with you every single day” 

  • Falling in love means that the person is in the process of being in love. When a person is in love, it’s said that he or she fell in love. The word “fall” may have been used because sometimes we don’t really know when or how it started. It’s like walking in the dark and there’s a huge pit that you fell into.  
  • This phrase is very common and yes, it’s an example of an idiom. 

 

Bottom line

Listening to songs is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to learn English grammar. 

You can download the songs, copy the lyrics on your phone and listen to them anytime, perhaps sing along, even while relaxing. 

Even if you don’t feel like focusing on learning at all, you won’t really notice it but you’re already absorbing the words and remembering them along with the tune. 

It depends on you how you go about listening to songs. You have several platforms to choose from. 

Learning shouldn’t be difficult, tedious and time consuming. That’s why there’s music and songs to make it enjoyable for everyone. 

Which songs do you think would help you learn English grammar easily? Share your choices in the comments below.

Why does music help learn languages?

Music transcends cultures and social boundaries. Whether a musical piece has lyrics or it has lyrics but in a different language, people will still appreciate it. Why does music have that effect? It conveys feelings and emotions that people can relate to. Even if it’s only a piece without lyrics, the melody in itself gives away what the composer and singer are trying to convey. Songs speak volumes, that's why it attracts attention so easily. Repeat a song twice or thrice and you can at least memorize the chorus.

Why Should I Use Songs to Learn English Grammar?

Kids learn to sing when we constantly let them listen to nursery rhymes. It’s basically the same concept. Most English songs follow the correct grammatical rules that’s why if we keep listening and singing along, it gets stuck in our heads and eventually we get used to speaking or writing it following the correct rules. It’s a long shot but it’s a good start.

What are the best songs for learning English grammar?

Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton, Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion, True Colors by Cyndi Lauper, Firework by Katy Perry, Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran

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