The power of love… for music

Music will definitely help you improve your English. We are surrounded by music and sounds and, yet, we don’t often realize how important it is, nowadays, to just “really” listen to a song and to visualize its lyrics in order to improve our knowledge of a certain language. Children grow up with rhymes. That is how they learn words and how to create sentences. Music is one of the best tools in order to learn a language quickly. Moreover, it improves the student’s learning process by giving more options to both the learner and the teacher. It breaks the routine, creates a happy environment and it spreads positive vibes amongst the students. Also, though it might seems strange, it actually helps concentrate on the new activities in a faster way because it is usually unexpected and a very nice surprise. There aren’t many teachers who use music on a weekly (if not daily) basis so to get their students to learn a language and this is a shame. In fact, if the right song gets chosen by the teacher, you will:

  • Hear the words pronounced as they should be
  • Learn new words by practicing and reviewing them with your teacher or whenever you’ll listen to that song again
  • Be able to connect your vocabulary to the grammatical concepts which, sometimes, let’s face it, are really hard to learn and extremely boring (yes, let’s say it… BORING!)
  • Improve your writing skills because of the way songs are built. Few words can mean a lot and you can see this only in songs and poems
  • Be stimulated to discuss attitudes and feelings which do require a certain effort from your side
  • Be encouraged in a nice way to practice extensive listening activities
  • Focus on common errors through a less “personal” approach
  • Have fun, fun, fun J

So, what kind of music do you like? Is there an English song that you’ve always wanted to know exactly what it meant, but you just couldn’t bother or didn’t have the time to listen to, accurately? Why don’t we try together? Now, perhaps? J Would you like to? Alright then: ready, set, go!

Instructions:

  • Get pen and paper
  • Don’t search for the lyrics before you listen to the song (you’ll find them at the end of the article, anyway) J
  • Just listen to the song. Try and write down any word that you’ll recognize. ANY WORD. It doesn’t matter if it’s correctly written or not. Just write it down as you hear it. Whatever you’ll hear.
  • Once the song’s finished, listen to it once again. Try and add up a few more words to the ones you have already written down. If you can’t, no problem.
  • Once you’ve had enough of doing this, you can look up at the lyrics at the end of the article while listening to the song, again. Weird, isn’t it? J You’ll smile a lot, during this exercise. J Because you’ll recognize many words and you’ll realize that your English is really much, much better than you thought!
  • Please don’t forget to sing along, if you feel like it… anytime. Especially after you’ve finished.

Before you start, we would just like to say that we are here for you and we would be ever so happy if you’d share your experience of this exercise with us. J Are there any words that you really don’t understand why they were used in this song? New words you didn’t know about? Are there any words that you like the way they sound? Do you think you will use them in  your daily life? Are there some you already use? Which ones? Would you like to suggest songs we could discuss in our next articles? Just comment below and we’ll be glad to reply.
Very well, then. The song we have chosen is a Beatles’ one: Penny Lane. We hope you like it. Click here to listen to it and… enjoy!

Penny Lane (Beatles)
penny Lane

In Penny Lane there is a barber showing photographs
Of every head he’s had the pleasure to have known
And all the people that come and go
Stop and say hello

On the corner is a banker with a motorcar
The little children laugh at him behind his back
And the banker never wears a mac
In the pouring rain, very strange

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes
There beneath the blue suburban skies
I sit, and meanwhile back

In Penny Lane there is a fireman with an hourglass
And in his pocket is a portrait of the queen
He likes to keep his fire engine clean
It’s a clean machine

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes
A four of fish and finger pies
In summer, meanwhile back

Behind the shelter in the middle of the roundabout
The pretty nurse is selling poppies from a tray
And though she feels as if she’s in a play
She is anyway

In Penny Lane the barber shaves another customer
We see the banker sitting waiting for a trim
And then the fireman rushes in
From the pouring rain, very strange

Penny lane is in my ears and in my eyes
There beneath the blue suburban skies
I sit, and meanwhile back
Penny lane is in my ears and in my eyes
There beneath the blue suburban skies
Penny Lane

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