10 Catchy Songs to Improve Your English Pronunciation

Listening to music in English is a great way to improve your language skills.

You can learn new vocabulary, especially slang and colloquial language that you might not find in a textbook.

Beyond building your vocab, English songs can also help to improve your pronunciation.

They expose you to natural articulation, stress and intonation. And by singing along, you can practice a wide variety of sounds. 

In this article, you’ll get 10 great English songs to improve your pronunciation and sound more like a native speaker. 

We’ve organized these songs based on their level of difficulty so you can easily find the selections most suitable for you.


1. “Do-Re-Mi” from “The Sound of Music” 

Level: Beginner


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If you’re a beginner, you might want to start with a song like this one. “Do-Re-Mi” is a show tune from the musical “The Sound of Music.” This is a song about the sounds of words, and since it’s designed with children in mind, every word is clearly enunciated.

The song teaches several musical notes by linking them with English words you may recognize, like the note re and the word ray as in “a ray of sunshine.” As you sing along, pay particular attention to vowel sounds.

It also includes simple definitions for words like doe and sew.  Just like the song says, “When you know the notes to sing, you can sing most anything”—or say anything!

2. “The Bare Necessities” from “The Jungle Book” 

Level: Beginner to Intermediate


There’s nothing like a good old Disney song to improve your English pronunciation! They’re fun, there’s a plot to follow so you won’t get bored and since nearly all of them are aimed at children, the words are super clear.

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Chances are you know most of the words already, so you can focus on pronunciation rather than comprehension.

“The Bare Necessities” from the Disney film “The Jungle Book” is an ideal tongue twister to practice several difficult sounds, rhyming words (such as paw and raw or bear and pear ) and homophones (words that sound alike but have different meanings) such as bear and bare.

3. “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran

Level: Beginner to Intermediate


Ed Sheeran’s hit song “Thinking Out Loud” can be a valuable tool for improving English pronunciation. Ed sings pretty slowly, so it’s fairly easy to sing along.

In addition to the slow pace, the repetitive chorus will help you sing along and practice your pronunciation without getting lost in too many new lyrics. 

The lyrics feature some long vowel sounds, like in the first stanza: 

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When your legs don’t work like they used to before
And I can’t sweep you off of your feet
Will your mouth still remember the taste  of my love?
Will your eyes  still smile from your cheeks ?

Remember, long vowel sounds are pronounced the same as you would say the letter itself when reciting the alphabet. 

4. “Speed of Sound” by Coldplay

Level: Intermediate


This song provides a variety of English pronunciation features, including different sounds that the letter “i” can make (long and short), as well as words with “e” that are pronounced like “i” (like get):

How long before I get in
Before it starts before I begin ?

How long before you decide
Before I know what it feels like ?

Where to, where do I go?
If you never try then you’ll never know
How long do I have to climb
Up on the side of this mountain of mine ?

The song will also help you learn the difference between /s/ and /z/ and stresses in longer words like underground  and understand.

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5. “Seasons of Love” from “Rent” 

Level: Intermediate  


This classic song from the Broadway musical “Rent” is often sung in choir. Every word has to be well enunciated in order to be understood, so it’s a good one for language practice. 

It’s an ideal song for anyone struggling to pronounce numbers in English. The cast continuously sings the line, “Five hundred twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes” (the number of minutes in a year).

Another reason this song is great for learning English is that the assorted vocabulary in the lyrics is quite simple and consistently repeated throughout the song. You don’t have to worry too much about unfamiliar words—you can just concentrate on pronunciation.

6. “Ironic” by Alanis Morissette

Level: Intermediate to Advanced 

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The pronunciations at the end of regular verbs in the past tense (e.g. ended, packed, died ) often cause problems for non-native English speakers, because they can be pronounced in three different ways: (as “id,” as “t” or as “d”).

With plenty of regular and irregular verbs in the past tense, “Ironic” by Alanis Morissette is a great song to practice how to pronounce these difficult words.

Here’s a sample from the lyrics:

Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly
He packed his suitcase and kissed  his kids goodbye
He waited  his whole damn life to take that flight
And as the plane crashed  down he thought
“Well isn’t this nice…”
And isn’t it ironic… don’t you think?

5. “One and Only” by Adele

Level: Intermediate to Advanced

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The English language has a lot of words that end in “y,” so it’s a good idea to learn how to pronounce this sound. Adele’s “One and Only” provides some useful practice:

I don’t know why  I’m scared,
I’ve been here before.
Every feeling, every word,
I’ve imagined it all.
You’ll never know if you never try
To forgive your past and simply  be mine.

The next stanza includes only  and worthy.

The song also demonstrates the difference between /ch/ and /c/ pronunciation and the variations of the /o/ sounds in different letter combinations.

6. “I Say a Little Prayer” by Aretha Franklin

Level: Intermediate to Advanced


This throwback from 1968 isn’t just a classic jam to sing along with. It’s also a great lesson in English pronunciation! 

The song has quite a few long “a” or /eɪ/ sounds, like in these bolded words: 

The moment I wake  up
Before I put on my makeup  (Makeup)
I say  a little (Prayer for you)
And while I’m combing my hair now
And wondering what dress to wear now (Wear now)
I say a little (Prayer for you)

It also features the short “u” or /ŭ/ sound in words like run, bus and us.

And finally, you can how the letters “ear” together can produce different sounds depending on the letters around them, like in wear, dear and heart.

9. “Halo” by Beyoncé 

Level: Intermediate to Advanced


The letter “u” has many different pronunciations in English which can confuse language learners. Beyoncé’s song “Halo” includes a lot of words with “u” so you can practice some of these different sounds. 

Check out all the “u” words in this stanza: 

Remember those walls I built ?
Well, baby, they’re tumbling  down
And they didn’t even put up  a fight
They didn’t even make a sound
I found  a way to let you in

But I never really had a doubt
Standing in the light of your halo

I got my angel now

The lyrics also include some words with “gh” (like fight , light and night ), which can be another confusing sound. 

10. “Word Crimes” by Weird Al 

Level: Advanced


Set to the tune of “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, this song is a catchy collection of cheerful jokes about the mistakes people make in written and spoken English.

This song doesn’t just provide grammar lessons, but it also teaches you to pronounce academic and linguistic terms like nomenclature and homophones, quickly followed by a line with useful contractions and slang.

This song also has plenty of lessons that are useful for advanced learners such as the fact that there’s no “x” in espresso , a word that’s often misspelled and mispronounced even by native speakers.

How to Use Songs for English Pronunciation Practice

Just listening and singing along (ideally while reading the lyrics) is a great way to practice. Here are some suggestions to maximize the effectiveness of your efforts

  • Listen to the song repeatedly. Remember that you need a lot of exposure to the language. And every time—whether it’s the first or the 100th time listening—your subconscious is learning and picking up information.
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or confuse the lyrics. Even native speakers often do this, and your friends probably won’t even notice. Sing like nobody’s listening and enjoy it!
  • Try to memorize the lyrics. If you’re having a hard time with this, take a picture of the lyrics and save it as your phone’s wallpaper. Every time you look at your phone, you’ll get a refresher on the words of the song. 
  • Look up karaoke versions of English songs once you’ve got a solid grasp on them. With the vocals removed from the track, you can practice your pronunciation freely. You’ll also get some reading practice since the lyrics are provided on the screen. Try recording yourself and comparing it to the original!

You can also find songs (and other authentic content) organized by difficulty on FluentU, with innovative tools to support your learning.

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Music offers an effective and entertaining way to practice a foreign language.

This selection of songs to improve your English pronunciation will boost your skills and probably teach you some new vocabulary along the way. 

So add them to your playlist and start listening—and singing along! 

And One More Thing...

If you like learning English through movies and online media, you should also check out FluentU. FluentU lets you learn English from popular talk shows, catchy music videos and funny commercials, as you can see here:


If you want to watch it, the FluentU app has probably got it.

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