Music is a well-loved study tool.
Everyone loves a good song, but when you can also learn from that song, it’s extra enjoyable.
Many Spanish songs have hidden Spanish lessons in their lyrics, and Spanish alternative albums often offer up a harmonious blend of entertainment and learning.
Watching music videos can be even better since you’ll have visual elements to accompany the music.
- Why Learn Spanish with Music Videos?
- How to Learn Spanish with Music Videos
- 5 Tuneful Resources to Learn Spanish with Music Videos
Why Learn Spanish with Music Videos?
One reason why you might want to learn Spanish with music videos is that it’s fun. Music is enjoyable to listen to in any language. Plus, there’s such a huge variety of Spanish-language music out there that it’s easy to find something that will suit your musical taste. Because it’s so fun, you’ll find yourself actually wanting to watch your favorite music videos, and this will make studying that much easier.
In addition to being fun, though, Spanish music videos are also catchy. It’s always easier to memorize things that are set to a rhythm or tune, so listening to Spanish-language music makes it easy to memorize songs and/or parts of songs that you can use as models for tricky grammar or vocabulary rules.
Learning Spanish with music videos is also a perfect combination of audio and visual elements, which makes it more engaging. Music is great by itself, but music videos also have visual appeal. This may include scenes that help you understand what the song is about or even printed lyrics to help guide you along.
How to Learn Spanish with Music Videos
Pick a genre you like. Everyone has their own taste in music. Luckily, if you’re studying Spanish, there are music options for pretty much any genre you can think of, and all of them are terrific learning opportunities. Choosing your favorite genre will make you want to watch music videos more often and therefore learn more Spanish more quickly.
Use printed lyrics as additional support. Especially if you’re a beginning or intermediate Spanish student, printed lyrics are a terrific resource to help make watching music videos even more effective. Looking at the lyrics will help you connect the written and spoken words and understand precisely what the singer is saying. Seeing lyrics in writing can also make them easier to remember.
Eventually, try listening without the lyrics. The printed lyrics are a helpful tool, but once you’re more familiar with the song, try to go without the lyrics. This will help you test what you remember about the song.
Memorize key portions of songs that help you remember important grammar rules and vocabulary. If you notice a conjugation you find tricky or a vocabulary word you just can’t remember, just memorize that part of the song. Once you’ve memorized that part of the song, it’ll be easy to just replay it in your head whenever you need a refresher.
Sing often. Not only is this fun, but it’ll also help you perfect your pronunciation and reinforce your learning. Sing along with your favorite video, or try singing it without the video to see how much you remember.
5 Tuneful Resources to Learn Spanish with Music Videos
Qlipo is a free website that provides a number of popular Spanish-language music videos. The site aims to help you practice all the key elements of language: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Qlipo features official music videos. The lyrics and their English translations are displayed next to each video. As the song progresses, the lyrics area will highlight which line is playing to make it easy for you to follow along.
Recommendation: Shakira – “Sale el sol”
You can never go wrong with some Shakira. The Colombian singer is an international sensation. “Sale el sol” (“The Sun Comes Out”) is a good song for any level of Spanish learner. The song uses primarily present tense verbs, and the lyrics use general vocabulary. Additionally, it’s a slow song, so it shouldn’t overwhelm even beginning students.
LyricsTraining is a free and innovative website that transforms music videos into fun learning games.
Once you select a music video, you can choose between four different levels of game play based on your proficiency level. This makes LyricsTraining a flexible tool for any level of language learner.
As the music video plays, some of the lyrics will appear on the screen, but some will be missing. Your job is to type in the missing words. If you miss a word, you can click the back button to replay the phrase until you get it. If you just can’t figure it out, you can click the forward button to see the word you missed and move along.
LyricsTraining does require you to register to access their material, but registration is free so you should definitely check it out.
Recommendation: Maluma – “Felices los 4”
The Colombian singer Maluma’s “Felices los 4” (“The Four of Us, Happy”) features a nice mixture of beginning-to-intermediate verb tenses and general vocabulary. The song is at a moderate pace, so it challenges listeners without being overwhelming.
3. Bueno, entonces
Bueno, entonces (“Well, then”) is a YouTube channel that offers a number of music videos in addition to other learning videos. The music videos can be a little hard to find on the main page, but this helpful, user-made playlist contains many of the music videos available via Bueno, entonces.
While these music videos aren’t the official music videos of the performers, they are still useful. Instead of showing the artist and/or other incredibly good-looking people, these videos feature the lyrics of the songs along with their English translations. What sets these videos apart, though, is that conjugations are clearly shown, so you can see at a glance how each verb is conjugated. This makes Bueno, entonces a great tool for beginning Spanish students.
Recommendation: Bacilos – “Pasos de gigante”
“Pasos de gigante” (“Giant Steps”) is a smooth tune by Miami-based band Bacilos. The verb tenses are mostly basic, but you’ll see infinitive, present tense and preterite tense, so it’s a great way to cover the basics.
Escorpio123SS’s YouTube channel offers simple but useful music videos.
Rather than using the original music videos, this channel plays the music while showing the lyrics and their English translations. This is a simple but effective way to practice your Spanish with music.
Recommendation: Big Boy – “Mis ojos lloran por ti”
“Mis ojos lloran por ti” (“My Eyes Cry for You”) by Puerto Rican rapper Big Boy is a good song for advanced Spanish students. While the beginning is slow, the middle section includes some relatively fast rap. It also contains more future tense, past tense and conditional tense verbs than most other songs.
FluentU uses authentic Spanish content as the foundation of its language learning program. With a diverse collection of music videos and other media clips in the curated library, you’ll find a variety of songs that suit your taste.
All the clips contain bilingual subtitles which have been translated by experts, helping you understand every Spanish lyric, slang and nuance as they pop up. These subtitles are also interactive, meaning you can tap on any word to access pronunciation and examples in different contexts, as well as add it to a personal flashcard deck.
Hovering over the subtitles also automatically pauses the video, which is quite handy when you’re trying to keep up with rap or any other fast-paced song.
Check out these resources for Spanish music videos, pump up the volume and dance your way to better Spanish!