How Music Can Help You Learn French – Plus The 70 Best French Songs For Studying

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How Music Can Help You Learn French – Plus The 70 Best French Songs For Studying

Everyone loves music. It is a fundamental part of our culture, economy and way of life. But did you know that music can help you when studying and learning a new skill? It is especially useful when it comes to learning languages, and this certainly includes French. It doesn’t matter if you like bouncy pop music, mellow jazz or swooning classic love songs. Any type of music can help you to learn French if utilised correctly. In this article I will show you the benefits of music for studying and give you tips on how to incorporate it into your language learning. I will also provide you with a list of the best French songs to listen to when trying to learn the language.

  • Music training helps our language learning skills
  • Better memory and concentration
  • Music is portable
  • Music helps with your accent and pronunciation 
  • Tips for using music when learning a language
  • List of French songs

Music training helps our language learning skills

Research has found that musical training can improve the brain’s language skills. Being able to understand the rhythm and keep a beat with music can improve your reading and writing skills. This not only helps with your mother tongue, but also when learning new languages. These skills are valuable to employees in any work environment so incorporating music into your everyday life could be very beneficial for you.

Music not only helps adults with learning, but children can also benefit massively from it. Scientists suggest that children who are exposed to multiple languages as they grow up, by listening to songs in a different language, will have better linguistic sensitivity later in life. This means that it will be easier for children to learn new languages while they are growing up if they already have exposure to it, mainly through music, at a young age. The way this works is simple: if you hear something regularly, you recognise it and memorise the words and sounds. When it then comes to learning a new language you will already understand many words and the general tones and rhythm of the language.

Better memory and concentration

One of the biggest benefits of listening to music when studying French is that it helps with concentration and memory. Think about it, as a child how did you learn the alphabet or the colours in a rainbow? Through songs, right? Well, it works the same way as an adult when learning French. Exposure to the rhythm and tones of music increases your focus and helps you retain more information. A study at Stanford University found that music engages the parts of the brain that are involved with paying attention, making predictions and updating memory. 

So in relation to learning French, listening to music in the language not only helps you to concentrate on your work and make your study sessions more valuable. Being exposed to the lyrics will also help you to memorise grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. Even if you just want to learn basic vocabulary, you could listen to nursery rhymes or other children’s songs in French to make it easier to remember the words.

Music is portable

One reason why music is a great resource for learning French is because it is portable. You can listen to it anywhere, at any time. Additionally, you can incorporate it into almost every aspect of your everyday life. You are not limited to a schedule for group classes or having to sit at a desk to study for an hour. As a result, music, alongside movies, books and podcasts, is an easy way to integrate language learning into your free time. Another great thing about music is that it’s fun. When you listen to music it releases a chemical in your brain called dopamine, which improves your mood and reduces your anxiety. So music makes you generally happier which can only have a positive impact on your studying and language learning.

Similarly to music, private online tutoring lessons are flexible and can be done anywhere, at any time. They are a great way to perfect a new language and can undoubtedly be fitted around a busy schedule. Learn&Co provides high quality private French lessons tailored to each students’ individual needs. Thus, they can make the most of their learning experience and achieve the best results.

Music helps with your accent and pronunciation

Another benefit of listening to music is that it helps with pronunciation. Obviously if you’re listening to fast rap or heavy metal music then it’ll be much harder to pick out individual words and phrases. But slower French songs can help you with your accent and pronunciation of challenging words as you can repeat them and sing along. It’s simple, you just mimic the artists. Consequently, you will pick up a more natural, native French accent and learn how the pronunciation of words changes with different grammar rules.

Listening to music also allows us to enrich our vocabulary because we learn a wider range of expressions. The lyrics of songs are generally more colloquial and informal so you will pick up words you won’t learn from a textbook or lessons. This helps you speak more like a French native. Furthermore, it will certainly allow you to have a better understanding of the culture surrounding French.

Tips for using music when learning French 

  • Start simple

Listening to complex songs straight away can be overwhelming and therefore not have the desired effect. Start with simple, slow songs to get you used to hearing French and start picking out words to mimic so you can practice your pronunciation.

  • Use lyrics

Lyrics are probably the most important thing when listening to music in a foreign language. Have the original lyrics and an English translation in front of you when listening so you can learn the vocabulary and sentence structure of the song. It’s great for learning new, generally more colloquial words that you won’t otherwise understand. This also helps with your reading comprehension alongside listening and speaking skills.

  • Don’t be afraid to sing along

A study at the University of Edinburgh found evidence that singing can facilitate language learning. The research asked people to try to learn a phrase in Hungarian. Those who sang the phrase learnt it much quicker and more effectively than those who repeated the phrase normally in a conversational way.

Singing along not only increases your retention of words but also lets you practice your accent without any judgement. So let your inner Shakira out and have some fun singing along to the songs.

  • Watch the music videos

Watching music videos really helps with visual learning and links certain words and phrases you learn to the images shown. The videos put the lyrics into context and create visual associations, thus helping a lot with memorisation of vocabulary. Of course, watching music videos will also give you an insight into the culture surrounding French.

So to conclude, there’s no denying that listening to music is a great way to facilitate learning French. Children who study music find it much easier to learn a second language. Therefore, it is best to encourage your children to learn a language and get involved with music whilst they’re young. Of course, you may think you already know a lot about a second language you’re learning. However, singing will improve your speaking skills and cultural awareness much more than just speaking it. If you want some assistance with learning French then check out our great language tutors at Learn&Co to help you achieve your language learning goals. So go put your headphones on or turn up the radio and get listening to some great French music.

List of French Songs

Below is our list of the best French songs to help with language learning. Hand picked by our experienced tutors, these are our favourite jams to sing along to when we want to immerse ourselves in French.

Classiques

  1. Charles Aznavour – La bohème (Official Lyrics Video)
  2. Elle a les yeux revolver
  3. Les copains d’abord
  4. Nino Ferrer : Le Sud  – 1975
  5. Michel Sardou – La maladie d’amour (Audio Officiel)
  6. Et si tu n’existais pas
  7. Charles Aznavour – Emmenez-moi (Audio Officiel + Paroles)
  8. France Gall – Ella, elle l’a (Clip officiel)
  9. Dalida, Alain Delon – Paroles, paroles
  10. Il est cinq heures, Paris s’éveille
  11. Jacques Brel – Vesoul
  12. Quand on n’a que l’amour
  13. Jacques Brel – La valse à mille temps
  14. Jacques Brel – Ne me quitte pas
  15. Tu verras    
  16. Pas de boogie woogie
  17. Un, deux, trois
  18. A nos actes manqués
  19. Né en 17 à Leidenstadt 
  20. Pour un flirt

Hip-Hop / Rap

  1. Suprême NTM – Laisse pas traîner ton fils (Clip officiel)     
  2. Suprême NTM – That’s My People (Clip officiel)
  3. Suprême NTM – Pose ton Gun (Clip officiel)
  4. Passi – Le maton me guette
  5. Passi – Je Zappe et Je Matte (Clip Officiel – HD)
  6. Passi – 79 à 99 (Clip Officiel – HD)
  7. Akhenaton – Bad Boys de Marseille (Clip officiel)
  8. Passi – Le Monde est à Moi (Feat. Akhenaton) [Clip Officiel – HD]
  9. IAM – Je danse le Mia (Clip officiel)
  10. NTM – Suprême Mixtape – 93/98 (MIXTAPE)
  11. IAM – Demain, c’est loin (Audio officiel)
  12. 90s Classic French Rap Mix (ft. Oxmo Puccino, La Rumeur, Lunatic, Shurik’n, Fabe..)
  13. Supreme NTM Feat. Nas – Chacun Sa Mafia
  14. Diam’s – Confessions nocturnes feat. Vitaa (Clip officiel)        
  15. Suprême NTM – Seine Saint-Denis Style, Pt. 1 (Live au Zénith de Paris 1998)  
  16. Shurik’n – Samouraï (Clip Officiel)       
  17. Mc Solaar – Hasta la vista (Clip Officiel)
  18. Mc solaar Caroline
  19. Saian Supa Crew – angela
  20. Diam’s – La Boulette (Clip officiel)
  21. Iam – L’empire Du Côté Obscur
  22. Souf – Ça c’est fait (Clip Officiel)
  23. Maître Gims – Tout donner (Clip officiel) 
  24. Keny Arkana – Victoria 
  25. Keny Arkana – Vie d’artiste (Clip Officiel)        

Pop / Afro Pop

  1. Camille Lellouche – N’insiste pas (Clip Officiel)
  2. MAIS JE T’AIME – Grand Corps Malade & Camille Lellouche
  3. Stromae – Papaoutai
  4. Stromae – Tous Les Mêmes (Clip Officiel)   
  5. Stromae – Alors On Danse (Clip Officiel)
  6. Stromae – Formidable (ceci n’est pas une leçon)
  7. Stromae – Racine Carrée (Live Full Concert)
  8. Stromae – Ave Cesaria (Clip Officiel)
  9. Soha – C’est bien mieux comme ça
  10. Soha – Tourbillon (Serre-Moi Fort Si Tu M’aimes)  
  11. Louane – JOUR 1 (vidéo officielle) 
  12. Clara Luciani – La grenade (Clip Officiel)
  13. Indila – Dernière Danse (Clip Officiel)
  14. Indila – Parle à ta tête (Clip Officiel)
  15. Indila – Ainsi Bas La Vida
  16. Joyce Jonathan – Ça Ira
  17. Je ne sais pas
  18. Renan Luce – La Lettre      
  19. ZAZ – Je veux (Clip officiel) 
  20. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmiI98EG1Fo 
  21. ZAZ – Sous le ciel de Paris (Clip officiel)
  22. Yseult – Corps (Clip Officiel)
  23. Clara Luciani – La grenade (Clip Officiel)   
  24. Stéfi Celma – Maison de Terre  (clip officiel) 
  25. DJANY – J’ai Déconné Remix (Clip officiel)                 

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