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Language straight into the ear

You want to learn German? Languages are more easily memorized through rhythm and melodies. Here we give a few tips for learning German with music.

Nicole Sagener, 17.12.2019
Learn German with music: tips, links and projects
Learn German with music: tips, links and projects © Alexandr Screaghin/iStock

“It can divide or bring people together. It can influence and enchant you. It cheers you up or makes you shudder.” The “it” that the Munich band EINSHOCH6 is extolling in its song “Lass uns reden” (Let’s Talk) is language. But the subject could just as well be music. Nor is this an accident. Music and language have a lot in common: both work with melody, rhythm and intonation. So if you want to learn German, you can listen your way into the sound and rhythm of the language with music.

There are many German-language pop musicians and music projects that offer good learning assistance. For example, the hip hop group EINSHOCH6: the songs and subtitled music videos of their two albums “Lass uns reden” and “Reise um die Welt” (Travel Around the World) can be downloaded with texts and interactive exercises developed for language learning. Together with the Deutsche Welle, EINSHOCH6 has also produced a video diary. In the 40 episodes of this online language course, the band takes viewers on a journey across Germany.

Concentrated listening and singing along

Using pop instead of rap, the Goethe Institut project “Lautstark” helps deepen beginners’ and advanced learners ‘understanding of German. It presents 15 successful German pop songs with their lyrics, among others by Seed, Materia and the Toten Hosen. Accompanying these are teaching materials for German lessons from levels A1 to B2

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The website LyricsGaps offers even more music with German texts and appropriate exercises. There you can search in other languages as well as in German for the lyrics of various bands. There is a YouTube video and a text to follow the music with for each piece. If you want to practice more, you can display the song as a fill-in-the-blank text in several levels of difficulty.

No matter what projects or paths you choose, listen carefully and sing along, even if you don’t understand all the words. Best is to read the lyrics while listening and replay the songs often.

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