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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How to learn English from scratch? - Music

Learn English with Music

A     proven way to start learning English is the use of English Music (though it can be used in more advanced levels as well).

Please consider translating this post into your native language with this “Google translator”, just in case you don’t understand everything.

How to use English Music?

Well, by listening to your favourite songs and reading the lyrics of those songs. Song lyrics are really useful for learning new words and expressions. Moreover, you’ll listen to how words are pronounced so your ear will get used to English phonetics. Also, if you sing the songs aloud you’ll be practicing your pronunciation as well.

When using Music to learn English put into practice the following tips:
  • First, choose songs or bands that sing clearly. A great band is “Cake”. When the lead singer sings, it is almost like he is speaking. His words are clear and they are easy to sing along to. Check them out and look for “Cake music” in YouTube.
  • Second, in the beginning it is best to listen to songs, while reading along with the lyrics. Once you know the words you can sing along without the lyrics. This way you will understand what you are singing before you start singing. (We don’t want you to be singing something offensive without realizing it).
  • Third, you can use specific songs to learn specific grammar. For example you can learn the second conditional with a song by the Bare Naked Ladies, “If I had a Million Dollars”. To listen to the song, read the lyrics and practice the second conditional visit the following link in Diana’s website.

Where can I get the Music, the videos and the lyrics?

We have compiled a series of free online resources to search for songs, lyrics and even videos with subtitles.

Web pages to look for songs:

This resource offers many free songs to listen to online with pretty good sound quality. There are lists of favourite songs, a song searcher and the possibility of creating your own playlists. If you select an individual song, it will likely (though not always) link to a video in YouTube with the video clip and the lyrics of the song.

More free online music with good sound quality. It offers different lists with the favourite songs grouped by country (France, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany …) or style of Music (General, Electro, Rock and Ambient). This website also has three online radios to choose from (Soul, Disco and French variety).

Web pages to look for the lyrics:

One of the best websites to find music lyrics! It has a list with the current “top” songs. It also allows you to search by the name of the artist or the title of the song. Furthermore, when you click on a song you can see the lyrics and also a video in YouTube.

Here is another Web page to look for lyrics.

Yahoo Music

This is a music service offered by Yahoo. You can search for the lyrics and watch the video clips of your favourite artists. By the way, the videos are pretty good quality. They also have a service for Videos and music lyrics.

AOL Music

Here you will find a music service offered by AOL. You can search the lyrics by the artist's name or by song title. Some of the songs can be played and listened to while reading the lyrics as well.

Comment 1: If you don’t find a specific set of lyrics from the above websites you can look for it in google (or in your favourite web browser): “title of the song lyrics” or “title of the song artist lyrics”. For example: “disturbia lyrics” or “disturbia rihanna lyrics”.

Comment 2: If you are interested in watching a song's video clip, you can search for its title in YouTube and if you don’t find it, you can try the following in your favourite web browser: “title of the song video”. For example: “disturbia video” or “disturbia video clip”.

Web pages to look for Music videos with subtitled lyrics:


An online resource that offers videos in English with subtitles appearing at the bottom of the video. You can find subtitled musical videos in the Music category.


A website with many videos organized into different categories. You can see English subtitles for every video and you might see the translation into your native language as well. Yappr has a Music category containing more than 300 videos.


This Web page has a collection of subtitled songs to learn English in a fun way. It currently has 1313 songs so that you can listen to your favourite artists.

Multimedia English Classroom

This Web page has a section dedicated to Music with videos in English, complete transcripts of the songs, general idea and meaning of the song and explanations about a variety of language used in the song, along with the most important vocabulary.

Note: If you are looking for more learning guides to learn English from scratch, you can have a look to the guides that we have created in the blog and that will allow you to begin to study English from a null or a very basic level.

This document has been written in collaboration with Diana Tower, an English teacher with 3 years teaching experience. She is also the author of the free Web page Helping you learn English.

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Mer said...

Hola! acabo de ver tu blog por 20minutos, mi voto va para ti, ya que me parece super original la idea, y elblog esta muy cuidado.

Un beso!

whiner said...

Thanks a million Mercedes! :)

Celebro que te guste el blog. Hay también una versión en español:

Por si quieres echar un vistazo.

Un abrazo, cuídate.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the method with us. Have you thought about Play, learn English and feed the poor with

whiner said...

Hi Satya,

I didn't know that Web page. It seems really useful and you can help many people using it.

I might post a new entry about it and definitely have a deeper look.

Thanks for sharing.

Davicine said...

Gran recopilación de formación de inglés. Mucho tiempo buscando por la red cursos online para mi novia y ha tenido que ser por 20 minutos como encontrara tu web (aunque compito en cine, no somos competencia)

Gran trabajo de información. Te tengo entre mis favoritos, y mi novia te lo agradece...

whiner said...

Gracias por tus comentarios Davicine.

Celebro que el blog ayude a la gente a aprender inglés online (y gratis), ya que éste es su objetivo principal.

Visitaré tu blog sobre cine.

Un saludo!

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