You want to learn Spanish, but you do not want to study a grammar book. So, why not use some authentic songs to help you learn Spanish? Authentic songs are originally created for native speakers of a language. In this case that language is Spanish. Using authentic songs to learn grammatical concepts allows you to see the grammar in an original, natural context rather than one manufactured for language learners. Learning grammar in natural contexts will help your language develop more organically rather than mechanically.
As you look for songs to help you in your language studies, there are a few criteria you should use to filter through songs to choose an appropriate one for you. First, you need to find a song that is good speed. You do not want the singer to be spouting out long threads of language in which you only find one or two intelligible words due to the speed of the song. YouTube does have a solution for the speed issue though. If you choose a video and click on settings, you can change the playback speed to be .75, .5, or even .25 of the normal speed. I would suggest either .75 or .5 because .25 starts to get into the realm of creepy horror film, unless you are into that sort of thing.
The next thing you need to pay attention to when choosing the song is the clarity of pronunciation of the singer. When you first start listening to music in Spanish, you may think, I cannot understand any of these singers. But some accents and singers are easier to understand than others. Accents that tend to be easier for Spanish learners are the Colombian and Peruvian accents. Accents that tend to be harder are the Spanish (from Spain), Argentine, and Dominican accents. This may not prove true for all singers from those countries, and there are singers from all Spanish-speaking countries that are easily understood. This is just a generalization to help you in your search.
Authentic Songs to Help You Learn Spanish
Vivir Mi Vida by Marc Anthony
With over one billion views on YouTube, this popular song will be sure to become an earworm as you analyze it to help with your language studies. It is an upbeat song that embodies the Latino ideals of living, laughing, and dancing. Grammatical concepts that can be found in this catchy tune are simple future tense (i.e. I am going to dance- voy a bailar) and infinitives (i.e. to dance-bailar).
Corre by Jesse and Joy
Topping out at 933 million views, this song is a song of love lost. Jesse tells her sweetheart to run away and never look back because he will not be missed or cried for. The main grammatical concept you can study throughout this song are present tense verbs. There examples of AR verbs (i.e. miras, da, abrazas), ER verbs (i.e. corre), and IR verbs (i.e. siento, interrumpes).
Un Año by Sebastián Yatra, Reik Collab
With 663 million views in 3 years, this song speaks of a love-at-first-sight experience followed by almost immediate separation due to unfortunate circumstances. The love continues to grow despite time and distance because “love is stronger.” This very expressively poetic song will aid you in your quest to improve your vocabulary in the areas of seasons, months, expressions relating to time, as well as ordinal numbers.
Me Gustas Tú by Manu Chao
Not as popular of a song, probably due to the repetitive nature of it, Me Gustas Tú tops out at 177 million views. This song is perfect for learning how to use the verb gustar, which is used to express likes and dislikes. The grammatical structure does not work the same as its English counterpart, so the repetition in this song will be quite beneficial in grasping and cementing the way this verb is set up. As you can imagine, this song talks all about the likes of the singer and also lets the person to whom the song is dedicated to that the singer likes them.
Todo Cambió by Camila
225 million people have listened to this song. The group Camila sings of how everything changed from black and white to color upon seeing a new love. Very poetic, this song will be sure to get you “in the feels.” The grammatical concept that you can find throughout the lyrics are simple past tense and imperfect past tense. As for all of these songs, you should first review/study the concept you wish to find in the song so that you will know what you are looking for while listening. This is called front-loading vocabulary.
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