Music and Language
From the ABC song of Sesame Street to the Chinese poem Quianzi wen pictured below, we can find many examples of how music plays a crucial role in language learning. Rhyming song lyrics act as mnemonic devices, tapping into the power of music and rhythm. Studies have shown an increased ease of learning with song compared to speech. According to a 2007 study, songs may contribute to early phases of language acquisition in several ways. First, the emotional aspects of a song may increase engagement and attention. Pitch contours may enhance phonological discrimination, since syllable change is often accompanied by a change in pitch. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the consistent cognitive mapping of musical and linguistic structures in the brain may optimize the efficacy of learning.