After living in Spain for about 2 years in total, I speak the language pretty well. But learning another language definitely isn’t always fun or easy. Actually, during my time studying abroad in Sevilla, I remember hiding in the bathroom to cry between classes because I found the language so, so frustrating.
I mean, obviously things did improve at some point, or I’d be complaining about it a lot more on my blog! Now, I speak Spanish at a level I never thought would be possible for me. And luckily, I’ve found a few ways to learn the language that are more fun than being in tears over grammar books. One of my favorite ways? Learn Spanish with music instead of with tedious textbooks!
Here’s a playlist full of music to help you learn Spanish with music. A Barcelona friend recently gave me of Spanish artists, so I posted that, plus where all of the artists are from. (Sorry guys, “The Macarena” didn’t make this list! 🙂 ) I also added a few songs that I like, and starred my favorites from Alex’s list.
Here’s the Spotify version:
If you don’t have Spotify, this is what’s on it:
- *”El Lado Oscuro” – Jarabe De Palo (Barcelona). These guys are great to learn from because the singer pronounces everything pretty clearly.
- *”En La Casa de Ines” – Guarana (Alicante)
- “El Peligro” – Malu, Revolver (Madrid, Valencia)
- “Y, ¿si fuera ella?” – Alejandro Sanz (Madrid)
- “Perdorname (con Carminho)” – Pablo Alboran (Málaga)
- “Sin Exagerar” – O’Funk’illo (Sevilla)
- “Al Cantar” – Platero Y Tú (Vizcaya)
- *”Antes de que cuente diez” – Fito y Fitipaldis (Vizcaya)
- “Ojos de gata” – Miguel Rios (Granada)
- “Mediterraneo” – Joan Manuel Serrat (Barcelona)
- “Parte de Mi” – Saratoga (Madrid)
- “Rojitas Las Orejas” – Fito y Fitipaldis (Vizcaya)
- “El Hombre Del Piano” – Ana Belén (Madrid)
- “Maldito Duende” – Heroes del Silencio (Zaragoza)
What I added:
- “Allí donde soliamos gritar” – Love of Lesbian (Barcelona)
- “En Mis Venas” – Supersubmarina (Jaen)
- “Copenhague” – Vestuta Morla (Madrid)
- “Te Debo un Baile” –The New Raemon (Barcelona)
- “Costa Azul” – Sidonie (Barcelona)
- “Lágrimas Desordenadas” – Melendi (Asturias)
- “Mi Realidad” – Lori Meyers (Granada)
- “Si Te Vas” – Extremoduro (Extremadura)
- “Febrero” – La Habitación Roja (Valencia)
- “Gente Honrada” – Estopa (Barcelona)
- “Toro” – El Columpio Asesino (Pamplona)
- “La Tormenta de Arena” – Dorian (Barcelona)
And to finish off, my personal favorite Spanish-language music video (he’s not from Spain though). This never fails to cheer me up (wait for the ‘vroom vroom’ part):
If you’re looking for a way learn Spanish with music, Spotify is a great place to start. Put in the name of a Spanish artist you like and it can make you a radio station of similar stuff. You can also check out the ‘Top Lists’ and set the country to ‘Spain’, and it’ll show you what people here are listening to. But that may not get you much actual Spanish-language music – the top songs right now are by will.i.am and Britney Spears, Bruno Mars, and Rihanna!
Do you have any favorite Spanish music I’m missing out on? Let me know, and I’ll check it out!
When I was taking Spanish classes at Berlitz, my teacher recommended that I listen to a Spanish-language radio station during my commute. I never got around to it…thanks for reminding me!! I was just thinking that I’ve forgotten what spoken Spanish *sounds* like since I haven’t been able to practice in such a long time.
You’re welcome! I think listening to how it sounds and the rhythm really does help you improve. Just having it on in the background is a little ‘language immersion’ experience. Good luck with your Spanish!
I totally cried after my first week of study abroad, and moving to Seville and having to do it all in Andalu was one of my biggest challenges. It’s one thing to ask for directions, and a completely different to complain about getting billed too much on your phone bill. I listened to Pereza a lot when I was learning Spanish, as their lyrics are easy to understand and riddled with idioms.
Yeah, the Sevilla accent was IMPOSSIBLE at first! Even last year when I went back, it took me a day to re-adjust to their way of speaking.
I’ll check out Pereza, idioms are always good to learn!
I thought of Pereza too hahaha. My favourite two songs:
Gracias! I really like them, they’re fun. I’ll have to add them my playlist.
Well, they’re not Spain Spanish, but Jesse&Joy are my pop favorites: Espacio Sideral
And my high-school Spanish teacher’s favorite was La Oreja de Van Gogh (20 de enero, por ejemplo — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s83izTuj0g0)
And in high-school Spanish we also listened to Juanes. I remember my favorite being La Paga — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QSXbvmEEJM
Oh, Jesse and Joy are fun! I like Juanes too, but wanted to stick to Spain.
La Oreja de Van Gogh I almost put on here! They’re not my favorites though.
I love the song Corre!! I love listening to Andrés Cepeda because not only is his accent great to understand but his lyrics are soooo amazing. My favourite song by him is Faltarán which is just the cutest thing ever and also Día trás día which is even more clever clever lyrically.
I listen to Juanes too but then there are sooo many genres to choose from. I have an album buy Gloria Estefan that’s all cuban style music like guaguanco. I have heaps of Shakira in Spanish and Enrique Iglesias in Spanish. I have Wisin y Yandel who are the best of the Reggaeton genre, which is more of an acquired taste, and really you’re only looking to understand the choruses coz their verses are so fast even Latin Americans I know don’t understand them haha. In fact, I feel like I need to blog about this too!!
Ooh, thanks for some suggestions! There’s sooo much music out there that I wanted to stick just to Spain Spanish, otherwise it goes on forever. 🙂 Enrique is Spanish but I always forget him, as I think he’s from Latin America for some reason!
If you do blog about it, send a link my way! I’ll definitely check it out, I love finding new Spanish-language music.
Sure will!! By the way I’ve had some trouble getting my youtube links to show up on the post so that you can watch it right there on the page, they just show up as links without the video. How did you get una vaina loca up there?
I just copied the embed code, and pasted it into the text. It shows up at HTML, but when you hit ‘preview’ it’ll give you the video.
Same with the Spotify playlist – just right-click and copy the embed code. 🙂
Nevermind my bro told me how to do it. These are not the kinda thing I automatically figure out how to do haha. My post will be up tomorrow with lots of vids and links to vids so you can have a Spanish music overload. And I will put plenty from Spain as well. =)
here’s an example of Wisin y Yandel. Song is Síguelo
haha that video of la vaina loca doesn’t fails to cheer me up
Hehe it’s just so silly! 🙂
Great post! I am struggling to learn Spanish. I’ve been listening to Spanish language radio stations using my Tune In app. I’ll give these a try, too.
Mucha suerte! Just having the music around can help get you in the mindset.
If you go on YouTube, lots of them have lyrics videos (search for the song name and ‘letra’). Reading and hearing the words at the same time is extremely helpful. Same goes for movie subtitles – turn the Spanish audio and subs on for a movie you’re familiar with, and you’ll start picking things up quickly.
Hey guys. My post is up with some of the music I listen to if you wanna get some more ideas. It’s the first part of three as I am doing a bit more writing in them about the artists and I don’t wanna be sitting around writing one super long blog post haha. Hope you like it. =)
Cheers, thanks for the link! Fun post 🙂
“Una vaina loca”, remembers me of Summer! 🙂 Ha! I’ve never seen the video before. It reminded me of “Dirty Dancing”.
My favorite way to learn a language is with music too, and also movies, but music is a great way. I don’t have any suggestion though, I don’t listen to much Spanish music. I mostly listen to English music.
Oh, now I remembered a Catalan band that I like, I don’t know if you know them (and I realize that you are talking about Spanish music… but…), it’s “Manel”. My fav song from them is “En Miquel i l’Olga tornen”. Oh and also “La cançó del soldadet” this one is so sad… but beautiful. I think you can learn interesting Catalan vocabulary with their songs.
Now, I’m going to listen “Mediterraneo”. 🙂
*reminds me, not remembers… ouch!
Ooh, thanks! I’ll go check them out, I haven’t got any Catalan music (yet!).
Just found your blog.
This is brilliant! Thanks for sharing!
Will definitely be keeping an eye out for future posts 😀
Cheers, thank you very much! Hope to see you back soon 🙂
Thank you Jessica!!! I was trying so hard to find good Spanish music yesterday for this very reason. It’s also good to know I’m not the only one who has been frustrated on a study abroad trip in Spain. 2 months in here in Madrid and I’m improving but still frustrated. Loving your blog!
You’re welcome! I’m glad you found it useful. I was so unbelievably frustrated when I studied abroad, but there does get a point where it suddenly starts getting easier. Keep it up, and avoid speaking English as much as you can. 🙂 Good luck!
This is such a great post, music is such a fun way to improve your language skills. Now I have a new play list on my iPod, thank you!
No problem, glad you liked it! 🙂
In learning, I was quite fond of watching Sharkira vids 🙂
You know, a lot of my guy friends highly recommended them to me too 😉
It must be her easy-to-understand accent, I suppose.
This is an AMAZING post!!! Keep it up girl!!!
Thanks! Hope your Spanish is going well. 🙂
You should listen to La Oreja de Van Gogh. It’s an amazing group and they really sing well. My favourite song is La Playa but they have many other songs. As you say, just look it up on Spotify and make your radio station 🙂
I have listened to them, but they’re not my favorites. They are very good for learning though! Thanks for the suggestion. 🙂
Hola! I work as a Spanish teacher in London (used to teach English and do translation in Barcelona not too long ago!!) and you’re so right – music is a great way to learn the language, but more importantly, the Spanish language is a great window into the music!! One of my favourite Spanish artists is the late Antonio Vega, his song “Lucha de gigantes” is just beautiful (although probably not the easiest if you’re just starting to learn), and I especially love the live version (which you can find on youtube!). BTW, the evolution of your blog has been impressive – and it looks great!!
What a coincidence! Small world, eh? What kind of translation work did you do here?
I haven’t heard much of Antonio Vega, I’ll add him to my playlist for work tomorrow. Thanks for the suggestion!
Oh, and also thank you for your very kind words about my blog. 🙂
Hi Jessica, sorry for taking so long to reply! My translation job? Well, I have a friend who works for an animation company in Valencia, and he hooked me up with a job translating scripts for a series they were producing – was quite interesting! As far as music goes, I’m also a fan of the Andaluz duo Andy y Lucas too (not sure if you know them…) – two of the few authentically-Spanish sounding musicians around!
Ooh that sounds quite fun! I did a bit of script translation for a friend and enjoyed it.
I haven’t heard of Andy y Lucas, I’ll definitely check them out. Cheers!
wow i finally had good enough internet to watch that video and WOW MY MIND WAS JUST BLOWN. Nice find Jess 😉
When we met Pedro, an exchange student from Spain a few years ago, his family gave us a gift of Spanish CDs. I love listening to them: Los exitos del ano (2009) and music by Narcisco Yepes and Paco de Lucia. But my favorite ‘Spanish’ music is actually composed by Pedro himself. He composes movie scores for Spanish film companies. The trailer for his first short film was just released this week. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGbD5elupoI
How cool! I’ll have to watch the short film when it comes out, it looks good. It sounds like you had a really incredible experience with your exchange.
But don’t just stick to Spain, latin-america has great music too specially Venezuela (my home country hehe), I recommend Franco DeVita, Guaco, Ricardo Montaner and so many more.
Yeah, those are some great picks! But for this list, I wanted to stick to Spain music. 🙂 Maybe I should do a follow-up with Latin American music…
Listening to music is also a great way but because full because when you listen to music it is hard to understand the mearning of them
Thanks for sharing these songs. I’ve been attempting to sing them all weekend, probably to my boyfriends and neighbours annoyance ;)I’d like to add Jarabe de Palo-Grita to the list. I think the lyrics are beautiful. I think this type of learning is much more fun than text books. I’ve tried to find a good series but can’t seem to find any! Can you recommend one?
Thanks for listening! 🙂 I agree, music is way more fun than books. I’ll definitely check out “Grita”, I think Jarabe de Palo is great for learning because the singer is fairly easy to understand.
The only Spanish T.V. show that I’m really into is “Lo Sabe, No Lo Sabe”, which is a silly quiz show. I don’t actually watch much Spanish television!
Not sure if Bachata music is popular on Spain but in South America it is hugely popular. As it is slow music it is easier to understand too. I like Prince Royce. I also find Mark Anthony’s pronounciation is fairly easy to understand.
While I’m not an expert, I’d guess it’s more popular in South America, but people definitely listen to it here. You’re right, it tends to be slower, and that’s always a plus for understanding! I think Marc Anthony is pretty easy to understand too.
I kept my playlist to all Spain Spanish artists though, just because that’s what I’m more familiar with. I couldn’t resist sneaking in one by Mexican group Zoé though because I love it so much.
Do you know any other good South American artists? I’m always on the lookout for new Spanish-language music!
Can you add this song to your spotify play list please:
Bonito, Jarabe de Palo. Thank you
Great post! I would like to add Ojos de Brujo , Chambao/Mari and Bebe. I agree this method works very well. Although I listen to more Latin American music than Spanish, I did pretty well understanding the southern Spanish accent.
I neglected to list some songs:. Ojos de Brujo – Corre Lola, Chambao – Ahi Estas Tu, Ojos de Brujo & Bebe – Nueva Vida
Thanks so much, Gerrard! And thanks for your recommendations, I’ll definitely check them out. 🙂
I’ve always wanted to learn Spanish; it never occurred to me that I could learn through music. My husband and I both love Latin music because of how exciting the tempo usually is. Because I am a more visual learner, watching Latin music videos may be the best option for me to learn Spanish.
I really liked it, congratulations for the information
learning another language always has some difficulty, but when you sing to learn it seems that it is easier and more enjoyable to learn, very good your post I liked it