Lessons in English



Nowadays it is commonly understood that English is a tool not a goal. Rather than studying a language, it is ideal (especially for children) to acquire it naturally like native speakers. Of course the purpose of music lessons is to play the instrument and produce beautiful music. With this understanding as a firm base, however, some might feel that in the process of learning music it would be ideal for Japanese students to acquire English skills at the same time. In linguistics, especially in terms of verbal communication, music and language both share the common feature of sound delivery. Japanese sounds are flat compared to English. A common point of music and English is that they both express accent and rhythm more clearly than Japanese. Hearing and acquiring a language such as English complements the expression of music because it requires clear stress patterns and a vocabulary with a rich rhythmic sense. In addition, the emotional expressions that are used in general English conversations are more expressive than Japanese. Listening to and using those expressions would enhance playing a piece. During a music lesson sound is very important and therefore the student is especially attuned to listening. If good sound is produced it will add to the overall enjoyment of the lesson. In this type of positive situation, the chance of acquiring any skills should also be naturally improved. In that case, the English that the teacher speaks can be naturally acquired. Piano texts designed for children include music and lyrics. Through listening, playing and singing, the student will naturally feel the words with their body and integrate accent, intonation and rhythm as a matter of course.

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Reiko Tamura Music School