Resource Reveiw: Lyrics Training
Visit their homepage now at LyricsTraining.com
Music has always been an excellent way of learning a language and exchanging in culture. Many teachers use music in their classrooms to enhance the understanding their students have of their second language. In fact, the famous Latina singer Shakira learned English because of her desire to make emotional music in another language!
Lyrics Training is an application (that can run on both your internet browser and on mobile) which aims to improve your language learning through a karaoke-like game. The question is if the game is better than other music study-methods.
Pros of Lyrics Training:
100% free on browser and mobile apps
Three modes of gameplay, write-in, multiple choice, and karaoke.
Quite challenging, it defiantly improves your listening skills!
Cons of Lyrics Training:
All lyrics are completely in Ro-maji, meaning you aren't practicing reading/typing native Japanese.
Song selection is minimal at best.
Songs that are present may not be available in all locations.
Difficult to integrate into the classroom
My Experience with Lyrics Training
When I first started studying with music, I studied by myself with songs by The Blue Hearts, a Japanese punk-rock band. I told my Japanese friend I had all the words to the song Linda Linda in order to study. He's the one who told me about Lyrics Training. I was impressed that you could either select answers or type them in. We must have spent an hour or more playing the songs offered in English and trying to see who would get the highest score!
I had so much fun playing Lyrics Training with him that I went home to try it out in Japanese!
But what I found was. . . lacking. . .
The game was completely in Ro-maji with no features to change to kana or kanji. That's fine if you're an absolute beginner, but not if you're in the upper-levels. There's only a few songs to choose from. Actually, the first song that I tried to play in Japanese gave me this lovely message:
This song wasn't available to studiers in the United States, apparently. Such a shame.
So What's the Grade?
Relative to the other languages on Lyrics Training, it feels as if Japanese was an after thought. If you wanted to learn the other languages they offer, then Lyrics Training is good, but since we are here to learn Japanese. . . I can't give it high marks.
Because of the lack of native Japanese input and minimal song selection, I would give it a C-. I would recommend finding Japanese songs you enjoy (on YouTube, Spotify, etc.) and learning the words from a site like AnimeLyrics.com (which has English, Ro-maji, and native Japanese lyrics!) like I have with The Blue Hearts albums.
How do you study Japanese music? Do you have any advice? Share it with us in the comments!