When Mozart was a kid, his young mind was bathed in music – it is all he heard around him.  His dad didn’t say, “Hey, Wolfgang, this is an eighth note, and this is a half rest. And check out this treble clef over here. I bet you’d like to learn how to draw one of them! Cool, huh! And once you learn all this stuff, in about five years, I am going to let you hear some music by Bach and Buxtehude and Palestrina, and you can see how this all fits together!”

We don’t learn languages by putting off our listening to them. We don’t learn languages by studying pieces of them in written form. We don’t even learn languages by hearing snippets of them in aural form! We learn them by continuously hearing them and understanding them in a relaxed way on a daily basis. We learn them by listening to their music first.

If some day we decide to major in music, we can then study tonal systems and diminished sevenths and all that stuff. Can’t we just enjoy the music that language is first and break it into pieces later, once we understand what it is?


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