Say Yes to Russian Songs

The song, as a piece of music, employing a verbal text is well-known to each person since the childhood. The song accompanies any person through the life. Though the song remains invariable, the perception of a song by the same person changes with age and experience..

The song is highly figurative and symbolical. The song is an important element of culture, it preserves the previous spiritual experience of any nation, it preserves the ideas and the imageries to which people of specific nation have a tendency, the song bears the motives of behavior and it reflects the way of national thinking. Perhaps, all previously mentioned features constitute and express the national character.

For this reason the song is a universal means of intercultural communications. Any person is capable to keep tens of songs or sometimes even hundreds of songs in his (or her) memory.

Thus, if to analyze the lexicon which is used in these songs it can fluctuate from several thousand words to several tens of thousand words. Besides, in those songs there is a considerable amount of idiomatic and figurative expressions, catch phrases, and proverbs.

Studying foreign language, the person faces many difficulties, but, perhaps, the greatest ones are the following:

  • How to keep in memory hundreds, or even thousands of foreign words if not to use them every day;
  • How to develop the skills of correct pronunciation and how to recognize a word in a stream of quickly spoken words of foreign speech.

The listed above problems can be considerably alleviated or even probably resolved if to use an unusual approach to the understanding of a song. The approach is in perceiving of the song as a means of structuring and coding of language information.

In the song you can easily find the structuring of text and music:

  • The song text (lyrics) consists of several stanzas and a repeating refrain;
  • A stanza (as well as a refrain) has repeating structure defined by meter and rhyme of verses;
  • Song verses (lyrics) has a certain rhythm which is in conformity with a song melody;
  • A song melody has the structure which is in harmony with a song text (lyrics), or, in other words, a melody is in complete conformity with a song text.

The above described structure of the song can help us to do a verification procedure. If any song unit (a word, a phrase, a line or even a stanza) is not in conformity with the following song features, then we can tell that this unit is not from our song:

  • The unit contradicts to a song subject, which can evoke imageries in a listener’s mind;
  • The unit contradicts to any feature of lyrics;
  • The unit isn't in conformity with a song melody, with its rhythm or tonality;
  • The unit isn't in conformity with a song style.

A song itself helps you to memorize its text, as it evokes imageries, which involve an emotional part of human mentality. Since a person empathizes with a song, this emotional process helps to retain in a person’s memory an indelible trace.

It is  a well-known fact that a human brain has different areas of musical and speech perception. The musical center of a brain is in the left creative hemisphere and consequently it works more quickly and remembers better, than the speech center, which is  in the right brain hemisphere. The perception of a song unites the functioning of both hemispheres of a human brain and as a result the text memorization becomes much faster and easier.

The song has a melody and text (lyrics), but the song also has rhythm, — a very important component. The melody rhythm improves attention of a human. In psychiatry the rhythm helps to patients with lost attention to improve their concentration for a short while. Healthy people concentrate their attention on the song without any effort.

The above factors combination helps easy perception and memorization of the song by a person. It is very easy to reinforce the song text in your memory even after a long period of time! Since any simple hearing of a melody reinforces song’s subject and consequently the song text.

Now you may bid farewell to the boredom of learning Russian words! Singing Russian songs equals to learning of Russian. It is pleasant and easy to sing songs. The time goes unnoticed and each elapsed minute increases your proficiency in Russian!

But what do we need for studying Russian songs? Perhaps we can’t do without the following things and a person:

  • A songbook with a correct song text;
  • A teacher for consultations;
  • A device for song presentation;
  • And a plan for song learning.

But I have to confess that often I dreamed of all above listed things of easy words memorization via songs to be realized in some software. Imagine, if there is a software developed by Russians, you are guaranteed, that the song is really popular among Russians and you already have a correct text and its interpretation. There is a specially developed dictionary of all Russian words used in the software. Russian announcers (a man and a woman) pronounce each sentence of a song text, each word of the song and each word in the dictionary.

And now my dream has come true! Such a software does exist!
Now you need not the above listed things and persons! You only need this software!

The software title is „Via Songs to Russian“ (or VStoR — abbr.). To say that the VStoR software allows you easy memorization of Russian words — to say very little about the software. It is true that the software helps you to memorize Russian words, but it also helps you to improve greatly your skills in phonetics as well as words recognition, words' usage and many other useful things!

Now let me try to describe this software in general features. The VStoR software has the following characteristics of passive learning:

  • The texts of songs (lyrics) completely correspond to the songs and accompaniments;
  • A specially developed method of song analysis — the Linguistic Teaching Decomposition method;
  • The dictionary, in which you can find every word of lyrics;
  • The list of words of each song;
  • The preface to each song and the information about authors and singers;
  • You always have at hand both male and female Russian voices (each dictionary word, each lyrics word, each sentence is pronounced by a man and woman);
  • Special Listening mode to compare announcers’ voices of a man, woman and singer, which are uttering lyrics' sentences.

The VStoR software has the characteristics of active learning, which are listed below:

  • You can record your pronunciation of a word or of a sentence and compare your recorded voice with announcers’ voices and with a singer;
  • Besides, you can record your song singing and listen to your voice recording with or without music;
  • The analysis of any song sentence, which you can do with the help of the Linguistic Teaching Decomposition method;
  • You can learn a song in a game, using the Tutor subroutine, which rebuilds dynamically exercises in each of four difficulty levels.

But the main objective of this software is to turn the boring process of learning into the fruitful game. Don’t make yourself to learn, but simply play with the things to which you have tendency! Don’t exhaust yourself with endless learning. Feel yourself at ease in the Tutor subroutine or in the Singing mode, or in the Listening mode.

The song is the first step for thinking in the language of your study. Notice, the more you refer in your memory to this language, the more you immerse into the foreign language environment. You begin to remember words and expressions, using them directly, without addressing to your native language!

Say NO to boring memorization! Say YES to Russian songs!