A unique musical approach to language teaching

Martina Schwarz, born in Cologne, is a London based musician, songwriter-composer, performer, choir leader and educator. She holds a degree in education (Cologne University) and has a long-standing background as a language and music teacher in primary education.

Martina has always believed that music is an excellent vehicle for language learning, as language in itself is music with its own rhythm and intonation. Inspired by the young MFL learners themselves, she soon discovered that the tunes and rhymes she invented for language lessons worked: They helped the children memorise new vocabulary and phrases as well as being fun to sing and act out. “Can we sing this song again?” she was asked in the classroom and in interactive concerts on tour. She had created “earworms”…

The songs were not only sung in the classroom or at assembly but also in the playground and at home. No more encouragement did Martina need to continue writing more and more catchy tunes and lyrics ranging from very simple curriculum related topics to cross-curricular subjects like her brand new song programme about climate change (CLIL). Originally created for German as a foreign/ second language, Martina has now adapted many of her German songs as well as written new songs for French and English as a foreign language. She performs her musical language learning programme in schools and other venues worldwide and online.

Martina touring the Czech Republic: pupils have fun with the days of the week. Photo: Jiří Příborský