I'm a beginner, should I learn Mandarin through music? What are your recommendations?

Hello everyone. I’m taking some Mandarin classes and I’m crawling through the Intro level so slow :expressionless:
I see myself listening to music all day so I think it’s also a good to jam Mandarin in my head (for listening and speaking skills) :thinking:
I see that I need to get the tone right in Mandarin so is it a good example to learn Mandarin through music for a beginner? I’m worried that I learn the wrong pronunciation and it will be difficult to correct it later.
If you think music is good to try, can you recommend me some good ones? The only song I know and I can literally sing that even I don’t even know Mandarin is Tonghua Tong Hua (Fairy Tale) - Guang Liang - YouTube

1 Like

When you sing in Mandarin you sing all syllables in the first tone. If you would sing another tone it would also change the height of the note, it would change the music, so this is not possible. :wink:
Singing Western music in Mandarin is a big miracle, it is not really possible, and Chinese people have to guess a lot what the lyrics really mean. And there must be a lot of funny stuff, as the lyrics could be understood in different ways quite often. :wink:

Singing can help you to get used to the sounds and singing is a nice thing to feel somehow at home in a language.
But it will not help you much as a Mandarin beginner, as the tones are really the most important thing.
Learning the syllables without tone makes no sense and you can’t add learning a tone afterwards, as each tone gives the sound a different meaning. In the beginning you learn sounds with only one important tone and one important meaning. But later on most of the sounds can be pronounced in all tones and have a lot of different meanings.
You should learn the whole package from the beginning and exaggerate when you pronounce the tones.
The tones must be correct and absolutely clearly remembered, otherwise you will be confused soon and confuse the people you speak with.
You do not need to worry too much about the pronouncing of sounds like q, j, zh, ch, similar sounds will develop time by time. But always remember exactly how the pinyin is written.

1 Like

I have been enjoying hiphop - the zhong(dot)tv channel on youtube is good. AR 刘夫阳 liufuyang, Pharoah 法老,Yamy are some artists.

I think rap can use the correct tones. Would love feedback from more advanced speakers on this. For example check out “一丢丢” by 刘夫阳 or “广东 Standup”. Are the tones mostly right?


These are some good points raised by @Sonja-Mandarin-HSK_3 and @Stephen-Mandarin-Intro1. Basically, listening to Chinese songs is most likely not going to help you with pronunciation, unless you listen to rap songs. You can still learn a lot from the lyrics, though. This course is fun and it’s free: Learn Chinese with Songs | Chinese Zero to Hero

@Stephen-Mandarin-Intro1 Are you familiar with Fan Laoshi and her pronunciation videos? She specifically recommends some of the artists you mentioned (e.g. here and here as their pronunciation is flawless).