Studying with music has numerous advantageous to it. Even if you are not a music nut, it can really help you out in the sense that it is a relaxing way to get a little more practice in. Finding a catchy song to sing along with helps keep the words in your head and allows you to have fun while you study.
Even if you are at a beginners level of Japanese, listening to Japanese music can help you get more comfortable with the language. It also brings you a little closer to the culture and at the very least will give you something to talk about with your Japanese friends.
Some recent studies have shown that listening to the music of a foreign language can help you learn where one word ends and the other begins. In other words, it assists your ability to recognize patterns in the language. This pattern recognition is a critical first step to acquiring good listening skills. So, the sooner you can master it, the better off you’ll be.
I listen to Japanese music when I just need to relax and don’t feel like studying so hard. Watching a few music videos (PV in Japanese) to pass the time while I eat a snack or drink my morning coffee is a great way to pass the time and ‘study’ a little bit.
I use a website called musicpv.jp, which is a usually pretty good site to find good music videos. One problem with the site is that the lyrics they provide are not ‘selectable’. This makes it impossible to look up words with browser tools. If you really need to know the pronunciation of a particular word in kanji, you can visit another site, jplyrics.com. There you can highlight the kanji and see the readings with browser tools. You still can’t copy the lyrics out, though.
2) At first, listen to the song 2~3 times to get comfortable with the rhythm and see how much of it you can understand.
3) Click on the link to the lyrics (歌詞 or かし in Japanese). Musicpv.jp has lyrics for most songs, but occasionally you might get an error message that they couldn’t find lyrics. If this is the case, you’ll have to move on to another song. Alternatively, you can try jplyrics.com
4) Listen to the song while reading the lyrics. This is so you can link the sound and kanji/kana together in your head. You might want to hum along so you can get comfortable with how the song is sung.
5) Look up any words you don’t know. You can use a browser tool to help you with meanings on jplyrics.com (browser extensions don’t seem to work on musicpv.jp lyrics).
6) Practice ondoku with the lyrics a few times and try to get as comfortable as you can with the words. Try to think about the meaning of the words as you do this part.
7) You can try to echo the song, by playing a little bit, pausing, and then singing it. Work your way through the song until you are pretty comfortable.
8) Finally, you can try to sing-along with the song to help you practice the rhythm.