They can provide valuable speaking, listening and language practice in and out of the classroom. Some key reasons songs can work exceedingly well in the foreign language classroom include the following:
Songs almost always contain authentic, natural language
This often contrasts the contrived, stilted language found in many student texts. Of course wants and needs lyrucs can also go to the other extreme by using overly crude, foul or otherwise objectionable language. With careful screening, an extensive library of usable songs for language learning can be compiled.
A variety of new vocabulary can be introduced to students through songs
Looking to boost student vocabulary with useful phrases, vocabulary and expressions? Songs are almost always directed to the native-speaking population so they usually contain contemporary vocabulary, idioms and expressions.
Songs are usually very easily obtainable
Cibemba and Silozi non-withstanding, songs are usually not that difficult to obtain. Local sources may be available including the students themselves. There's always the internet which can connect you with song downloads in all but the most obscure languages.
Songs can be selected to suit the needs and interests of the students
In English especially, so many songs are available that selection of songs with suitable themes, levels and vocabulary is not at all difficult. Allowances can also be made for complexity or simplicity of language, depending on the students, by selecting and using suitable songs.
Grammar and cultural aspects can be introduced through songs
Most if not all songs have a recurring theme or story. So excerpting cultural elements is usually a possible, but often overlooked aspect of using songs. I still use "Hit the Road Jack" sung by the late Ray Charles to illustrate spoken contractions. He uses spoken contractions is virtually every line of the song.