PAST RESEARCH HAS SHOWN THAT MUSIC and language skills are related in normal-reading children as well as in children with dyslexia. In both an ongoing longitudinal study with normal-reading children and a pilot study with children with dyslexia, we found a strong relationship between musical discrimination abilities and language-related skills. In normal-reading children, musical discrimination predicted phonological and reading skills (Studies 1 and 2). These relationships were stronger in children with music training than in control children without music training. In children with dyslexia,musical discrimination predicted phonological skills, which in turn predicted reading abilities (Study 3). Furthermore, normal-reading children with music training surpassed both normal-reading controls and children with dyslexia in melodic discrimination. Controls also outperformed children with dyslexia (Study 4). Taken together, these findings suggest that a music intervention that strengthens the basic auditory music perception skills of children with dyslexia may also remediate some of their language deficits.
- developmental dyslexia
- melodic-rhythmic discrimination
- reading development
- phonological ability
- music therapy
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