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Center for
Lifelong Music Making
Research Studies

Neurological Research Summary

  1. Language processing and rhythm processing have shared neurocognitive connections.
  2. Music training causes brain and behavioral changes in children that are not due to preexisting biological traits.
  3. Music-making and parental singing promote infants’ auditory neural processing and early language development.
  4. Music-making develops auditory processing; results in higher reading achievement.
  5. The association between rhythm perception and letter-sound knowledge is mediated through phonological awareness.
  6. Prosody perception and music perception are associated, especially related to rhythm.
  7. Children with developmental dyslexia have a rhythmic processing difference that affects auditory processing.
  8. Literacy modifies phonological coding and strengthens the functional and anatomical link between phonemic (sounds) and graphemic (visual) representations.

Research Studies Summary

  1. Children who cannot keep a steady beat usually struggle with reading.
  2. In pre-school-age children, phonological awareness, working memory, and rapid retrieval from long-term memory are related to music perception as well as to music production.
  3. Pitch awareness is correlated with phonemic awareness.
  4. Prosody in speaking is correlated with reading comprehension.
  5. Same-language subtitles (SLS) in music videos cause inescapable reading behavior and dramatically increase functional literacy.
  6. Music-making with infants improves social and communication development.
  7. Music-making using numbers increases achievement in counting backwards, reading and dictation of numbers, arithmetic, word-problem solving, fractions, and verbal working memory.
  8. Pre-school and elementary-age children who receive music instruction improve significantly in executive functions of inhibition, planning, and verbal intelligence.
  9. Music training for dyslexic children can improve auditory processing, prosodic and phonemic sensitivity, sequencing abilities, and auditory and temporal orienting of attention.
  10. Adults who played instruments as children have better attention, verbal memory, hearing, and speech processing.
  11. Musicians have better verbal abilities, second language learning, verbal short term/working memory, non-verbal reasoning, focus in noisy environments, and general intelligence.

Contact Ann Kay