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Can Music Improve Fluency and Comprehension?

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Seth Davis

on 15 November 2013

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Transcript of Can Music Improve Fluency and Comprehension?

Can Music Improve Fluency and Comprehension?
"Just the Reading Facts Ma'am, Just the Facts"
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is implemented national legislation designed to teach every child to read (U.S. Department of Education, 2002)
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in 2011 stated that 33% of children read below the basic level in 4th grade
17% of school-age population is categorized as having a Specific Learning Disability (SLD) (Darrow, 2008)
Socio-economic status effects opportunities to learn
No single method of instruction is effective for all children who struggle with literacy (Darrow, 2008)
What do We Know About Music?!
Promote positive attitude toward learning
Can improve listening and oral language skill development
The Ways Music Correlates to the Reading Process
Decoding is dependent on sound structure rather than comprehension
Alphabet letter recognition must be paired with phonetic sound patterns to acquire skills in sound blending
Our 1st experience with reading is through music
Phonological awareness
Phonemic awareness
Pitch discrimination contributes to auditory discrimination and aural recognition of phonetic information (Madsen & Geringer, 1976)
Memory, attention, and comprehension skills
Language acquisition
Research Experiment
Participants included a 2nd grade classroom (33 students) and 8 additional students with a specific disability
Treatment group participated in music activities that focused on the reading skills: word knowledge, word decoding, and reading comprehension
Intervention included 12 lesson plans over a 4 week period
Activities included: "Movement Word Build", "What's Happening?", and "Instrument Play Responding to Vocabulary".
All students take pre and post assessments in vocabulary and reading comprehension from the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test
Limitations of Study
Conducted over 4 week period near end of school year
Students in treatment exposed to more interventions
Ceiling effect issues with treatment class due to intact classrooms
Poor attendance
Music is engaging
More interventions leads to better results
Music can improve word decoding, word knowledge, and reading comprehension
Socio-economic status may affect available resources
Fluency Strategies
Choral/ echo reading and singing activities
Paired reading/singing
Model singing with focus on expression, phrasing, intonation, and prosody
Rap, poetry, and Dr. Seuss books to a beat
Repeated reading/singing
Comprehension Strategies
Cloze technique
Story maps
Music response journals
Making predictions and summarizing
Instrument playing cued by vocabulary
Identifying characters, symbolism, and descriptive language in poetry and rap music
Using universal melodies ELL students can relate to in their own languages
Potential Barriers
Not a lot of up to date research studies on the topic
Lack of professional development
Teachers who come from different backgrounds than their students
Music is not taken seriously
Personal Note
Students practice singing with modeling, echo, and choral singing
Music provides students with a positive engaging atmosphere
Music and literacy go hand in hand
Music enhances literacy in the classroom
Further research studies needed
Multiple creative strategies for fluency and comprehension using music
Look forward to practicing music in my own classroom
Paquette, K.R; Rieg, S.A. (2008). "Using music to support the literacy development of young English language learners":
Early Childhood Education Journal
(3), 227-232.

Wiggins, D. (2007). "Pre-k music and the emergent reader: Promotion literacy in a music-enhanced environment":
Early Childhood Education Journal, 35
(1), 55-64.

Register, D.; Darrow, A.; Stadley, J.; Swedberg, O. (2007). "The use of music to enhance reading skills of second grade students and students with reading disabilities:
The Journal of Music Therapy, 44
(1), 23-37.

Darrow, A. (2008). Special learners:
General Music Today, 21
(2), 32-34.

Madsen, C.; Geringer, J. (1976). Choice of televised music lessons vs. free play in relationship to academic improvement:
Journal of Music Therapy, 13
(4), 154-162.
Students with specific disabiities in reading displayed significant gains in reading comprehension
Students in 2nd grade treatment class tested better than those in the control class particularly in word knowledge
Students displayed attentiveness during music activities
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