Music Therapy and Its Link to Listening and Reading
Posted Aug 18 2009 11:22pm
New research on music therapy and its effectiveness at teaching listening skills, especially in noise.
Incorporating a music therapist for kids in early intervention, for a range of issues, seems like an increasingly good public policy idea.
"The findings strongly support the potential therapeutic and
rehabilitation use of musical training to address auditory processing
and communication disorders throughout the life span.....Better perception in noise was linked with better working memory and
tone discrimination ability. The results imply that musical training
enhances the ability to hear speech in challenging listening
environments by strengthening auditory memory and the representation of
important acoustic features."
The researchers have also looked at the link between music and reading.
"The Auditory Neuroscience Lab at Northwestern has helped establish the
relationship between sound encoding in the brain and linguistic
abilities by showing that the very neural sound transcription processes
that are deficient in children with dyslexia are enhanced in people
with musical experience. Based on this collective work, poor readers
may show greater benefits from training programs that include music as
well as speech sounds."