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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."

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