Colwell, C (1994). Therapeutic applications of music in the whole language kindergarten. Journal of Music Therapy, 31, 238-247.

This research examined the effect on reading accuracy of 3 methods of shared reading paired with music. 27 kindergartners participated in a music program, supplementing their whole language curriculum. One class had song rehearsal of their textbook set to music. The 2nd had spoken and song rehearsal. The 3rd had only spoken text rehearsal. Students’ subsequent text readings were analyzed for word substitutions and omissions. The 1st 2 classes had greater reading accuracy than the 3rd, suggesting that song rehearsal facilitated reading accuracy by serving as a structural prompt, supporting previous findings that music can facilitate recall and retention. 

Standley, J. & Hughes, J (1997). Evaluation of An Early Intervention Music Curriculum for Enhancing Prereading/Writing Skills. Music Therapy Perspectives, 15, 79-85.

This study evaluated effects of music sessions designed to enhance prereading and writing skills of 24 children aged 4–5 years who were enrolled in Early Intervention and Exceptional Student Education (ESE) programs. The design utilized two groups of matched participants with repeated measures and counterbalanced treatment/control conditions. Each treatment condition lasted 7.5 weeks and included two 30-minute music lessons per week for a total of 15 lessons. In the fall, music was designed to teach writing skills and, in the spring, to teach reading skills. The music treatment was provided in addition to the regular prekindergarten curriculum. The control condition was instruction in the regular prekindergarten curriculum without music involvement. All participants were pretested, posttested at the end of fall, and again at the end of the spring music lessons. Results demonstrated that music significantly enhanced print concepts and prewriting skills of the children as intended. Implications for academic, social, and motivational applications of music in Early Intervention programs are discussed.


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