• Using music in literacy instruction and literacy development

      Davis, Emily (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016)
      Traditionally, learning to read meant learning one's ABCs. However, children did not learn their letters just by saying the alphabet, but also by singing it using the "Alphabet Song." So begins the relationship between music and literacy, but the precise role of music in literacy instruction and development has not been clearly determined. This research study addresses this problem of precision by asking the question, what does research show about the role of music in literacy instruction? The most appropriate way to answer this question is with a review and synthesis of the literature, which has determined five findings. First is that direct uses of music for positive results in literacy instruction include singing, playing instruments, listening, processing rhythm, and reading lyrics. Second is that direct use of music in literacy instruction is effective with diverse students such as struggling readers, EFL students, and students from low socio-economic diverse students such as struggling readers, EFL students, and students from low socio-economic status. The third finding is that direct use of music in literacy instruction is also as effective as traditional teaching methods for improving literacy skills. The fourth finding is that the primary indirect use of music in literacy instruction is as background music, with a positive effect on literacy performance coming from music that is characteristically soft, slow, and instrumental: for example, Baroque and Classical music. The fifth finding is that the types of background music that do not have a positive effect on literacy performance are characteristically complex,fast, and vocal: for example, hip hop and popular music with lyrics. [from author's abstract]