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Rhythms and Reading: How Music Helps Teach Kids Literacy Skills

Thank you, Julie, for this fantastic guest post!

How can music affect your child's literacy skills?

Learn more below!

Courtesy of

Music has a remarkable capacity for helping young people develop communication skills and many abilities they need to succeed in school.

There’s a close link between music, mathematics and problem-solving abilities.


Playing an instrument aids in the development of motor skills and making music helps strengthen memory and cognitive functioning.


Musical training also has been linked to general intelligence and the management of emotions as well as the acquisition of social skills.

When a child experiences success in learning music, it instills a sense of confidence and accomplishment and teaches children the value of applying themselves to a challenge and seeing it through.

The connection between music and literacy development can help children build a strong foundation for learning through study.

To further aid your child during their journey through music, consider building a soundproof room so they can practice without disturbing anyone in the house (or the neighborhood, for that matter).

Although this might sound intimidating, it’s actually cheaper than you probably think; in fact, the average national cost for soundproofing a room is $1,757, which is a small price to pay to foster your child’s love of music.


Below are some of the benefits music can have on your child’s life.

1. Phonological awareness

Being exposed to music at an early age helps train the ear and teaches kids to identify individual rhythms and notes. This pattern identification in early music training makes it easier for children to recognize different words and sounds.

Playing with rhythms, sounds and words during early development in focused listening and play activities is important in the development of literacy skills.

2. Auditory recognition

Kids learn to distinguish between sounds by identifying differences in tempo, melodies and volume through music education. This is a key skill in learning to read, identify different words, sentence structure and word clusters.

This “sound discrimination” - the ability to distinguish between sounds - is an important aspect of many early music education programs.

3. Auditory sequencing

One of the great benefits of learning songs and engaging in music exercises is learning to recall the order and detail of a piece of music and responding in kind. Such repetition aids the brain’s ability to organize and order sounds, which is vital for the development of literacy skills.

The repetition of musical phrases is similar to repeating phrases in a book, with children being asked to repeat a phrase at the proper time.

4. Listening and attention

Music lessons in early childhood learning emphasize listening carefully and paying close attention to notes and rhythms. Kids are encouraged to respond to what they hear, repeating notes and phrases, which augments the ability to pay attention to stories and passages in books.

The objective in both cases is to encourage kids to participate by repeating what they are hearing. One particularly effective music learning exercise is to ask children to concentrate on specific sounds and try to imitate them.

The cost of music lessons varies based on location and the instrument being taught. For example, the national average cost of a 30-minute piano lesson ranges from $15 - $40.

5. Speaking skills

There is a close relationship between speaking and singing. Singing songs and repeating simple melodies with rhymes and chants mimic the skills they need to develop verbal skills and the ability to communicate properly based on situation and circumstance.

That’s why you may have memories from your school day of repeating songs that helped you learn to communicate verbally.

6. Vocabulary

Ever wonder why kids sing those nonsensical (but fun) songs that repeat funny words and phrases? This kind of repetition helps children get a feel for words and begin to develop their own vocabulary.

It’s an important skill to develop because it happens at a time when children are at their most receptive.

The relationship between music and verbal communication is an ancient one.

Our ancestors learned to communicate with each other through music, rhythms and changes in tempo, which had different meanings.

That relationship remains an essential means of teaching verbal literacy skills.

Julie Morris


To learn more about the specific benefits of music

lessons or music therapy for your child,

schedule a FREE and quick consultation with Noel!

Talk to you soon!


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