[PS-2.5] Improving reading skills at school through a rhythmic-musical intervention

Novella, F. & Surian, A.

University of Padova, FISPPA Department, Padova

A specific learning disorder such as dyslexia, is usually coupled with difficulties in relation to different musical skills such as temporal processing, synchronization of action to sound, discrimination of heights and the ability to segment and group rhythm patterns. In this work we test the impact of a rhythmic training designed to improve the reading skills, in particular speed and accuracy, based on the principle of transferability of the effect (Flaugnacco, 2015; Schön 2015). The training is being offered to 107 Italian (1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade) primary school pupils, aged 6-8, and we compare their results with those of 60 primary school pupils who aren't offered this music training.
Activities include: synchronizing, reproduction and production of rhythmic series, use of symbolic language, coordinating motor skills through the use of body music and the integration of song-rhythm-body patterns. In order to test the training effectiveness, psychological and musical test batteries are being administered as baseline and at the end of the training.
Effective improvement of reading performance should be taken into consideration for further testing and application in the school context, in order to support children with learning difficulties and to explore opportunities to develop a proper preventive approach.