Longitudinal effects of group music instruction on literacy skills in low-income children

Jessica Slater*, Dana L. Strait, Erika Skoe, Samantha O'Connell, Elaine Thompson, Nina Kraus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Children from low-socioeconomic backgrounds tend to fall progressively further behind their higher-income peers over the course of their academic careers. Music training has been associated with enhanced language and learning skills, suggesting that music programs could play a role in helping low-income children to stay on track academically. Using a controlled, longitudinal design, the impact of group music instruction on English reading ability was assessed in 42 low-income Spanish-English bilingual children aged 6-9 years in Los Angeles. After one year, children who received music training retained their age-normed level of reading performance while a matched control group's performance deteriorated, consistent with expected declines in this population. While the extent of change is modest, outcomes nonetheless provide evidence that music programs may have value in helping to counteract the negative effects of low-socioeconomic status on child literacy development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere113383
JournalPloS one
Volume9
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 19 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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