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What Is the Connection between Music and Dyslexia?

Erin J. Hill
Erin J. Hill

The exact connection between music and dyslexia is unknown, although there are studied linking the two. Some claim that using music therapy may help those with dyslexia read better in order to more successfully live with the disorder. There is also some indication that those with dyslexia may have impaired musical abilities since many believe that the auditory systems responsible for recognizing the sounds of words are also the systems responsible for hearing notes and melodies while singing or playing an instrument.

Dyslexia is a learning disability which causes individuals to fail to learn to read, write, and spell correctly. Those with this disorder typically have average or above average intelligence, but there are certain defects in the way they process the sounds and appearances of words. It is common for dyslexic children to put letters in the wrong order, for instance. Some severely affect children may even have trouble learning to speak. There are some indications that music and dyslexia may be related, since the same areas of the brain are used to process both forms of stimulation.

Some studies link music and dyslexia.
Some studies link music and dyslexia.

There is some debate on the validity of some of these studies. At the time of this writing, it is up for debate whether music and dyslexia are related and to what extent. Many counselors have reported great successes in working with clients using music therapies in dyslexia treatment, while others claim that using these therapies are unwarranted and a waste of time. It is possible that music therapy may help in managing autism, but in ways different than what researchers thought.

It is a common idea that humans may better learn and remember skills or facts when information is composed into a song or poem. The rhythms and pronunciation used in songs may make it easier for some dyslexic individuals to remember how certain words sound. It has been indicated that dyslexia stems from a defect in the auditory processing system, meaning those with this condition may hear words differently than others. This is part of the reason dyslexics may also have problems with music composition or performance.

Additional studies are needed to determine if there is a true link between music and dyslexia. Until this is done, music counselors continue to aid patients and clients through rhythms and melodies. Many patients have reported success in doing this. Beginning therapy early is one way to promote success, since those with any learning disability typically do better when treatment is begun earlier. It may also be true that younger patients have had less time to associate words with certain incorrect sounds.

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    • Some studies link music and dyslexia.
      By: mekcar
      Some studies link music and dyslexia.