Enhancing literacy in the second grade: Five related studies using the register music/reading curriculum

Alice Ann Darrow, Jane Cassidy, Patricia Flowers, Dena Register, Wendy Sims, Jayne M. Standley, Elizabeth Menard, Olivia Swedberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of these five related studies was to ascertain the effects of a music curriculum designed to enhance reading skills of second-grade students. The dependent variables were subtest scores on the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test administered pre and post the music/reading intervention. Results showed that the total test gain scores of children receiving the music/reading curriculum were somewhat higher than those for control conditions in four of the five studies, but not significantly so. At the second site, gain scores were basically the same. All sites informally observed teacher and pupil enthusiasm for the music for reading curriculum. Though postreading scores were statistically equivalent among groups, it should be noted that in most sites, the music/reading curriculum time replaced reading instruction time. The value of this project is that it demonstrates the general benefits of music as a viable methodology for teaching reading skills at a comparable level while promoting enjoyment in an important academic area.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)12
Number of pages26
JournalUpdate: Applications of Research in Music Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • music instruction
  • reading skills
  • reading comprehension
  • vocabulary
  • word decoding
  • literacy


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