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Version 1.1 – Updated August 2021

Music-based reading programs

Overview

  • Influence: Music-based reading programs
  • Domain: Curricula
  • Sub-Domain: Reading, writing and the arts
  • Potential to Accelerate Student Achievement: Likely to have positive impact
  • Influence Definition: Such programs use music to promote reading among children. They have been found most effective when music activities are linked to specific reading skills, such as pairing alphabet recognition with phonetic patterns. The benefits of music education to reading is greater when specialized music-reading activities are added to the existing music curriculum rather than when these activities replace the music curriculum.

Evidence

  • Number of meta-analyses: 6
  • Number of studies: 152
  • Number of students: 5,748,065
  • Number of effects: 315
  • Effect size: 0.29

Meta-Analyses

Meta-Analyses
Journal Title Author First Author's Country Article Name Year Published Variable Number of Studies Number of Students Number of Effects Effect Size
Journal of Research in Music Education Standley USA A meta-analysis on the effects of music as reinforcement for education/ therapy objectives 2008 Including music effects on reading skills 30 1,942 30 0.32
Journal of Aesthetic Education Butzlaff USA Can music be used to teach reading? 2000 Music programs on reading 30 5,734,878 30 0.35
Teachers College Press Bentley Everyday artists: Inquiry and creativity in the early childhood classroom 2013 Music interventions 20 1,647 20 0.42
Current Directions in Psychological Science Sala & Gobet UK Does far transfer exist? Negative evidence from chess, music, and working memory training 2018 Music on achievement 38 3,085 118 0.16
International Journal of Music Education, 38(3), 321-336. Cooper USA It's all in your head: A meta-analysis on the effects of music training on cognitive measures in schoolchildren. 2020 Music training 21 5,612 105 0.28
Frontiers in Psychology Gordon, Fehd, & McCandliss USA Does music training enhance literacy skills? A meta-analysis. 2015 Music training on literacy skills 13 901 12 0.19
TOTAL/AVERAGE 152 5,748,065 315 0.29

Confidence

The Confidence is the average of these four measures, each divided into five approximately equal groups and assigned a value from 1 to 5 based on the following criteria:

  • Number of Meta-analyses
    • 1 = 1
    • 2 = 2–3
    • 3 = 4–6
    • 4 = 7–9
    • 5 = 10+
  • Number of Studies
    • 1 = 1–10
    • 2 = 11–50
    • 3 = 51–200
    • 4 = 201–400
    • 5 = 400+
  • Number of Students
    • 1 = 1–2,500
    • 2 = 2,501–10,000
    • 3 = 10,000–20,000
    • 4 = 20,000–100,000
    • 5 = 100,001+
  • Number of Effects
    • 1 = 1–100
    • 2 = 101–300
    • 3 = 301–600
    • 4 = 601–1,200
    • 5 = 1,200+
Confidences
Number of Meta-Analyses Number of Studies Number of Students Number of Effects Overall Confidence
Confidence Factor 3 3 5 3 4
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