Musical ability and reading ability

Au, A., Meng, W-J., Caltabiano, N., Caltabiano, M., and Walker, Adam (2010) Musical ability and reading ability. In: Abstracts of the 27th International Congress of Applied Psychology. p. 1523. From: 27th International Congress of Applied Psychology, 11-16 July 2010, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

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The present study investigated whether better musical ability was related to better reading ability, on the basis that music is related to memory that is crucial to reading acquisition, music improves auditory temporal processing that is relevant to phonological processing, and children undergoing music training have improved reading skills.

Forty-one undergraduates participated in various language tasks. Musical intelligence of multiple intelligence, pitch discrimination, rhythmic and melodic patterns identification and music reading were also examined. Participants were divided into high- and low- ability groups based on their overall musical ability, their ability to discriminate pitch, to identify music pattern, to read music, and their musical IQ.

Results indicated that participants with formal music training were better in pitch discrimination, music reading and musical IQ. However, they did not perform better than their counterparts who received no musical training in language proficiency, irregular word and pseudo-word reading. Participants who had better musical abilities also did not outperform their low-ability counterparts in these language measures. None of the music measures correlated significantly with the language measures.

It was concluded that music training, though can improve individuals’ musical ability and musical IQ, does not necessarily lead to better reading ability. The age group of participants and the sensitivity of the music test used might provide insights on the current findings. The relationship between musical ability and reading ability requires further investigation. Practical implications of music in various cognitive tasks were discussed.

Item ID: 15081
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
ISBN: 978-0-909881-46-7
Keywords: musical ability; reading ability
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Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2010 00:17
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1702 Cognitive Science > 170204 Linguistic Processes (incl Speech Production and Comprehension) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences @ 100%
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