Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction


Curriculum, Instruction, and Foundational Studies

Major Advisor

James A. Goodman


Children who are poor readers in their early years generally remain poor readers in their later years. Research questions explore positive connections between learning music and learning to hear, understanding the spoken word, and, ultimately, reading the printed word. A series of 12 lessons created to improve internal rhythmicity and practice pitch matching skills were administered by general music specialists to a treatment group of third grade students (n=15) reading below grade level, over a period of 12 weeks. Treatment group results were compared to a control group (n=10) who did not receive musical intervention. The research examined the reading fluency, beat competency, and pitch matching of the treatment and control groups pre- and post-test. Findings show promise in using daily musical interventions, employing pulse, pitch, and reading walks to assist struggling readers in improving fluency, and point to the importance of including music in the elementary school curriculum. Musical interventions can be a highly engaging, active, and fun way to assist our most needy students in their quest to unlock the mystery of learning to read.