Fighting dyslexia with nursery rhymes and music

Fighting dyslexia with nursery rhymes and music

21 July 2018 Admin General Media

Dyslexia is a learning disability that affects the way the brain processes graphic symbols, and is characterized by difficulties in word recognition, spelling and decoding. Although dyslexic kids face difficulty in learning, it is by no means an indicator of their overall intelligence. Kids who suffer from this are often just as smart as their classmates. Some very famous actors, scientists, entrepreneurs and politicians have suffered from dyslexia, yet have managed to overcome it and succeed in life.

Nursery Rhymes and Music Can Help Dyslexia

A study by a Professor at Cambridge University found that nursery rhymes, dancing and singing can help children overcome dyslexia.  Usha Goswami, professor of Cognitive Developmental Neuroscience at Cambridge University, found that dyslexia is caused by a lack of rhythm in the brain. It is not caused by children reading words incorrectly, but instead their inability to hear the rhythm of the words when they are being spoken. Therefore, music and rhymes can help them learn rhythmically.

Why Music and Nursery Rhymes?

Music is regarded as a universal language. Children respond better to music and find it easier to learn through song and dance. Music helps dyslexic children to simultaneously concentrate on their auditory and motor timing skills. Studies have also shown that learning a musical instrumenthelps dyslexic children improve their ability to process the spoken language.  Also, learning disability is often one of the expertise areas of musical therapists, because they know how to go about treating it with musical therapy.

Here’s how the musical method works in treating dyslexia:

  • Instead of teaching an entire word, teachers and special needs educators break the words into syllables and teach rhythmically. Children are asked to tap and clap and sing along as they learn new words.
  • Making a song out of historical dates or events can help them learn faster.
  • Grammar can also be taught effectively by incorporating the rules into a song. Here, you can find some songs that teach children about grammar.
  • Music and rhythm can also help in acing mathematics. This website has songs for addition, subtraction, algebra and even geometry.

Incorporating rhythm into their everyday life helps dyslexic children learn better. Nursery rhymes such as “Mary had a Little Lamb” or “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” can improve reading and writing skills of the children.

The benefits of music and nursery rhymes on dyslexic children cannot be emphasized enough. Now, with studies that back the use of rhythm-based learning for special needs kids, musical therapy can help them cope better and bring about an overall improvement in them.