Monday, December 2, 2013

Music and language reading

Music and Language Reading
Music Educators Journal (November 1947), 34 (2), pg. 29-30
In this article, Janet insists that there is a correlation between reading and music and, also, “there are many areas in which activities used in music and reading can prove invaluable to both.” Firstly, he pointed out that the development of auditory perception is important; there is a connection between the hearing of sound in reading and the ability of the child to match a pitch in music. In his work, he found out that if a child has a poor auditory perception in reading, the child also seem to have trouble with pitch and rhythm in music. It is important to form good listening habits to those children. To establish good habits of listening music and reading, it needs to play vital part. For example, much practice in matching pitch, both through individual and group work, is helpful. “As the children become more and more accustomed to hearing good music they will be able to appreciate it and will thus be developing a phase of auditory perception from which they will get much enjoyment.” Furthermore, to develop good habits in ear-training, rhythm band work is an invaluable aid as well as playing various instruments at different musical intervals. In addition, there is a strong connection between in language reading and reading of music which both relates to visual perception. The ability to reason may be brought out through music; in reading music and working with syllables along with other technical terms involves a great deal of reasoning. “When children are listening to music in order to find out what it tells them to do or discuss how it makes them feel, reasoning automatically becomes part of the process of thinking.” Finally, the author says, music does have its place in a   well-balanced program of reading that is designed to meet the individual needs of children.  Reading, being the complex subject that it is, gives us the opportunity to learn much about the child and the many obstacles which he has to overcome during the very complicated process of learning.
It was very thrill to see how music could be used as a guide to help children who have defect on reading, especially through ear-training. I never thought that hearing the sound in reading and the ability to match the pitch in music would have correlation to each other. Although I agree to some of concepts what the author mentioned, in my opinion, the concentration and the interests on what they are reading may be more important than just having a good listening habit. Of course, learning music and listening to music can improve the concentration in some ways, but even for playing the instrument and listening to music, the child must be interested in it; otherwise, the child would give up. From my own experience, it is really hard for me to read a book or article if I am not interested in the topic or genre of literature. Furthermore, although I agree that there would be some correlation between reading a book and reading a music, however, since the languages are totally different, it would be hard to say that they actually help each other. Nevertheless, I strongly agree that it is very crucial to make children to think and do some various activities. Learning music and listening to music would not harm at all anyways, so it would be great to try what the author pointed out.


Alicia Mighty said...

Hi Suho,

You used a quote which states "As the children become more and more accustomed to hearing good music, they will be able to appreciate it and will thus be developing a phase of auditory perception from which they will get much enjoyment." What is considered to be good music? If one does not listen enough to "good music," does it impact their reading in a negative light? And if so, what are the implications of the constitutions of reading in the Western context?

Pamela Lum said...

Hi Suho,

Many studies have identified that music and language are correlated. I am also surprised to read that ear training can help improve reading defect. When I think about this more, reading is pitched, and if our ears become better at detecting pitches, we will be better at detecting voice differentiations when reading. I wonder if this makes a difference when the languages are different as some languages are tonal and some are more pitched.


Will Snodgrass said...

Hi Suho,

This is an interesting study. We have learned about several connections between music and language throughout the course. I believe part of the way that music helps language development is that it causes us to listen to strings of text (or notes) in relation to each other. The old school approach of learning to read ("hooked on phonics...") approaches language based on individual phonemes. But we make meaning of these phonemes by understanding their relationship to one another, just like we make meaning out of music by the relationship of individual notes to a larger phrase.