What’s the Score? Report from the BDA Dyslexia and Music Conference

After an early start to meet and greet at the Royal Academy of music in London, we were introduced to our speakers.As a classically trained musician and singer I was particularly keen to hear two keynote speakers- Dr.Usha Goswami from University of Cambridge and Dr. Kate Overy of University of Edinburgh.

Both have studied the effect of rhythm on the phonological development in Dyslexics.

Following several years of clinical trials, both put forward evidence that weaknesses in the rise time in the rhythmic processing of music affects the skills in auditory processing information such as phoneme,onset and rime and syllable division.Children need accurate perception of rhythm to encode and decode sounds and the brain’s ability to process these pulses of accoustic signal is crucial to phoneme development.Without it reading does not become automatic.

It is a complex yet fascinating area. The music brain is wired differently .The last decade has seen an explosion of research into the neural basis of musical processing,revealing that different aspects of musical processing use almost all regions of the brain .The complex and powerful nature of a musical experience is both mysterious and fascinating .We then reflected on the studies completed to show the role of muisc in support of language development and in therapy for Autism also. We know that music engages an emotional response and crosses all cultures and socio-economic levels.

Learning Solutions would like to develop a kinesthetic music programme which is geared to language and reading skills and would like to hear from anyone involved in music or dyslexia, or who has had difficulties with reading and processing music.

(Please also go to our Dyslexia page on Irlen for visual stress as this can be remediated for music readiers. Please use the contact form.