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J Exp Child Psychol. 2002 Oct;83(2):111-30.

Relations among musical skills, phonological processing, and early reading ability in preschool children.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ont., Canada L8S 4K1.


We examined the relations among phonological awareness, music perception skills, and early reading skills in a population of 100 4- and 5-year-old children. Music skills were found to correlate significantly with both phonological awareness and reading development. Regression analyses indicated that music perception skills contributed unique variance in predicting reading ability, even when variance due to phonological awareness and other cognitive abilities (math, digit span, and vocabulary) had been accounted for. Thus, music perception appears to tap auditory mechanisms related to reading that only partially overlap with those related to phonological awareness, suggesting that both linguistic and nonlinguistic general auditory mechanisms are involved in reading.

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