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Does Music Training Enhance Literacy Skills? A Meta-Analysis.

Gordon RL, Fehd HM, McCandliss BD - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: The effect isolated by contrasting gains in music training vs. gains in control was small relative to the large variance in these skills (d = 0.2).Interestingly, analyses revealed that transfer effects for rhyming skills tended to grow stronger with increased hours of training.In contrast, no significant aggregate transfer effect emerged for reading fluency measures, despite some studies reporting large training effects.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Music Cognition Lab, Program for Music, Mind and Society, Department of Otolaryngology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center Nashville, TN, USA ; Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center Nashville, TN, USA.

ABSTRACT
Children's engagement in music practice is associated with enhancements in literacy-related language skills, as demonstrated by multiple reports of correlation across these two domains. Training studies have tested whether engaging in music training directly transfers benefit to children's literacy skill development. Results of such studies, however, are mixed. Interpretation of these mixed results is made more complex by the fact that a wide range of literacy-related outcome measures are used across these studies. Here, we address these challenges via a meta-analytic approach. A comprehensive literature review of peer-reviewed music training studies was built around key criteria needed to test the direct transfer hypothesis, including: (a) inclusion of music training vs. control groups; (b) inclusion of pre- vs. post-comparison measures, and (c) indication that reading instruction was held constant across groups. Thirteen studies were identified (n = 901). Two classes of outcome measures emerged with sufficient overlap to support meta-analysis: phonological awareness and reading fluency. Hours of training, age, and type of control intervention were examined as potential moderators. Results supported the hypothesis that music training leads to gains in phonological awareness skills. The effect isolated by contrasting gains in music training vs. gains in control was small relative to the large variance in these skills (d = 0.2). Interestingly, analyses revealed that transfer effects for rhyming skills tended to grow stronger with increased hours of training. In contrast, no significant aggregate transfer effect emerged for reading fluency measures, despite some studies reporting large training effects. The potential influence of other study design factors were considered, including intervention design, IQ, and SES. Results are discussed in the context of emerging findings that music training may enhance literacy development via changes in brain mechanisms that support both music and language cognition.

No MeSH data available.


Music training duration moderates intervention efficacy. The plot shows the average effect sizes (y-axis) vs. training duration (moderator variable), based on a model estimating that a minimum of 40 h of music training is needed to improve rhyming skills.
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Figure 2: Music training duration moderates intervention efficacy. The plot shows the average effect sizes (y-axis) vs. training duration (moderator variable), based on a model estimating that a minimum of 40 h of music training is needed to improve rhyming skills.

Mentions: Random-effects analysis on the subset of rhyming outcomes (k = 7 studies) yielded a weighted average effect size of 0.18 (95% CI [−0.06, 0.42]), which was non-significant at p = 0.14. A mixed effects analysis then revealed no significant influence of age (p = 0.31) or control intervention type (p = 0.75) on the results, but a significant influence (p = 0.04) of training hours on rhyming outcomes. These results suggest that an increase in the length of training by 1 h corresponds to an increase of 0.01 (95% CI [0, 0.03]) in the effectiveness of music intervention on rhyming outcomes. The results of this model were then used to predict values of effectiveness given different amounts of training hours. Using the range of values from across all studies from the entire meta-analysis, (3–90 h), and assuming a constant age (5 years) and constant control intervention type, the model predicts that at least 40 h of training are needed to have a significant effect on Rhyming outcomes, as shown in Figure 2. These results should be interpreted with caution, given that the study showing the strongest positive relationship between hours of training and rhyming outcomes (Moritz et al., 2013) had only 15 participants in each group.


Does Music Training Enhance Literacy Skills? A Meta-Analysis.

Gordon RL, Fehd HM, McCandliss BD - Front Psychol (2015)

Music training duration moderates intervention efficacy. The plot shows the average effect sizes (y-axis) vs. training duration (moderator variable), based on a model estimating that a minimum of 40 h of music training is needed to improve rhyming skills.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4664655&req=5

Figure 2: Music training duration moderates intervention efficacy. The plot shows the average effect sizes (y-axis) vs. training duration (moderator variable), based on a model estimating that a minimum of 40 h of music training is needed to improve rhyming skills.
Mentions: Random-effects analysis on the subset of rhyming outcomes (k = 7 studies) yielded a weighted average effect size of 0.18 (95% CI [−0.06, 0.42]), which was non-significant at p = 0.14. A mixed effects analysis then revealed no significant influence of age (p = 0.31) or control intervention type (p = 0.75) on the results, but a significant influence (p = 0.04) of training hours on rhyming outcomes. These results suggest that an increase in the length of training by 1 h corresponds to an increase of 0.01 (95% CI [0, 0.03]) in the effectiveness of music intervention on rhyming outcomes. The results of this model were then used to predict values of effectiveness given different amounts of training hours. Using the range of values from across all studies from the entire meta-analysis, (3–90 h), and assuming a constant age (5 years) and constant control intervention type, the model predicts that at least 40 h of training are needed to have a significant effect on Rhyming outcomes, as shown in Figure 2. These results should be interpreted with caution, given that the study showing the strongest positive relationship between hours of training and rhyming outcomes (Moritz et al., 2013) had only 15 participants in each group.

Bottom Line: The effect isolated by contrasting gains in music training vs. gains in control was small relative to the large variance in these skills (d = 0.2).Interestingly, analyses revealed that transfer effects for rhyming skills tended to grow stronger with increased hours of training.In contrast, no significant aggregate transfer effect emerged for reading fluency measures, despite some studies reporting large training effects.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Music Cognition Lab, Program for Music, Mind and Society, Department of Otolaryngology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center Nashville, TN, USA ; Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center Nashville, TN, USA.

ABSTRACT
Children's engagement in music practice is associated with enhancements in literacy-related language skills, as demonstrated by multiple reports of correlation across these two domains. Training studies have tested whether engaging in music training directly transfers benefit to children's literacy skill development. Results of such studies, however, are mixed. Interpretation of these mixed results is made more complex by the fact that a wide range of literacy-related outcome measures are used across these studies. Here, we address these challenges via a meta-analytic approach. A comprehensive literature review of peer-reviewed music training studies was built around key criteria needed to test the direct transfer hypothesis, including: (a) inclusion of music training vs. control groups; (b) inclusion of pre- vs. post-comparison measures, and (c) indication that reading instruction was held constant across groups. Thirteen studies were identified (n = 901). Two classes of outcome measures emerged with sufficient overlap to support meta-analysis: phonological awareness and reading fluency. Hours of training, age, and type of control intervention were examined as potential moderators. Results supported the hypothesis that music training leads to gains in phonological awareness skills. The effect isolated by contrasting gains in music training vs. gains in control was small relative to the large variance in these skills (d = 0.2). Interestingly, analyses revealed that transfer effects for rhyming skills tended to grow stronger with increased hours of training. In contrast, no significant aggregate transfer effect emerged for reading fluency measures, despite some studies reporting large training effects. The potential influence of other study design factors were considered, including intervention design, IQ, and SES. Results are discussed in the context of emerging findings that music training may enhance literacy development via changes in brain mechanisms that support both music and language cognition.

No MeSH data available.