Improving literacy though music

An independent evaluation of the New London Orchestra’s (NLO) “Literacy through Music” programme shows that participants achieve significantly more in literacy and music compared to similar children outside the programme.

The 20-week NLO programme took place in seven Year 2 classes in three schools in the London borough of Newham. It aimed to improve the reading abilities of six- to seven-year-old children by engaging them in a special programme of music activities that were combined with sessions involving games, poetry, and story-telling.

Researchers tested children at the beginning and end of the NLO programme and found that participants’ reading ages went up by 8.4 months on average. The reading ages of the children in the control group improved by only 1.8 months. Participants’ singing ability also improved significantly, as measured by a researcher-led singing assessment.

Source: Literacy through music: A research evaluation of the New London Orchestra’s literacy through music programme (2012), International music education research centre