A systematic review of music and dyslexia

Emily J. Rolka, Michael J. Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Systematic reviews of research provide valuable information for researchers, clinicians, and educators. A single Cochrane Review reports on music and dyslexia; however, the struct inclusion criteria used in the study required randomized controlled trials (RCT) which resulted in no study being able to be included. The purpose of this systematic review was to identify and analyze research on music and dyslexia. Through computer-based searches utilizing specific keywords and the ancestry approach, 23 studies met inclusion criteria. Once identified, each study was reviewed according to participants, age, purpose, independent and dependent variables, and results. A table was created to outline the analysis of each study. The majority of the 23 articles in the review included children. A few studies focused on the challenges of studying music, in particular problems with reading notation, that students with dyslexia may experience and most of the other studies explored how music can be used to improve literacy skills, or at least be used as a means to test for neural processing of auditory information, and thus could offer the potential to inform early diagnosis. The findings from this review reveal that music training is considered to function as a remediation tool to improve literacy skills for children with dyslexia, although the specific type of music support to achieve predictable outcomes needs to be further investigated. Some limitations, implications for clinical practice, and suggestions for future research are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-32
Number of pages9
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Dyslexia
  • Music

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