Dyslexia can be overcome with nursery rhymes and music, says Cambridge professor

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This interesting article published by The Telegraph explores a Cambridge Professor’s findings that exposing children to nursery rhymes and singing could help them to overcome dyslexia. Here, it is explained how rhythmic experiences, such as music, can allow children to improve their reading and writing…

Children can overcome dyslexia by learning nursery rhymes, dancing and singing because the condition is caused by lack of rhythm in brain, a leading neuroscientists has suggested.

Usha Goswami, prof of Cognitive Developmental Neuroscience at Cambridge has spent the last 10 years testing the brains of youngsters to find out what was driving the learning problem.

She found that the dyslexia is not caused by children reading words incorrectly, but instead their inability to hear the rhythm of words when they are being spoken.

Brain scans have shown that the metre of words was out of phase with internal rhythms in brain, meaning that youngsters struggled to encode the patterns, and therfore memorise speech.

But keeping up rhythmic practice will eventually allow children to read properly.

“Children who are dyslexic struggle with speech rhythm,” Prof Goswami told The Hay Festival.

“We realised that children are struggling in tasks which are not related to learning or reading but are related to rhythm.

“So we began to think that rhythm and these problems found in children with dyslexia might be related.”

Dyslexia is thought to be one of the most common learning difficulties. It’s estimated that up to 1 in every 10 people in the UK has a certain degree of dyslexia and Britain has one of the worst rates because the language is so difficult to learn.

Prof Goswami recommended clapping games, music, nursery rhymes and marching to The Grand Old Duke of York.

“All kinds of rhythmic experiences can be helpful, nursery rhymes, dancing and music as long as the beat is matched to language,” she said.

“Playground clapping and games may be very important to stopping dyslexia. You could start to remediate it before children even start school.

“If children keep it up they will learn to read. It will definitely happen. The brain just needs more training. These children need to know that their brain just works a bit differently and reading is going to be harder for them.”

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk/Dyslexia-can-be-overcome-with-nursery-rhymes-and-music-says-Cambridge-professor