Rhythm and Music to Rehabilitate Reading Disorders


The purpose of this study is to determine whether music training is an effective treatment of reading disorders

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: None (Open Label)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: June 2013

Detailed Description

Introduction: Children with dyslexia show deficits in temporal processing, both in language and in music. Musical activity increases phonological awareness, word segmentation, working memory, as well as reading abilities in children with typical development, a compelling evidence for a role of music training in fostering brain plasticity. Within this theoretical framework, we investigate the hypothesis that music training, by improving temporal processing and rhythm abilities, improves phonological awareness and reading skills in children with dyslexia.

Methods: The study is a prospective, multicenter, open randomized controlled trial, consisting of test, rehabilitation and re-test


  • Behavioral: Music training
    • This program was based on the Kodaly and Orff pedagogy and adapted to focus on rhythm and temporal processing.
  • Behavioral: Visual arts
    • This program emphasized visual-spatial and hand skills as well as creativity.

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: Music training
    • twice a week one hour for 30 weeks, music training
  • Active Comparator: Visual arts
    • twice a week one hour for 30 weeks, visual arts training

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Pseudoword reading test
    • Time Frame: six months
    • The primary outcome variable was the performance in the pseudoword reading test measured in terms of accuracy (percentile of number of errors).

Secondary Measures

  • Reading text
    • Time Frame: six months
    • Reading a short standardized text, measured in terms of accuracy (percentile of number of errors) and speed (z score of reading syll/sec or time).
  • Phonological awareness
    • Time Frame: six months
    • Phonemic blending task. Children have to blend sounds into words (e.g. hearing [c]-[a]-[t] and produce [cat]). The number of correct items is the dependent variable.
  • Word reading
    • Time Frame: six months
    • The ability to read aloud single words and pseudowords is measured on a standardized list of 102 Italian words

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Italian native language
  • Reading performance (accuracy and/or speed) failed on at least two of three school grade standardized Italian tests: text, words, pseudowords (cut-offs: z-score <-1.8 standard deviations from the mean for speed scores, a score <5th percentile in the accuracy scores).
  • Hearing and neurological examination within normal range
  • Normal or corrected-to-normal visual acuity
  • General IQ >85 at Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children III.

Exclusion Criteria

  • Presence of comorbidity involving Attentional Deficit Disorders with Hyperactivity (ADHD)
  • Presence of comorbidity involving Specific Language Impairment (SLI)
  • Presence of comorbidity involving Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
  • Severe emotional-relational impairments
  • Previous formal musical or painting education for more than one year, other on-going treatment.
  • Presence of other diseases (i.e. diabetes , cystic fibrosis, asthma…) that could influence the performance in cognitive and executive functions.

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 8 Years

Maximum Age: 11 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Aix Marseille Université
  • Collaborator
    • WHO Collaborating Centre for Maternal and Child Health, Trieste
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Daniele Schon, PhD – Aix Marseille Université

Clinical trials entries are delivered from the US National Institutes of Health and are not reviewed separately by this site. Please see the identifier information above for retrieving further details from the government database.

At TrialBulletin.com, we keep tabs on over 200,000 clinical trials in the US and abroad, using medical data supplied directly by the US National Institutes of Health. Please see the About and Contact page for details.