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Maria Salvadore

Reading Rockets’ children's literature expert, Maria Salvadore, brings you into her world as she explores the best ways to use kids’ books both inside — and outside — of the classroom.

Music to enhance reading - and fun!

May 24, 2007

Have you ever had a tune stuck in your head? Advertisers spend a lot of money coming up with jingles to make their products memorable, so it's not surprising that there's a relatively new software program Tune Into Reading that has used music successfully to enhance reading skills.

We use music with children from the start. It teaches kids to listen to the sound and rhythm of language, and it bonds us with our children. While we sing rhymes and ditties to infants and toddlers, we're actually laying foundations for literacy!

Opportunities to use music to enhance reading skills, or inspire reading, or to relate to books, can grow with children. If kids can remember all of the ingredients when they sing a song about a hamburger, they'll probably remember the names of the individual United States, right?

A music CD by performers Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer called Scat Like That (Rounder) includes a song of the states' names and lots more, all of which will engage elementary-aged listeners (and the adults in their lives). Memorization tasks are made easy, without resorting to the drill-and-kill flashcard method.

Add a book or two to the listening pleasure — well, what a great way to get ready for summer!

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"Today a reader, tomorrow a leader." — Margaret Fuller