Researchers from famous institutions such as Northwestern University, Harvard, Boston Children’s Hospital, and the University of Maryland published their knowledge widely about the shared elements of music and speech. All of them are in touch with the idea that music and language are inseparable. At the Brainvolts Lab at Northwestern, the researchers talk about children’s ability to perceive and produce rhythms and call it a “precursor to reading for five-to-eight-year-olds.” At the University of Maryland, the authors of “Music and early language acquisition” define music as ‘creative play with sound;’ they conclude that music merits a central place in our understanding of human development.” At Children’s Hospital in Boston, Nadine Gaab, Associate Professor of Pediatrics says “children who are dyslexic can be helped if they are identified as early as preschool.” She is one of the experts quoted and interviewed in the CO Read Act Science-of-reading curriculum. One other expert Kristin Lems published a letter at and called “Music, Our Human Superpower.” Musical Language is a mindset that may suggest a new direction in language instruction. In addition, Musical Language relates to the current trend in education, a Science-of-reading approach.

K-3 teachers in CO are now trained to teach a science-of-reading curriculum that is aligned with the 2000 National Goals to teach phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills. These goals ensured that all children could be taught to read. In 2022, the NAEP Results proved otherwise. All children are not learning to read. According to the Founder of Planet Word Museum in Washington D.C, “Shame on us for letting our schools adopt beginning reading curricula that don’t track with proven evidence-based, phonics-based, science of reading.” (Dec 28, 2022) Connie thinks the time is right to expand upon that statement. In her mind, music has always been a superpower; has always been the key to learning how to listen, see, spell, write, read, and SING the English language. Connie’s songs and Musical Phonics content are good examples of building foundational skills that reflect the 2000 National Goals Panel objectives. Music is language learning!

Sub-skills of reading acquisition Grandmalou’s Musical Poems
1. Phonological awareness. Listen to correct English sounds used in rhythmical, meaningful, melodic speech with lots of musical expressions! (pitch, timbre, and phrasing). Teacher models clapping to the rhythms of each short musical poem in the whole group. Child practices clapping techniques in the whole group. Child uses classroom headsets to listen closely to each short, one-minute poem.
2. Speech-in-noise Perception* With the exception of the long vowel and special sound songs, percussion instrument syncs with speech sound and directs child’s attention to sound used in words and sentences. With classroom instruction/demonstration and practice, child learns names of percussion instruments and has the opportunity to practice playing the instruments in the whole group and small group settings!
3. Rhythm Perception. Strong, pulsating beats of each musical poem associate with letter name, percussion instrument name, look and moods of each letter/sound and instrument/sound. Teacher encourages children to clap rhythmical patterns, move to the rhythmical patterns, and listen to the poems in the whole group and individual settings.
4. Auditory working memory is ability to process speech sounds orally. In the same way, a child learns simple nursery rhymes such as Ring-a-round-the-Rosie, acts out the rhymes and sings, children are encouraged to memorize short one-minute, expressive poems, act them out and help improve their auditory working memory
5. Learn sound patterns. Classroom musical experiences lay the foundation for more formal instruction in the listen, see, spell, write, read elements common to most language arts curriculums on the market.