Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

First Advisor

Jackie Waggoner


This paper examines how music can help students learn to read in a first and second grade elementary reading program and how this process correlates with the new focus on brain-based learning. Three sub questions were asked to explore the grand tour question: "How does music help students learn to read?" Research literature was reviewed on music in reading programs, the brain, and brain-based learning. Data were collected from surveys of parents, interviews of students, and observations of the student during two parts of the school day. The literature review, and the data collected support the idea of using music in the elementary reading program. The review reveals that music involves both hemispheres of the brain in tandem, and encourages neural branching because of the brains search for patterning, and meaning. The conclusion of this project is that the use of music allows students to learn to read at their highest potential.