Singing Our Way into Fluency: Dr. Bommarito’s blog today talks about an article he co-authored in Literacy Today

Singing Our Way into Fluency: Dr. Bommarito’s blog today talks about an article he co-authored in Literacy Today

I was very excited when Ann Kay asked me about helping her write an article about brain research and music. Fast forward to the present, and I was even more excited to learn that the article had been accepted and published in Literacy Today. It appears in the October, November, December issue that was just released. Understand that Ann was the primary author and did the heavy lifting in writing the article. Tim Rasinski and I were co-authors and contributed some additional ideas and observations. Let’s look at a screen capture of the article’s first page. It will be followed by a link to read the entire article online.

Here is the link to use to read the entire article:


Summary of the Article

I begin the article by explaining how I use repeated readings with short reading passages, including poems and songs. In the article’s main body, Ann C. Kay explains how singing and other activities can help students develop their reading skills. A key quote is, “Auditory processing is a missing link to literacy.” She laments that many activities surrounding auditory processing have disappeared from current classrooms and playgrounds. She then gives many practical examples of how teachers and others can bring such activities back. Tim Rasinski, a major figure in the literacy world, finishes the article by tying this kind of literacy work to his ideas about the art and science of reading. I recently interviewed Tim and his colleagues about this very topic, LINK. Tim ends the article by saying, “We need to rediscover the importance of songs and singing for the reading curriculum and make it once more part of what we do in the preschool and primary grades.”

Additional Resources demonstrating the importance of music in helping students develop their reading skills

In the article, Ann gives ideas for further reading. In addition, please have a look at this interview I did with Ann and Nina Kraus, Ph.D., a scientist, inventor, and amateur musician who studies the biology of auditory learning. Dr. Kraus’s book, Of Sound Mind,  is a treasure trove of information about brain research supporting practices like Ann and I use. Here is a link to the interview

The screen capture below is of the front cover of Dr. Kraus’s book.

Here is a link you can use to order the book: 


Link to Ann Kay’s Rock and Read Project: LINK.

Final Thoughts:

I remember a talk I heard long ago at an IRA (Now ILA) convention. Judy Blume was the speaker. She said something that has stuck with me over all these years. She said to remember that “reading is its own reward.” She was making the case that intrinsic rewards are superior to extrinsic rewards. Nowhere is that thought more important than in the discussion of how to teach reading. I want to stay on the path outlined by folks like Ann, Tim and my good friend Eric Litwin. Eric has made a powerful case for promoting the joy of reading through music LINK. I believe that learning to read should be intrinsically joyful. Using music to scaffold children into learning to read is a powerful idea that can make that happen. It is backed by a growing body of brain research pioneered by folks like Dr. Nina Kraus. As I suggested at the start of this blog entry, let us learn to sing our way into reading fluency.

Next Week

The Missouri Reader will be publishing its fall issue next week. As most of my readers know, I am the co-editor of that publication. So next week’s blog will discuss our newest edition. It includes articles from a wide range of views, including one from Timothy Shanahan and another from Laura Robb. So until next week:

Happy Reading and Writing.

Dr. Sam Bommarito, aka the centrist who uses ideas from all sides to inform his teaching

Copyright 2022 by Dr. Sam Bommarito. Views/interpretations expressed here are solely the author’s view and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other person or organization.

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