Music cured my dyslexia

Tuesday, 24th February 2014 - By Valerie Benguiat

Music has benefits in so many levels. Emotional, psychological, metaphysical. But the one that has transcended more for me is the capacity of music to have physical benefits on brain functions. Those who think that music makes you smarter are not far from the truth.

clapstr piano

I have dyslexia; it’s a very common learning difficulty, and though it’s not perfectly clear what causes it, it’s a disorder that inhabits the brain’s physiology. I was diagnosed when I was very young and I can only thank my luck that my mother has always been a very musical person. She thought that since I had such a hard time reading –and remembering- words, I might as well practice by reading and remembering something much more fun: music. I spent all of my childhood learning different instruments –piano, xylophone, flute, guitar- but what really made the difference was learning how to play the drums. I probably will never become a virtuoso, but as you can see, my dyslexia got better and I managed to improve my language and literacy skills.

A study for Cambridge University has theorised that a key factor on dyslexia is timing deficits. Thus, exercises that rely on timing –like group singing, or following a metronome to play drums- provide stimuli appropriate to develop better timing skills, which have shown to positively affect language skills. “Ability to hear beats in music linked to reading and spelling development”, determines the Cambridge research.

While dyslexia isn’t the only impairment that can be better overcome with the aide of music, all of the available research can’t be squeezed into a single post, so follow this blog for more interesting information about how music is great for you.

Image: Nico Kaiser