Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education




Differentiated Instruction

Capstone Instructor

Prof. Ann Kern

Second Reader

Dr. Phyl Burger


music, literacy, Kodály, Orff


It is often touted by music educators and proponents of music education in the public school system that music helps improve math and reading achievement and test scores. While this justification has undoubtedly saved some music programs, the purpose of this study is not to establish the usefulness of music education in improving other skills but rather to find parallels and overlaps between music literacy and English language acquisition and the pedagogy used to teach both and to determine what implications these relationships have for music literacy pedagogy for all. The author tentatively postulates that music literacy instruction has some positive effects on English language learning, and that there are significant pedagogical overlaps between music and English literacy instruction. However, the author also finds that there are significant gaps in the research, specifically in studies that take as their experimental variable constructivist music education approaches (Kodály, Orff methodologies and Gordon philosophy) and that are able to generalize the experiment to account for a wider variety of learners beyond a small targeted group. The author concludes that further investigation and studies into this area are indeed warranted in order to draw more concrete conclusions on the causal relationship between constructivitst music literacy instruction and English literacy achievement.