Chat AI agrees with me!

(this blog was completely generated by AI in answer to the question, “Why should dyslexic students learn rhythm?”)

Learning rhythm can be beneficial for dyslexic students for several reasons.

Firstly, dyslexia can often affect a person’s ability to process and distinguish sounds, which can make it difficult for them to learn to read and spell. However, learning rhythm can help dyslexic students improve their auditory processing skills, which can in turn improve their ability to distinguish sounds, recognize patterns, and process language.

Secondly, studies have shown that dyslexic students often struggle with motor skills and coordination. Learning rhythm and music can help improve their motor skills and coordination, which can translate to improvements in other areas of their lives, such as handwriting and sports.

Thirdly, learning rhythm can also help dyslexic students develop their memory skills. Memory is an important component of reading, and improving memory skills can help dyslexic students remember and recall information more effectively.

Overall, learning rhythm can be an effective way to help dyslexic students improve their auditory processing skills, motor skills, and memory skills, which can ultimately help them become more successful in school and in life.

NAfME Eastern Conference

I’ve decided to go to another conference! This one is in Rochester, NY. As I have just completed a class where I worked on my problem, purpose, and methodology, I thought I would create a poster presentation and get thoughts from those who are at the conference!

This will be my first time presenting at a conference, and I am both excited and nervous. But I also know that I’ve worked hard toward this goal, and I need to do this to further my abilities to network with others. You can view my presentation proposal on this website!

National Society for Leadership and Success

I’ve been nominated by my school to join the NSLS (national society for leadership and success). If I’m successfully inducted, I’ll have cords for my graduation costume and some fancy Greek letters I can attach to my name. The first step toward induction is establishing a SMART goal and determining key steps to getting there. My SMART goal is learning the ukulele. I’ve owned one for awhile, but I’ve never had the motivation to learn. That changes today!

Quantitative or Qualitative

A huge part of my education program is understanding the difference between quantitative and qualitative designs. My interest in music and literacy could fall under either design, but it’s so difficult to choose!

I do know that I want to stay out of the classroom as much as possible to avoid interference with the students and/or the curriculum. I also know that I don’t want to spend a long time with this study. The goal is “to graduate, not change the world”.

I guess my concern is the impact. Which research design will have the most impact for teachers and of course other researchers in the field? Will a case study? Will an ex post facto study?

My final paper in my current class is spelling out the problem, purpose, questions, and/or hypotheses in one chosen research design. I’m thinking of flipping a coin!

By the way, I’m currently reading two dissertations:

Swan, C. R. (2021). The Impact of a Synchronization-Based Movement Intervention on Behavior for Students with Low-Functioning Autism: A Qualitative Case Study [Doctoral dissertation, Northcentral University]. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses

Connelly, D. C. (2021). An Ex-Post Facto Causal Comparative Study of a Rural Reading Program [Doctoral dissertation, Northcentral University]. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses.

New Logo!

As you may have noticed, I have a new logo on this page. I am still a speaker, but there is so much more to me. Most recently, I have reached out to local elementary music school teachers with an offer to help, if I’m able, with their program.

I want to continue to network which includes researching, writing, representing.

I look forward to increased work on my end!

Revised Research Interests

I’m really enjoying my doctorate program. It still will take me awhile to get to post-dissertation, but I am grateful for the program I chose. All of the classes are one-on-one, and each is more preparation for the dissertation. I had been focussing on music and literacy, and I don’t think that focus will change.

Today after attending a 3-day NAfME Northwest conference, I began to think a bit more about my interest. Early childhood education is important to me, but I think it would be a better idea to look at children on the upper level of early childhood education. Standardized testing for reading is done to identify dyslexic students in 3rd grade, and 3rd grade is when children “stop learning to read and start reading to learn” The music portion is one I will have to put some more research in. I discovered the one tool I wanted to use in my dissertation – Interactive Metronome – is not one that was familiar to the music teachers at this conference. Instead I heard about Playbook and Quaver as well as some administrative tools.

So, my next steps are to verify that students are tested for dyslexia at 3rd grade AND discover which music programs are using different music curricula. I also need to start researching these two software sources and verify their reliability/validity for younger students.

I’m still very hopeful about my research!

Doctoral Student (Again)

Today marks a year of me studying for a doctoral degree, this time in Learning Analytics in K12 Education at Northcentral University. I’ve completed four courses so far and look forward to moving toward the dissertation phase of the program.

I’m still focused on music and literacy, and I’ve narrowed that focus to sensorimotor synchronization and phonological awareness. I’ve found in my research that music is simply too broad of a category as is literacy! I needed to select one aspect of each to have a truly spectacular dissertation.

Here are some articles I’m currently reading:

Anthony, J.L., Chen, Y.I., Williams, J.M., Cen, W., & Erazo, N.A. (2021). US Children’s understanding of the English alphabet: Its acquisition, conceptualization, and measurement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 113(6), 1073-1087.

Bonacina, S., Huang, S., White-Schwoch, T., Krizman, J., Nicol, T., & Kraus, N. (2021). Rhythm, reading, and sound processing in the brain in preschool children. NPJ Science of Learning, 6(1), 20.

Eccles, R., van der Linde, J., le Roux, M., Holloway, J., MacCutcheon, D., Ljung, R., & Swanepoel, D. W. (2021). Is phonological awareness related to pitch, rhythm, and speech-in-noise discrimination in young children? Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools, 52(1), 383-395.

Kempert, S., Götz, R., Blatter, K., Tibken, C., Artelt, C., Schneider, W., & Stanat, P. (2016). Training early literacy related skills: To which degree does a musical training contribute to phonological awareness development? Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1803.

Kertész, C., & Honbolygó, F. (2021). Tapping to music predicts literacy skills of first-grade children. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 741540.

The Grammys: 2019 Music Educator Award

Did you know that music teachers can win Grammys? I honestly didn’t know until last year when I attended the annual conference of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).

Anyone can nominate a music teacher to the Recording Academy who then selects ten finalists, and from those ten finalists, one winner. All finalists receive $1000 while the winner receives $10,000. What an honor! According to the Grammy in the schools website, there are also semi-finalists (it is unknown how they are chosen) who will receive $500.

For every performer who makes it to the GRAMMY stage, there was a teacher who played a critical role in getting them there. And really, that’s true for all of us who are making music today. Maybe they introduced you to your first instrument. Or they showed you how to get over your stage fright. Or maybe they just inspired you to have the confidence to go for it when you were ready to give up. – Grammy in the Schools

Local newspapers proudly profiled both semi-finalists and finalists, more than half who are current members of NAfME. Eight of the ten finalists are members.

The 2019 finalists included Jeremy Bradstreet (Dublin Coffman HS, Dublin, OH), Victor de los Santos (Santa Ana HS, Santa Ana, CA), Elizabeth Hering (Churchill HS, Canton, MI), Henry Miller (Sierra Vista MS, Irvine, CA), Amy Rangel (Glendale HS, Glendale, CA), Scott Sheehan (Hollidaysburg Area Senior HS, Hollidaysburg, PA), Mickey Smith, Jr (Maplewood MS, Sulphur, LA), Craig Snyder (Penncrest HS, Media, PA), and John Weatherspoon (Lake Worth Community HS, Lake Worth, FL). The winner for 2019 Music Educator Award is Dr Jeffery Redding, who teaches at West Orange HS in Winter Garden, Florida.

I invite you to look at the local articles for each of the finalists and the winner.
Jeremy Bradstreet
Victor de los Santos (also a finalist for the 2018 award)
Elizabeth Hering
Henry Miller (also a finalist for the 2018 award)
Amy Rangel
Scott Sheehan
Mickey Smith, Jr
Craig Snyder
John Weatherspoon
Jeffery Redding

Congratulations to all the nominees, and thank you to the schools, families, co-workers, and students who nominated them! I’ll definitely be keeping up to date on the 2020 winner.

Music in Our Schools Month

I’ve been saving links on Facebook with the intent of talking about them on my blog. As this is Music in Our Schools Month (MIOSM), what better time than now! Join me as I look at some news, research, and blogs dealing with the brain, communication, and music. The first blog is coming up next on

2018 Goals: To Learn!

It’s been about three weeks since my last blog! I’m sorry to my readers. I had set out some goals for myself as I approached this new year. Yes, blogging was one of them, but even more significant, is my desire to pursue learning.

Starting last week, I began taking a graduate class at the University of Washington within their school of education: Developmental Foundations of Early Learning. I’m not an official student. I was accepted as a non-matriculated student, which means I can earn credit, but currently, it won’t get applied to any program at the University yet. My hope is with this class and other activities I will be doing this year, I can put together a stellar application and enroll in their PhD program in Learning Sciences and Human Development. As it stands, I will be preparing for a group case study on the topic, Social and Emotional Development in Early Childhood, and my final will be a poster presentation on an existing form of curriculum designed for those between birth and fifth grade. I already have an idea for my final project, but it hasn’t been approved yet, so I will keep it to myself for the moment.

A second thing I started last week is music lessons. I purchased for myself basically a toddler’s melodica, and I’m intent on learning how to play. I found a private instructor, and I’m taking classes that take place immediately after my university class. I don’t play the piano, so these lessons are actually both teaching me how to play the melodica and the piano. I am having a wonderful time and proving to myself that even forty isn’t too old to learn a musical instrument.

Next, I’m working on my leadership skills. As a member of Toastmasters International (specifically “Leading Ladies Toastmasters Club“), I competed as my division’s finalist in the District 2 conference. Sadly, I didn’t place, but I certainly made an impression upon the leadership in my division. Now, I have accepted the request to chair an officer’s training workshop that will take place this next weekend. While I have had the help of fellow toastmasters, a lot of it was up to my creativity, and this Saturday, I hope to see a successful workshop of over 70 people!

Finally, I’m looking forward to attending the next National Association for Music Education conference in March 2018. This one will be better suited for me as it is focussed on research. One exciting thing I can share with my readers is that NAfME contacted me shortly after their November conference and requested to reprint three of my blogs about their conference. I eagerly agreed. I hope to produce similar blogs when I attend their next conference, and I’m very happy that they liked what I wrote.

For anyone who has completed a PhD program, even though I tried to complete one prior to now, I would love to hear your thoughts or tips on the application process. There is a lot to do, but fortunately, the deadline for applying is January 2019!