Music is a natural vehicle for language acquisition. It’s easy to remember new words when they’re set to music and paired in rhymes. And studies show that music education has a profound impact on phonemic awareness (the ability to recognize and distinguish between phonemes, the smallest units of sound in oral language), and on phonological awareness (a more general skill that involves the ability to recognize and manipulate all the structural units of oral language—sounds, words, syllables, etc.). Both phonemic and phonological awareness are absolutely vital to reading.

Kindermusik classes are chock-full of language learning. Silly rhymes and catchy songs offer opportunities for vocal development, phonemic awareness, and vocabulary building, and storytime strengthens pre-reading skills such as print awareness and auditory discrimination. Through musical activities and interactions with their teacher and peers, children also develop conversation skills and the ability to speak rhythmically and expressively. And, results from a recent independent research study showed that preschoolers who participated in the Kindermusik curriculum for as little as 30 minutes each week showed a 32% greater gain in their phonological awareness than the control group.