Murray State Theses and Dissertations


Identifying students with literacy disabilities, such as dyslexia, efficiently in public schools is crucial for early intervention. Literacy and musical skills share common neurological pathways, so music educators possess a skill set that could be advantageous in screening students. This study utilized a descriptive research design to identify music educators’ roles in the identification of students with dyslexia/reading disabilities in Kentucky’s public schools, and their attitudes about those roles. Data was collected through a survey completed by Kentucky public school music teachers. Results indicated that 92% of respondents had not participated in the screening process for children with literacy disorders/dyslexia from within the music discipline. However, the majority of music educators surveyed agreed that members of their discipline should provide input in the screening process for dyslexia. Their perceived familiarity with the connections between music and literacy was positively correlated with their attitude about having a role in identifying students [r(70) = .351, p = .0025], but their educational preparation in literacy through professional development or their degree program did not show a correlation [r(70) = .111, p = .352]. Implications for educational leaders are highlighted, including providing literacy education for future music teachers and cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Year manuscript completed


Year degree awarded


Author's Keywords

dyslexia, music educators, literacy disability, screening, identification

Dissertation Committee Chair

Stephanie Schaaf

Committee Member

Laura Liljequist

Committee Member

Joan Eckroth-Riley

Document Type