Music is a prominent cultural occupation for individuals around the world. For children, music can be a particularly enriching activity. Because of a child’s critical period, it is essential to provide many ways in which children can learn as much as they can in the early years of their life. Based on Pierce’s theory of occupation, the occupation of play is a productive occupation for children. Play practices can have numerous health and developmental benefits for children. Music also has a notable effect on academic learning for young children. Research has found improvements in lexical skills, pitch discrimination, phonological awareness, and functional memory, all of which play a part in literacy. There are also several successful examples of music programs that focus on child development in America: Sesame Street, and the Harmony Project. These programs represent the importance of integrating music into children’s occupations. This review seeks to examine the effects of learning to play a musical instrument and participating in music-based play on reading ability and child development. The first chapter seeks to provide background information and to demonstrate the necessity of the research. The second chapter reviews current literature.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 2016


Julie Baltisberger

Mentor Professional Affiliation

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Department Name when Degree Awarded

Occupational Therapy