Language Delay and Musical Skills: Is this a pathway for improvement?

Principal Investigator: Reyna L. Gordon, Ph.D.

Other researchers: Alexandra Key, PhD; Melanie Schuele, PhD


Specific language impairment (SLI), also known as Developmental language disorder, is a common type of language delay. Children with SLI have trouble with grammar and vocabulary.

These problems can affect their academic and social skills both now and in the future.

We are interested in how a child's language skills might be related to their ability to hear rhythms in music and to their other thinking and listening skills.

We invite 5-7 year-old children with language delays to participate in our study. No music training is expected or needed.

Children will be asked to:

  • Respond to tests of their language, hearing, and musical abilities.
  • Sit still and listen to sounds and play computer games while wearing a damp stretchy capwhile watching a video.
  • Spit into a cup

Participant Criteria

5-7-year-old children with language delay/language impairment


$150 in gift cards ($30 gift card for the screening visit and a $60 gift card for each completed study visit) Results of standardized testing will be provided at no cost.

Visit Requirements

One screening visit and two 3-hour study visits within one month’s time


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Contact Information

Ashley Hirsch

Last Updated: Thursday, August 04, 2016

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