Creating a Musical Bridge to Reading Through Phonemic Awareness What Professionals Say About Reading By Ear "Simultaneously playful and uncompromising, READING BY EAR moves the minds of learners from the whole to its parts, from music to sight, from sound to sense.  In so doing, READING BY EAR orchestrates key brain functions crucial to immediate, effective, and lasting reading skills." Gabriele Rico, Ph. D.                                Professor of English and Creative Arts San Jose State University Author of WRITING THE NATURAL WAY    "Creative and well organized program easily adaptable for use by classroom teachers, speech therapists, and music educators."    Dr. Robert E. Marciante, CEO FranCenter, Darien, IL    "I highly recommend Reading By Ear. The music is engaging! Children have fun while learning basic reading and phonic skills."    Dr. Kenneth Iversen, Consultant FranCenter, Inc.    National Reading Panel Findings Following a two-year analysis and assessment, the National Reading Panel released its latest findings to the United States Congress and the Nation. They listed two things as essential for learning to read successfully. For children to be good readers, they must be taught: (1) phonemic awareness skills (2) phonics skills   Dr. Donald N. Langenberg, NRP Chairperson Excerps from Testimony before the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services, and Education The Panel found that certain instructional methods are better than others. To become good readers, children must develop phonemic awareness, phonics skills, the ability to read words in text in an accurate and fluent manner, and the ability to apply comprehension strategies consciously and deliberately as they read. Phonemic awareness is knowledge that spoken words are made up of tiny segments of sound, referred to as phonemes. For example, the words "go" and "she" each consists of two phonemes. Phonemic awareness is often confused with phonics, which refers to the process of linking these sounds to the symbols that stand for them, the letters of the alphabet. Phonemic awareness is critically important in learning how to read because children cannot pronounce unfamiliar words if they do not know the sounds that link to the letters on the page. In fact, the Panel found that many difficulties learning to read were caused by inadequate awareness and that systematic and explicit instruction in phonemic awareness directly caused improvements in children's reading and spelling skills. The evidence for these casual claims is so clear cut that the Panel concluded that systematic and explicit instruction in phonemic awareness should be an important component of classroom reading instruction for children in preschool and beyond who have not been taught phoneme concepts or who have difficulties understanding that the words in oral language are composed of smaller speech sounds - sounds that will be linked to the letters of the alphabet. © Reading By Ear 2011