CPD: Dyslexia, Music and the Brain


A dyslexic brain, when reading, looks different to a non-dyslexic brain in the sense that different parts light up. In simple terms, the non-dyslexic brain processes reading on the left side of the brain – in the dyslexic brain there is much more crossover between the left and right brain in regard to where reading happens. Unfortunately the parts of the dyslexic brain that are used for reading can easily be attacked by the stress hormone, cortisol – this makes it woolly and foggy, and therefore makes reading even harder under stressful situations such as in school. It is thought that the stronger left right brain connection in people who are dyslexic is beneficial in regard to creativity and musicality as the right brain is used more regularly. 

How can music benefit the learning of people who are dyslexic?

  • Music strengthens the left and right brain pathways
  • Seeing things in rhythms and beats can help those with dyslexia to read
  • It is beneficial for mental health. Making music together taps into communication without words, bringing a sense of belonging and a positive social experience. This means that less cortisol is produced and therefore reading is easier as the brain is less attacked.