Possible Way to Prevent Dyslexia?

Will the Susan Wenger Method, of teaching 2-year-olds to sight-read and play (keyboard) music, prevent dyslexia?

by Win Wenger, Ph.D.
published in The Stream, April 2004
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Please advise if you know of anyone with perfect musical pitch who also suffers from the forms of dyslexia studied by Sally E. Sheyvitz at Yale Medical. It is very unlikely that anyone will have both conditions, because–

  1. People with perfect musical pitch enjoy a left plenum temporales which is physically double the size of that in most people. (See Schlaug et al. at University of Dusseldorf in a series of articles in Science beginning Feb. 3, 1996.) This organ-designation largely overlaps the Wernicke’s Word-Association Area in other classificatory anatomies.
  2. Wernicke’s is one of two areas which Sheyvitz found to be hypoactive – i.e., underperforming, perhaps defective or stunted, in dyslexics.
  3. The Susan Wenger Method for teaching 2-year-olds to sight-read and play music appears to produce an incidental side-effect: the emergence of perfect musical pitch. This presumably would result in an expanded left plenum temporales similar to that found in others in whom perfect musical pitch has emerged.

(This hypothesis is one of several in this topic urgently in need of formal measurement and testing.)

Note that the left plenum temporales, our organ for distinguishing nuances of word-meaning, is seen by some to be the core of human intellect. Anything which so powerfully strengthened its functions as to result in a doubling of its physical size is likely to have positive consequences elsewhere in behavior and experience.

Note also that different forms of dyslexia can have different causes. However, the forms studied by Sally E. Sheyvitz can be reasonably predicted to increase in incidence, as in fact has the overall incidence of dyslexia, as a result of stripping music and the arts out of most school programs, as has been done since 1980 for presumed reasons of economy.

Simplest, most direct hypothesis: that anything which strengthens left plenum temporales function, such as the perfect pitch effect wrought by use of the Susan Wenger Method for teaching pre-schoolers to sight-read and play keyboard music (see the article detailing how), can act as a major preventive and possibly even as a treatment or cure for the main, classical, forms of dyslexia.

Please alert us immediately if you know of any classical dyslexic who also has perfect pitch.

Also, we seek to make this resource, the instructions for the Susan Wenger Method, already freely self-taught, even more widely available. We need a computer programmer to help us develop our plans for a game-like computer program which might even develop perfect pitch in adults. We really could use help in developing such a program! The bases for it are pretty clear…..

Dyslexia, long thought to be an incurable, life-long condition, reportedly affects 80% of children who are labeled in one form or another as “learning-disabled.” Diagnosis of the condition is rarely made before 3rd grade, long after the main windows of opportunity for possible prevention. Think that one through, please, and respond to any of the links below. Thank you.

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