Tune Time

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Tune Time, funded by the Harpur Trust, is evaluating the effectiveness of a music based early literacy program developed with the express purpose of adding value to synthetic phonics programs and thus supporting early phonological learning in the Year 1 classroom.

The Tune Time project compares three conditions; the Tune Time Music group where the Tune Time rhymes are delivered as songs with strong tunes, the Tune Time Spoken group where the rhymes are delivered as poems but also use actions and strong rhythmic beat and the No Supplementary Program group (essentially a control group) where children receive no extra program in addition to their normal synthetic phonics programs.

Tune Time songs/poems were developed by a collaboration between Anglia Ruskin and Cambridge University and feature rhyming couplets, using high frequency and regular words as appropriate for the Year 1 classroom. When performed as songs, Tune Time uses strong tunes with prominent beat. Action is used in both Tune Time groups to underline key words and aid comprehension of new vocabulary. The Tune Time songs are based on common Year 1 cross-curricular topics and thus promote integrated classroom learning.

Our findings to date indicate that children in the Tune Time program make more progress in phonological awareness (the ability to identify and manipulate the sounds in language - the strongest predictor of reading outcomes) than children who have no supplementary literacy program. There is some indication that children who have the weakest literacy skills may be helped most in the Spoken Tune Time condition. The current phase of Tune Time will further evaluate the impact of the program with the goal of making Tune Time available to all Year 1 classrooms should it be deemed of suitable quality. We would love to talk further with you about the Tune Time project and potentially have you involved in this exciting project.

For more information on the project please contact Dr Sarah Kuppen on sarah.kuppen@anglia.ac.uk or +44 (0)1223 363271 (ext. 2799)