All children reading at grade level through singing

A 501(c)3 nonprofit organization

The Rock 'n' Read Project

A proven, cost-effective way of leveraging singing to significantly improve reading skills, particularly among children who are most behind in reading.

We offer:

1.  Customized programs for elementary schools and early childhood centers.

2.  A free program using TiR software for elementary schools with a large proportion of students not reading proficiently and eligible for free/reduced lunch (funded by MN Legislature).

Contact us now!

Bill Jones, Executive Director             [email protected]             612-710-0651

2018-'19 Schools
Breckenridge Elementary (Breckenridge Public), Browns Valley (Browns Valley Public), Heron Lake-Okabena (Heron Lake-Okabena Public), Princeton Intermediate (Princeton Public Schools), Stride Academy (St. Cloud charter)
2016-'18 Schools
Bancroft Elementary (Minneapolis Public), Garden City (Osseo Public), Richard Green (Minneapolis Public), Jefferson (Minneapolis Public), 
Loveworks Academy of the Arts (charter), Hmong International (Minneapolis Public), Lucy Laney (Minneapolis Public), Mastery (Minneapolis charter), NE College Prep (Minneapolis charter), Odyssey (Brooklyn Center charter), Rothsay (Rothsay Public), Stonebridge International (Minneapolis charter), Tanglen Elementary (Hopkins Public), Tesfa International (Columbia Heights charter), Valley View Elementary (Columbia Heights)


Struggling Readers Make Stunning Gains

One-third of fouth and fifth graders who scored at the bottom reading level (Does Not Meet) on the 2017 MN Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) went up a level (to Partly Meets) on the 2018 MCA after singing and reading songs with a software program for about 14 hours. This is remarkable because long-standing studies show that poor readers in first grade rarely ever catch up to their peers, even by ninth grade. 

This phenomenal growth indicates that singing may be a key to closing the reading achievement gap. Previous research by neuroscientist Dr. Nina Kraus at Northwestern University* has shown that children who cannot keep a steady beat almost always struggle with reading. Singing activates neurons in more areas of the brain than any other activity and there are now many studides showing that music-making is correlated with higher reading.*

Funded by the Minnesota Legislature, the Rock ‘n’ Read Project is conducting a pilot program using a software program called Tune into Reading (TiR) that it purchases for schools. Since 2016, 1700 second through fifth grade students at 15 Minnesota schools have sung with TiR software. TiR rewards students for singing accurately; students also learn new vocabulary words and take vocabulary and comprehension quizzes.

A data analyst compared students’ reading scores on both the MCA and the FastBridge aReading Assessment at nine schools in 2018:

  • TiR-users overall made statistically significant greater reading gains from 2017 to 2018 than non-TiR students. 
  • Lowest-achieving readers made the greatest gains overall.
  • Students who did not sing with the software did not make statistically significant reading gains.

The Rock ‘n’ Read project provides a proven, cost-effective way of leveraging singing to significantly improve reading skills, particularly among children who are most behind in reading.

*Auditory Neuroscience Lab, Northwestern University

*Bibliography of studies: