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Dysgraphia and Guitar

Guitar and Handwriting

Guitar and Handwriting

Last October I was starting to freak out that my seven-year-old might have Dysgraphia.  That’s how bad his handwriting was.  We launched a full-on intervention at home which you can see in my Handwriting Solutions Pinterest board, and poof!  Problem solved!  Bruce doesn’t have great handwriting, but it is now average for a second grader.  He does not have Dysgraphia after all.

The only component to our handwriting campaign that I haven’t blogged about yet is guitar.

I think guitar makes a big difference in handwriting, but I don’t know why.

Is it because of muscle tone?  Or is there something going on at a neurological level?   I have no idea.

Bruce’s guitar teacher told me of his own experience practicing guitar so much in his teens, that he actually became ambidextrous.

To me as a psychology major, that makes me wonder if the brain can be rewired.  Can new synapses be formed?  Can handwriting be healed through music instruction?

If I could wave a magic wand and start dolling out grant money I know exactly what I would want to do.

I’d love to see MRIs of neurotypical kids playing guitar, kids who have dysgraphia playing guitar, and the before and after effects of several months of intense guitar playing.

My final thoughts on handwriting issues and second graders?

Please don’t make them do more and more and more and more worksheets with letter formations.  I don’t care if it’s D’nelian.  I don’t care if it’s Handwriting Without Tears.  Give them a break!

Unless you are absolutely positive that their fingers are as strong as can be, try something else first.  Do art. Do crafts. Pick up an instrument.  Try the fancy paper.  Get some pencil grips.

There are lots of ways to improve handwriting, without practicing handwriting.

That sounds crazy but it isn’t.


  1. Amanda says:

    My 10 year old son has a very pronounced case of dysgraphia. Not only is writing extremely difficult & laborious for him, he even struggles with tasks such as tying his shoes. His case went undiagnosed for several years due his superior IQ and ability to score high on tests. We were told by his school on numerous occassions that he was a bad speller (he could spell the words verbally but could not write them correctly) and to study harder! Since his diagnosis we have moved him to a smaller school that was willing to accommodate him more. It has helped his confidence and he is excelling again! We currently have him (and his entire class) using pencil grips – this helped him while not singling him out. His teachers have him typing most of his written work since each student has a laptop. We will be starting guitar lessons soon and I am very eager to see if this will also help with his hand eye coordination (it can’t hurt)!

    • 😦 It’s so sad to think of all of the negative messages your son was getting over the years until his diagnosis. I do have to say that I’ve learned more about dysgraphia in my own online research than I ever did in my teacher credentialing training.

      I hope guitar helps too, at the very least with finger strength.

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