Australia: Feeling the beat is a step towards child self-regulation skills

04 October 2019

Marching, wiggling and tapping a beat helps young children develop self-regulation skills and improves school readiness, research published in Psychology of Music has found.

An eight-week programme of rhythm and movement activities to support attentional and emotional development was provided to 113 pre-school children from less affluent backgrounds. The children’s teachers reported positive intervention effects for emotional regulation and, in boys, executive function.

‘Think “heads, shoulders, knees and toes”, but do the actions backwards while you sing forwards. It tricks the brain into gear,’ says Kate Williams, associate professor at Queensland University of Technology, who designed the programme.

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