Friday, October 11, 2013

Reading and Rhythm

The two primary movement programs used in my private education practice are Rhythmic Movement Training and NeuroNet both of which stress the importance of learning to keep a rhythm.  When children are struggling with reading, language and attention, why should we to take time to teach them to keep a beat?  The following is an excerpt from a review by NeuroNet of some recent research on the brain and rhythm as reported in The Journal of Neuroscience.

The ability to tap and move consistently to a beat relates to the brain’s response to sound, a correlation that has been linked to reading ability and phonological awareness. Phonological awareness refers to the ability to detect and manipulate the components of spoken language, such as syllables, rhymes and voice onset time.

In order to distinguish such sounds in conversations, listeners must be able to detect small differences in timing – just as one must detect the timing of a rhythmic beat in a song. Therefore, researchers conclude, that “both skills rely on the shared neural resource of consistent auditory brainstem timing.”

Go to NeuroNet to read the full review.  Then put on some music and get the kids dancing!

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