Reprinted with permission from "The Parent's Guide: Getting the Most
Out Of Your Child's Band or Orchestral Experience" published by The
Selmer Company.
Rhythm Seen as Key to Music's Evolutionary
Role in Human Intellectual Development
Study findings in that will soon be published in the American Journal of
Occupational Therapy show that improving children's physical
rhythmicity also produces statistically significant positive gains in his or
her capacity to focus and attend; plan, sequence, and coordinate actions; as
well as a variety of cognitive and language skills, including reading,
spelling, and math. These findings suggest that the rhythmic experiences
shared by our earliest ancestors may have done more than just entertain
them. They may have been instrumental to humans developing underlying
brain functions that were foundational to our brain's developing higher
level capabilities.
Rhythmicity from a practitioner's point of view:
Individuals with fundamental rhythmicity typically have the ability to
1. recognize that rhythmic patterns exist in our surroundings,
2. focus their attention long enough to recognize individual patterns
3. within a group of simultaneously occurring patterns,
4. create patterns (actions and thoughts) that are in sync (entrain) with
other patterns,
5. consciously adjust or stop their own patterns so they don't
interfere with the patterns of others, and
6. learn from previous experiences.
Individuals with exceptional rhythmicity typically have the ability to:
1. stay focused on internal and/or external patterns for extended
periods of time without interruption,
2. unconsciously distinguish between minute individual patterns
occurring within a group of simultaneously occurring intricate
3. unconsciously adjust own personal rhythms when they waver
from what is intended,
4. make faster and more precise corrections,
5. create highly creative (productive) rhythm patterns that others
tend to follow (entrain with) and learn from,
6. more effectively learn from previous experiences, and
7. have exceptional experiences that often occur as a direct result of
having highly accurate rhythmicity (timing).
Bottom line: Rhythmicity is a critical foundation of our ability to learn.
The soon to be published studies suggest that helping our children
improve their rhythmicity will likely help them become more productive
members of society. They also verify another age-old saying :
Everything is just a matter of timing!
Source: Timing, Concentration, and Motor Skills (TCAMS)
Professional Resource Center
For Source information, return to Why Music? Links and Info Page

To Music Education Links

Return to Main Menu