What is the connection between rhythm and reading?👏📖
They use overlapping neural mechanisms and this brand new study with beginner readers (aged 5-7) found a whole swag of connections, concluding that “rhythm skills and literacy call on overlapping neural mechanisms, supporting the idea that rhythm training may boost literacy in part by engaging sensory‐motor systems”.
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Why is clapping in time so hard for 5-7-year-olds? “Clapping in time represents an activity that almost everyone experiences since childhood. It requires global coordination and interaction between motor and sensory systems and a fine temporal ability to control the entire movement as to be on time.” And yet we all, mostly, seem to master this very difficult task. The research into this area is beginning to build a picture of both how hard clapping in time is and how vital a task it is to learn at a specific developmental time. Clapping in time, and rhythmic entrainment and synchronization, are foundation skills for reading.
Why? This is because a brain that is in sync can effectively and efficiently send multi-sensory information around the brain in a way they can then make sense of it. This is visual, auditory and motor information, all the senses we need to use to read. If a child’s brain isn’t in sync and in its neural groove then the exchange of information because very difficult, unreliable and very tiring.
What is amazing from an evolutionary point of view is that swaying, clapping and patting a baby in a steady beat seem to come quite naturally. Which came first – our need for beat and rhythm to develop our brains or the development of rhythm which our brains then utilized for development.
Think on that question today BBBers!