Researchers from the Department of Developmental Psychology at Justus-Liebig-University, in Giessen, Germany have found that a rhythm-based music programme helped pre-school children to develop one of their Executive Functions (EF) by being able to control their impulsive responses.
EF are important for children to develop from an early age, because they are associated with academic achievement, intelligence, health, and wellbeing. The cognitive ability to control impulses contributes to anticipation, planning, and goal setting.
While previous research has shown the beneficial effects of music training on EF in children, it has not clearly determined which component of music training produces these effects.
The researchers (Ulrike Frischen, Gudrun Schwarzer and Franziska Degé) examined the impact of rhythm-based music training compared to pitch-based music training and sports training as a control on EF in pre-school children. Seventy-six children, aged between 5 and 6 years-old, were randomly assigned to one of the three groups and received 20 minutes of training, three times a week for 20 weeks.
Based on their results, the researchers found that 20 weeks of rhythm training meant that children were better able to control their impulsive responses, while those involved with the pitch-based music training and sports training were not.
They also suggested that rhythm training might affect other executive functions, such as the ability to switch attention between tasks, and visuospatial working memory – which is important because children use visual-spatial processing skills to learn new things like making sense of letters and numbers, read maps, follow dance moves and solve some maths problems.
Image from Pixabay, reproduced under Creative Commons CC0.
Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnint.2019.00041/full
Bigger Better Brains: https://biggerbetterbrains.com/news-post/hitting-a-drum-helps-preschoolers-gain-control/?fbclid=IwAR0c4-eHtWpAakPHstbGY-w4IHPF92mYcs_3EnWgfknvtPBx5VkOCtYztHw
|TYPE OF STUDY:||ACADEMIC RESEARCH|
|PERIOD OF STUDY:||20 WEEKS|