The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of a music/movement program on the motor rhythmic ability of 70 children, aged 48-72 months (59.67+6.38) randomly assigned to experimental (EG, n=36) and control group (CG, n= 34). The EG participated in a 20-week music/movement program, while the CG did not follow any organized physical activity. Before and after the program children’s rhythmic ability was measured using the subtest “Jump on the rhythm” of the Democritus-Psychomotor Assessment Tool for Preschool Children (PAT-PRE). According to the results of the two-way ANCOVA that was implemented, both program and gender had a statistically significant effect on children’s scores (F1,65= 222.24, p< .001, η2= .84 and F1,65= 6.60, p < .05, η2= .09 respectively) after controlling for the effect of the pre-test, while there was not a significant effect of those factors’ interaction. The children of the EG had significantly higher scores than those of the CG, while girls outperformed boys in both groups. However, effect size value of gender was moderate; consequently, these differences were not of practical importance. The current findings provide support for the beneficial effect of a developmentally appropriate music/movement program on rhythmic ability of preschool aged children.
Psychomotor Training (PT) in preschoolers focuses mainly on handling problematic cases and their perceptualmotor development. The aim of the current research is the study of Psychomotor Training (PT) effectiveness on motor proficiency of preschool aged children in Greece. A PT approach, based on basic principles of Psychomotor Education, was applied on a group of preschoolers (n=233) aged 59.75±6.45 months, while a control group (n=212) of similar aged children followed the typical education programme of the public Kindergarten but not the PT programme. Motor proficiency in both groups was evaluated by the MOT (Motoriktest für vier-bis sechsjährige Kinder) 4-6 test battery (6 criterion measurements) at the beginning and in the end of the PT programme. The results indicated that there was a significant interaction between the PT programme and the group factor (F1,419=573.8, p<.001, η2=.991), while post-hoc comparisons revealed that both the experimental (p<.001) and the control group (p<.05) were significantly improved at the end of the training intervention. A significant interaction was noticed between the group and the age factor (F3,419=124.3, p<.001, η2=.586) while post-hoc comparisons revealed that motor proficiency improvement in the experimental group was significantly greater (p<.001) than that noticed in the control group independent of age. It was also found that four-yrs-old children demonstrated the most significant motor proficiency improvement after the implementation of PT compared to other three age groups in the experimental group. Conversely, there was no age effect in the control group concerning motor proficiency improvement. Finally, a significant interaction was found between measurements and age. Post-hoc comparisons revealed a significant improvement in all measurements of motor proficiency with the exception the the comparison between second and third and between forth and fifth. The results of the present study indicate the significance of PT programs in improving Motor Proficiency in preschoolers.