How is the rhythmic ability of pre-school children affected by the implementation of a music-movement program?
Rhythm and music can be very significant for a person’s development, especially during the early years of life. This study’s aim was to examine the rhythmic ability of 180 preschool children before and after the implementation of a music-movement program. A group of 90 children (45 boys and 45 girls) attended a 6-week intervention program, including two 45-minute lessons per week, whereas the other 90 children (control group) did not attend any kind of program. The High/Scope Rhythmic Analysis Test (Weikart, 1989) was used for the evaluation of rhythmic ability before and after the implementation of the rhythmic program. Girls surpassed greatly the boys in total score in both measures (p< 0.01), and the experiment group surpassed significantly the control group in the final measure (p<0.001). It can be concluded that as long as suitably designed and structured musical movement program- with whole body exercises and games accompanied by rhythmic and musical stimuli- contribute to the progress of the rhythmic ability of pre-schoolers, it's beneficial to be included in their formal education.