Music and Movements Help Pre-School Children Learn Better
Music and movement can help pre-school kids learn better as they grow up as it is linked to pathways in the brain to support attentional and emotional
Kate Williams, Associate Professor of Queensland University of Technology (QUT) has developed a new program called RAMSR for aiding the emotional and cognitive skills of pre-school children.The program was developed based on a study involving 113 children from lower socio-economic communities. Music and movement was found to improve self-regulation skills.
“Being able to control your own emotions, cognition and behaviours is an important predictor of school readiness and early school achievement,” Assoc Prof Williams said.The study is a unique investigation about preschool children and the application of a rhythm and movement program to address socioeconomic-related school readiness and achievement gaps.Assoc Prof Williams said differences in neurological processes can produce educational inequalities for young children who experience disadvantage. It’s been identified by UNICEF as an international priority.
The study recognises what Assoc Prof Williams describes as the ‘musician advantage’ – enhanced neural plasticity and executive functioning – particularly among children given formal musical instruction.
“The children who have music lessons from a young age are often from families who can afford them,” she said. “The problem is that the children who most need the musician advantage miss out because it isn’t affordable for all families to access highly quality music programs”.
She said the benefits of early shared book reading between parents and children have long been established.The preschool program involved group sessions for 30 minutes twice a week across eight weeks, with stages becoming more challenging to stimulate change and development in self-regulation skills.
Assoc Prof Williams is a Senior Research Fellow at QUT as well as a Registered Music Therapist.