MUSIC CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE VERY EARLY IN A CHILD’S LIFE. RESEARCH HAS SHOWN THAT REGULAR MOVEMENT WITH CHILDREN, SUCH AS RHYTHMICALLY ROCKING INFANTS, HAS RESULTED IN THESE CHILDREN SHOWING MORE SOCIAL SKILLS AND EMPATHY WITH OTHERS.
ARC-supported researcher Associate Professor Kate Williams, from the School of Early Childhood and Inclusive Education at the Queensland University of Technology, is investigating the link between young children’s experience of rhythm and movement activities and their development of self-regulation skills. Associate Professor Williams says that self-regulation is the way that we control our own emotions, thinking, intentions and behaviour, in ways that allow us to be well-functioning human beings—and that this ability is an important predictor of school readiness and early school achievement. Her early work as part of a Discovery Projects grant investigated associations between early shared music activities at home for children aged two to three and their later skill development at ages of four to five. That study found that although shared book reading was the strongest predictor of vocabulary and school readiness, shared music activities were found to be positively associated with children’s vocabulary, numeracy, attentional and emotional regulation, and social skills. The researchers stated that the findings suggest that early educators and parents should be aware of the non-musical benefits of active music participation, even in an informal setting at home, in early childhood development. Associate Professor Kate Williams has since been awarded an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) and is now examining the effectiveness of a rhythm and movement intervention by early childhood teachers to improve self-regulation for preschool aged children living in disadvantaged communities. QUT early childhood researcher Kate Williams has developed a fun rhythm and movement program linked to pathways in the brain to support young children's attentional and emotional development. Credit: QUT. DANCING KIDS ACHIEVE BOOSTED ABILITIES TO SELF-REGULATE
STRIVING FOR CULTURAL AND SOCIAL OUTCOMES
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