Walking, swaying, see-sawing, rowing, patting, drumming, clapping, flapping, tapping... Keeping a steady beat is the foundation for all rhythmic activities, every song, every rhyme - it is the bedrock of most music all over the world. It is what allows us to make music together in the first place - to do things that sound and feel good at the same time.
We're social beings, and so we thrive on this. It feels good to look round at a circle of people engaged in the same activity. It makes us feel safe because together we're strong. Making music with others is togetherness in action.
And then there's so much more...
Co-ordination - keeping a beat helps create steady, fluid movements. We can see this especially in children with SEN. My little nephew suffers from a genetic condition which affects his muscle tone. He finds it hard to walk without tripping up, but march round the room to a drumbeat and a song and he has no problems whatsoever!
Circadian rhythm - how does a baby know about the passing of time? They don't read clocks and light isn't great indicator in today's world. Some scientists believe that regularly experiencing a steady beat (e.g. through being carried or rocked) helps a baby's body clock develop a sense for the passing of time, making it easier for little one to settle into a regular day/night rhythm!
Language & literacy - young children who are able to match different beats do better on pre-literacy skills. This is thought to be due to the overlap of linguistic skills and music skills, meaning that when you sing and move to music, you engage the same parts of the brain as you do when you speak and read!
Impulse control - doing activities to a beat can help children with social skills such as waiting their turn and paying attention to social cues.
And at the end of the day, it's just so much FUN!
Interested in trying out our classes? Drop us a line via the contact form, email or call us for a free trial class!