First Comes Rhythm
“Rhythm and rhythmic movement are critical to the basics of life: almost all of our regulatory functions keep some sort of a beat, from the heart to the breath.” — Born for Love (Szalawitz & Perry, 2011)
Music is rhythm. Language is rhythm. Play is rhythm. Improving innate rhythmic sense makes life easier and more fun at any age.
The first sounds that a fetus hears are its parent’s heartbeat. Amniotic fluid also carries the vibrations from body movements and in time, a baby grows to hear family and friends’ voices.
Sounds that have meaning in daily life have a steady beat of some kind. This can be slow, fast or changeable. Even the easiest sounds to get used to, ocean waves and so-called “white noise” have patterns to them. By contrast, to get attention, alarms on cars have varied sound sequences with different beats.
Rhythm is so important and essential, it’s easy to take for granted. We often notice it more when it is missing than we do when it is there in a steady way.
When I work with three- and four-year-olds, I use a rhythm trick to get their attention. Any time I break into a song that has a 5-beat or 7-beat rhythm, I hear the quiet of their listening as I see their focused faces. Most song rhythm including kids’ songs, are based on repeating patterns of 2, 3 or 4.
Adding rhythm to tough tasks can make them easier or more fun. My housework is 10 times more fun when I listen to music (on days when I can do both at the same time)! Instrumental music helps me study when I’m learning new things or writing content.
What are your favorite tunes to work to? Comment and let me know ⬇️