Rhythm and Learning – Association to Speed of Processing
Inputting information into the brain is like inputting information into a computer; it must be done in an organized fashion. This allows for easier and faster accessibility. Retrieval of information is also more efficient. Examples include the alphabet (how many of us still remember letter order by singing?) and the words from a song not heard in years. Rhythm helps us to learn faster and more effectively.
We incorporate rhythm in all of our learning programs. This is accomplished with the aid of a metronome. You probably have come across a metronome with music lessons. It helped to keep us on beat. For some this is a very difficult skill. Children, for example, often have three speeds: fast, faster and out of control! Rhythm training teaches internal control and focused attention. It allows the child to change their speed to the activity at hand. Clapping, walking, hopping, jumping and more complex activities are used to train rhythm with the proper timing.
Reading to a slow beat with a metronome, the student learns to land the eyes on each word (instead of skipping words). As these processing skills increase, reading comprehension improves. The brain is able to process information at higher perceptual levels.
Spelling can also be helped. Spelling one letter per beat and/or bouncing a ball to the tempo helps imprint the word into memory just as the beat of a song imprints lyrics.
Practicing math facts with a metronome also helps with the memorization. As the addition, subtraction, multiplication and division tables are easily remembered, the student is free to mentally manipulate the numbers and ready for higher levels of math.
Rhythm training is extremely beneficial with all facets of learning. It is fun, challenging and improves processing speed. Rhythm is definitely a key component to our success in helping others