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When we think about rhythm, our mind automatically correlates to either playing an instrument or dancing. Studies have proven that keeping a beat can actually benefit in reading and linguistic abilities. Emotional and intellectual development are also foundations that can be built when children are exposed to rhythmicity and timing at a young age.
A study amongst a group of high school students found that students that were better at keeping a beat had exemplary language skills and brain responses during repetitious tasks compared to those who had no rhythm. However, although rhythm may come more naturally to others, the origins of rhythmicity and timing goes back to infancy and even the prenatal periods when babies move with the rhythm of their mothers’ voice.
Rhythmic sounds coordinates the mental process of individuals in groups to become more synchronized in music and dancing, which supports the idea that music taps into our brain circuits to control emotion and movement. In contrast, hearing sounds and associating them with letters and words are crucial when learning how to read. This association shares a common basis in the auditory hub, which reflects the brain’s ability to convert auditory signals and other brain processes that control for language, movement and reading skills.
Scientists have associated reading and beat-keeping abilities to help exercise auditory systems, which leads to stronger sound-to-meaning associations, which is necessary for learning how to read. Research has also supported the idea that these brain waves originate from an area of the brain that ties audio processing, language and rhythm together.
Any sensory stimulus will generate brief brain waves in the cerebral cortex. Playing instruments help exercise the auditory systems, as well as providing many other benefits in cognitive functions. To improve and practice rhythmicity and timing, try using a metronome. Metronomes provide audible sounds at a regular interval in beats per minute.