Boom, boom, boom. Clap, clap, clap. 1 and 2 and 3 and 4.
Steady beat is the most fundamental concept in music. It’s the ongoing, steady, repetitive pulse that occurs in songs, chants, rhymes, and music. It’s the part that makes you want to tap your toes, clap your hands, or jump up and dance like no one is watching.
Even newborn babies respond to the steady beat of music, and that’s no surprise when you consider they have been listening to the steady beat of their mother’s heart from inside the womb. Most children learn to keep a steady beat while swaying, clapping, moving their arms, and beating a loud, booming drum. This skill will help a child prepare to later use scissors, a hammer, a saw, a whisk, and all kinds of other tools. Not to mention, it’s absolutely essential to learning a musical instrument.
Through musical exploration in the Kindermusik classroom, your child may develop steady beat competency in the legs and feet as well. This lower body competency is necessary for playing sports, like dribbling and shooting a basketball, as well as for dancing, skipping, running and even walking easily.
Total body beat competency even emerges in the ability to speak and read with a smooth cadence, thereby enhancing communication abilities. Studies also show that ability to keep a steady beat is connected with fluency in reading. A study by Phyllis Weikert showed that being “able to keep a steady beat helps a person to feel the cadence (rhythm) of language” and can also affect their sense of equilibrium (www.earlychildhoodnews.com).
Steady beat is an fundamental as it gets, and equally as important!
Excerpts taken from Kindermusik Notes by Kindermusik educator Andrea King.