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Basic motor skills development is achieved through the implementation of different types of physical education programs. The purpose of this study was to investigate and to compare the effect of a developmentally appropriate music and movement program and of a developmentally appropriate physical education program on the development of jumping and dynamic balance in children ages 4–6 years. Ninety children, 42 girls and 48 boys, participated. Fifty of them were in an experimental group and followed the music and movement program, which lasted 2 months. The rest served as the control group and followed the physical education program, for the same period of time. Children's level in jumping and dynamic balance was assessed with the MOT 4–6 [Zimmer, R. & Volkamer, M. (1987). Motoriktest fuer vier-bis sechsjaehrige kinder. Manual, Belz: Weinheim]. Data were analyzed with the multivariate analysis of variance with repeated measures. The results showed that the experimental group improved significantly in both jumping and dynamic balance. It can be concluded that a developmentally appropriate music and movement program can positively affect jumping and dynamic balance of preschool children.
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Early Childhood Research Quarterly 19 (2004) 631–642
The effects of a developmentally appropriate music and
movement program on motor performance
Evridiki Zachopoulou
, Aggeliki Tsapakidou
, Vassiliki Derri
Technological Educational Institution of Thessaloniki, Department of Early Childhood Care and Education,
P.O. Box 14561, Sindos 54101, Thessaloniki, Greece
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Sindos 54101, Thessaloniki, Greece
Democritus University of Thrace, Thrace, Greece
Basic motor skills development is achieved through the implementation of different types of physical education
programs. The purpose of this study was to investigate and to compare the effect of a developmentally appropriate
musicandmovementprogramandofadevelopmentally appropriate physical education program on the development
of jumping and dynamic balance in children ages 4–6 years. Ninety children, 42 girls and 48 boys, participated.
Fifty of themwere inan experimental group and followedthe musicand movementprogram, which lasted 2 months.
The rest served as the control group and followed the physical education program, for the same period of time.
Children’s level in jumping and dynamic balance was assessed with the MOT 4–6 [Zimmer, R. & Volkamer, M.
(1987). Motoriktest fuer vier-bis sechsjaehrige kinder. Manual, Belz: Weinheim]. Data were analyzed with the
multivariate analysis of variance with repeated measures. The results showed that the experimental group improved
significantly in both jumping and dynamic balance. It can be concluded that a developmentally appropriate music
and movement program can positively affect jumping and dynamic balance of preschool children.
© 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Music and movement program; Developmentally appropriate practices; Dynamic balance; Jumping; Preschool
The preschool and the early elementary school years are critical for the development of fundamental
motor skills (Gallahue, 1996). According to Graham (1991), fundamental motor skills are significant
because (a) they form the basis for success in sport skills during adolescence and adulthood, (b) young
Corresponding author. Tel.: +30 2310 791528; fax: +30 2310 791524.
E-mail address: (E. Zachopoulou).
0885-2006/$ – see front matter © 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
632 E. Zachopoulou et al. / Early Childhood Research Quarterly 19 (2004) 631–642
children enjoy learning them, and (c) once learned, are retained for a lifetime. If children fail to develop
these skills during this period of their life, they often experience failurein the motor domain during child-
hood and adolescence (Gallahue, 1996; Poest, Williams, Witt, & Atwood, 1990). The most significant
consequence of basic motor skills development and movement concepts is that they enhance psychologi-
cal, social, cognitive, and affectivedevelopmentas well (Payne & Rink, 1997). When children take part in
motor activities, their social development progresses, as they become capable of successful interactions
with others, such as helping and cooperating and learn to control aggression (Gallahue & Ozmun, 1998).
Through participation in games, they learn to express their emotions in socially acceptable ways and to
become capable of understanding how others feel and develop a sense of right and wrong. Besides the
effects on affective development, motor and game activities provide the ideal environment for cognitive
development, when the children are asked to respond to teacher’s instructions, to find many different and
effective ways to solve a problem or to execute an exercise (Bee, 1999). These are factors that affect
children’s thinking and reasoning.
Thequalityin motorskillsperformance is relatedtothe levelofcertain motor abilities(Schmidt, 1987).
Some of these abilities, as for example dynamic balance and coordination abilities, are crucial for motor
skills performance while others are less important for this developmental stage, such as endurance and
flexibility. Dynamic balance refers to the maintenance of equilibrium in rapid changes of the individual’s
kinetic condition. DeOreo and Keogh (1980) and Espenschade and Eckert (1980) argue that dynamic
balance is the essential component of almost every fundamental motor skill. So, balance activities are
commonly included in programs designed to facilitate the acquisition of gross motor tasks in young
children. Ulrich and Ulrich (1985) found that for preschoolers, balance plays a significant role in the
performance of several fundamental motor skills. These fundamental motor skills are used in a variety of
recreational and daily living experiences. Running and jumping are the most common and useful motor
skills for the everyday activities of young children. When children move around during free-play times,
they usually run or jump. Running is the simplest motor skill and begins developing early in childhood,
while jumping is a more complex motor skill because a jump involves phases of taking off and landing
on. It is important for preschool-aged children to practice jumping in various ways in order to achieve
the mature stage of this skill.
Research on the effect of physical education programs on preschool children’s motor development is
still at a rudimentary level. Music or various forms of accompaniment have enriched the above programs,
in order to make them more attractive and amusing for young children. Music carries all the rhythms for
locomotor skills. Walking, running, hopping, and jumping can all be expressed in sound (Kenney, 1997).
The teacher might play any of these rhythms on a drum and invite children to match their movements
to the drum. Or the teacher might ask a child to move and then match the drum to the movement. In
addition, many song games include locomotor movements as part of the game. Song games also explore
small motor coordination, body parts, movement with partners, and movement in free space (Kenney,
1997). Rhythmic motor activities and game-type activities are usually the most important com-
ponents in kindergarten programs because they satisfy children’s innate desires to move, to de-
velop body and space awareness, and help them to progress through initial, elementary, and
mature stages of acquiring skills, such as running, jumping, kicking, throwing, and catching
(Gallahue & Ozmun, 1998).
Orff (cited by Keetman (1974)) developed a music and movement method based on the notion that
music, movement, and verbal speech are interrelated by having rhythm as a common element. He saw
music, movement, and language as congenerative, related forms of expression belonging together and
E. Zachopoulou et al. / Early Childhood Research Quarterly 19 (2004) 631–642 633
originating from the same wellspring (Cole & Nash, 2000). Dalcroze (cited by Bachmann (1991)) sup-
ported the notion that any musical idea may be transformed into movement and that any body movement
may be transformed into its musical counterpart. He developed a method,known as ‘eurhythmics’, where
children and teachers should improvise rhythmic motives. Children are instructed to use body move-
ments to respond to these motives. This method was based on the following components: engaging
in exercises for muscular contraction, relaxation and breathing, studying different positions of the body,
walkingvariations, and performing exercisesin the use of space and in theexpression of feelings. Weikart
(1989) suggested a progression in the content of rhythmic education programs, meaning that children
should initially practice rhythmical verbal speech, then non-locomotor skills and, later, locomotor skills
in synchronization with sound stimuli.
A study by Brown, Sherrill, and Gench (1981) focused upon the application of Dalcroze’s method to
early childhood education. They studied the effects of an integrated physical education/music program
on perceptual-motor performance of children aged 4–6 years. This program was based on repeated
rhythmic exercises designed to develop the natural rhythms of the body while training for economy and
precision of movement. The experimental group received 24 rhythmictraining sessions during a 10-week
period. They were compared to a control group, who received a movement exploration program. This
program was presented using self-testing activities and a game-like creative context. The results of this
study showed that the integrated physical education/music program was more effective in improving the
motor performance than was the exploration of movement. These findings agree with the results of a
study conducted by Painter (1966), which showed that rhythmic accompaniment during the execution of
fundamental motor skills enhanced the learning of these skills.
It is known that a music and movement program based on movement concepts (body awareness, space
awareness, effort concepts and relationship concepts), on elements of rhythm, and on improvised motor
responses, provides variety to the physical education program (Pica, 2000). But there is no research,
which studied the implementation of a more structure intervention based on movement concepts and
elements of rhythm.
The first parameter of movement concepts is body awareness, which involves being able to identify
body parts, balancing from different bases of support, and creating body shapes and positions in a limited
area. The concept of space can be broken down into several factors: general and personal space, direction
of body movement (right, left, up, down, etc.), level of movement (high, low, medium body position),
and path of movement (curved, zigzag, etc.). The concepts concerning effort include the flow, force, and
speed of a movement, while relationship concepts refer to relationships of body parts, with objects and
with people (Kirchner & Fishburne, 1995).
The above-mentioned movement concepts are used to express the elements of rhythm. The elements
of rhythm can be found in every measure, which indicates the rhythmical and musical structure of every
auditory stimulus. These elements are tempo, intensity, and accent. Tempo is the speed of the movement
or music. It can beslow, moderate,or fast,or itmay graduallyincrease from slowto fastor viceversa. It is
important for each child to sense different tempos and learn to adjust his movements to these fluctuations.
Children may improve their understanding of tempo by (1) responding to tempo changes in the beat of a
percussion instrument with various locomotor and balance movements, (2) performing animal-like walks
at various speeds, or (3) jumping rope to different tempos.
The intensity of music can be expressed in movement by changing the movement force. Intensity is
recognized as the feeling of heaviness or lightness of movement. Children can develop an understanding
of intensity by (1) altering their movements to various intensities of music, (2) changing the level of their
634 E. Zachopoulou et al. / Early Childhood Research Quarterly 19 (2004) 631–642
movements to different intensities, (3) changing the amount of force they use to move, or (4) bouncing a
ball with appropriate amounts of force.
The third element of rhythm is the accent. Accent is the extra force, or stress, given to certain beats in
a measure. Children may become aware of accent by (1) listening to music and clapping on the accented
beat, (2) moving around the room according to the appropriate rhythmic pattern and changing direction
on each accented beat, or (3) varying the response to the accented beat with specific locomotor, stability,
or manipulative fundamental motor skills.
A program is based on rhythm elements develops a child’s rhythmic ability (Weikart, Schweihart,
& Larner, 1987; Zachopoulou, Derri, Chatzopoulos, & Ellinoudis, 2003). This ability is a coordinated
ability and determines the level of motor skills acquisition (Frey, 1977; Hirtz, 1985; Martin, 1988).
High (1987) found that a 14-week rhythmic movement program improved kindergarten children’s
rhythmic ability more than a program of free-play activities. In a study with second and third graders,
Moore (1984) found that the group who received rhythmic training for a 10-week period scored sig-
nificantly higher on post-test measures of rhythmic ability than the control group. The development of
of the central nervous system and their stimulation through practice.In music and movement programs
and in other types of physical education programs, emphasis should be placed on the child, their per-
sonalities, ways of learning, needs, interests, and levels of maturation (Curtis, 1998). The programs that
address the above emphases are organized based on developmentally appropriate practices (Hart, Burts,
Durland, Charlesworth, De Wolf, & Fleege, 1998). According to Bredekamp (1987), developmentally
appropriate programs adapt physical education content to meet the different needs of children. Burts,
Hart, Charlesworth, De Wolf, & Ray (1993) stressed that this adaptation must be based on: (1) strongly
interrelated domains of development (social, cognitive, motor, affective), (2) a child’s knowledge ac-
tively built through experiences in the physical and social environment, (3) motor development is ac-
complished when the children have opportunities to act according to their abilities, guided by more
efficient children or adults, and (4) children develop various ways of learning and representing what
they learned. This will create a child-centered teaching approach in which the child and their unique
characteristics determine the content of the program (Charlesworth, 1998). Payne and Rink (1997)
believe that most frameworks should include the following areas as critical dimensions of a develop-
mentally appropriate physical education program for young children: (a) development of body aware-
ness (exploring what the body and its parts can do); (b) development of fundamental locomotor pat-
terns (e.g., walk, jump, run, hop); (c) development of opportunities to manage the weight of the
body (e.g., balance, swing, climb, roll); and (d) development of fundamental manipulative patterns
(e.g., catch, throw, strike, kick).
When implementing such programs, physical educators or early childhood educators should con-
sider that (a) children perform motor skills according to their chronological age; (b) the development
of each motor skill follows certain stages for all children; and (c) despite the fact that children learn
and develop motor skills following a successive process, the rhythm of this process differs from child-
to-child (Charlesworth, Hart, Burts, Mosley, & Fleege, 1993). Lubeck (1998) reported that for the ef-
fective organization of a developmentally physical education program, the active participation of the
child in the teaching process is necessary. This means that children do not copy or imitate move-
ments during the lesson but introduce their own ideas. They can ask questions and find solutions to
the “problems” presented by the teacher, emphasizing the process rather than the result of the movement
(Grineski, 1992).
E. Zachopoulou et al. / Early Childhood Research Quarterly 19 (2004) 631–642 635
Althoughitisknownthatphysical education programs based on developmentallyappropriatepractices
should be an integral part of early childhood education, little research has been done to identify the
effectiveness of such programs on the development of basic motor skills. The purpose of the present
study was to identify the effect a developmentally appropriate music and movement program would have
on the development of jumping and dynamic balance in preschool children, and compare this program
with a developmentally appropriate physical education program. It was hypothesized that the children
who participated in the developmentally appropriate music and movement program would have better
scores on jumping and dynamic balance compared to the control group, who attended a developmentally
appropriate physical education program.
1. Method
1.1. Participants
The initial sample of this study was comprised of 100 children of the same ethnicity who attended
a preschool center. The total number of children who were enrolled at the center was 150. They were
divided into six classes of 25 children each, three classes for children ages 4–5 and three classes for
children ages 5–6. From these six classes, four were randomly selected, two from each age group. From
these four classes, two groups were selected at random, one for each age category, which comprised the
experimental group. The other two groups were the control group. The two groups had the following
final synthesis: () experimental group 1st age group (11 girls and 14 boys) and 2nd age group (13
girls and 12 boys) () control group 1st age group (11 girls and 14 boys) and 2nd age group (12 girls
and 13 boys). The experimental group participated in a 2-month music and movement program while the
control group participated in a physical education program during the same period.
The experimental group was therefore composed of 50 children (24 girls and 26 boys) with a mean age
M=5.3± 0.5 years. Since the results of study involved only the children who participated in all lessons
included in the program, only 40 children in the end were used as the control group (18 girls and 22 boys
with mean age M=5.1± 0.7 years). All children participated with parental permission.
1.2. Measures
The level of development on jumping and dynamic balance was assessed with the MOT 4–6 (Zimmer
& Volkamer, 1987).
1.2.1. Dynamic balance
Walkingforwardwasusedtoassess dynamic balance. Children walkedon a floor mat2m (6.56ft) long
and10cm(3.93in.) widewithoutshoes. The lengthoffootsteps wasnot pre-determined butchildren were
not allowed to walk on the edges of the floor mat. Children performed two trials. A trial was considered
successful when all steps were on the floor mat and none of them touched the ground around the floor
Walkingbackwardwasalsousedto assessdynamic balance.Thesame procedureas in forwardwalking
was followed but this time children had to walk backward. Children performed two trials. Trials were
considered successful when none of the steps touched the ground.
636 E. Zachopoulou et al. / Early Childhood Research Quarterly 19 (2004) 631–642
1.2.2. Hopping
The children were asked to hop on one foot into a rhythmic gymnastics hoop from a 15cm (5.9in.)
distance. They then performed the same task with the other foot. One trial was allowed with each foot
and was considered successful if the child could retain its balance on this position for 5s.
1.2.3. Jumping
The children were asked to jump over a rope placed 35cm (13.77in.) and 45cm (17.71in.) above the
ground, using both feet. One trial was given for each height and was recorded as successful when the
child did not touch the rope while jumping.
Children also performed side jumps over a rope, from one side to the other. A 2m (6.56ft) rope was
placed on the ground. The children, initially standing on the left side of the rope, tried to jump with both
feet as many times as possible on both sides within 10 s. The children performed one trial. The number
of correct jumps (without touching the rope) was recorded. More than 11 correct jumps received a ‘2’
rating, 8–11 correct jumps received a ‘1’ and less than 8 jumps received a ‘0’.
1.2.4. Jumping with 180
The children performed a standing jump with 180
rotation to the vertical axis of its body, landing in a
hoop in front of them. They then performed a second jump returning to their initial position. Each jump
was considered correct when the rotation was 180
Performance on the above tasks was assessed as following: ‘0’ when the trials were unsuccessful, ‘1’
when one trial was successful and ‘2’ when both trials were successful. Therefore, the maximumpossible
score for jumping and dynamic balance was 6. The total scores on the three jumping and three balance
tasks were used for their final assessment. These jumping and balance tasks have reliability coefficients
.85 and .80, respectively, and the validity coefficients are .79 and .76 (Zimmer & Volkamer, 1987).
1.3. Procedure
Children were tested individually in the multipurpose room of the preschool center. The investigator
to the test, the investigator demonstrated each task once and gave standardized verbal instructions to each
subject. Children’s performance was videotaped and independently scored twice by two trained raters. A
87% intraobserver and 82% interobserver agreement level was obtained. When the raters disagreed, the
final score was the average of the two initial scores.
The two subgroups of the experimental group then followed the 2-month music and movement pro-
gram, which was conducted twice each week for 35–40 min. The program for these two subgroups was
conducted the same days every week, Monday and Wednesday, between 10:30 a.m. and 12:00 noon. The
same procedure was followed for the two subgroups of the control group, whoparticipated in the physical
education program every Tuesday and Thursday. A physical educator, who specialized in teaching early
young children and had experience in rhythmic instruction, implemented the two programs in the multi-
purpose room of the preschool center. During the experimental procedure, the children did not participate
in other physical activities.
E. Zachopoulou et al. / Early Childhood Research Quarterly 19 (2004) 631–642 637
1.4. Description of the programs
1.4.1. Music and movement program
The music and movement program was based on rhythmic education principles of the Orff approach
(cited by Keetman (1974)). Thus, a large part of the program consisted of three types of movement:
(a) percussion movements (e.g., clapping, patting knees with both hands, tapping floor with foot, etc.);
(b) readiness and reaction movements; and (c) improvisation and creative movements. Creative move-
ments allowed children to express their own ideas, emotions, feelings, and moods, through body and
rhythm exploration accompanied by various forms of music. These movements were executed in a va-
riety of ways, using the elements of movement, in order to express simple and more complex rhythmic
The percussion instruments used were tambourines, woodblocks, maracas, and triangles. The temporal
rhythmic symbols, which were taught, were eighth notes (two movements in one beat), quarter notes
(one movement in one beat), and half notes (one movement in two beats). The three elements of rhythm
by Weikart (1989).
The goals of the first phase (2 weeks) of the intervention program were (a) to develop body awareness
with different types of body support; (b) to develop space awareness, such as personal and general space,
levels, and pathways; and (c) to help children explore and express their own personal rhythm.
With few exceptions, children with no previous training can do such things as clap, march, walk,
jump, and run (Pica, 2000). According to Dalcroze (cited by Bachmann (1991)), teachers should make
an effort to determine each child’s personal rhythm and encourage the child to make up its own ac-
companiment with their voice, percussion movements, or percussion instruments. Only after the chil-
dren have given evidence of moving in time to their own accompaniment should teachers introduce the
next stage of the program, which is the synchronization of children’s movements to externally imposed
In the second phase (3 weeks) of the program, children learned to define space using their bodies and
different materials, such as paper, textiles, rubbers, balloons, and hoops. Children were requested to walk
forward, backward or above objects, using different types of movement. To recognize temporal symbols,
simple locomotor, and non-locomotor movements were used as responses to intensity and accent of
rhythm. Different space levels were also used for the expression of different accents. The understanding
ofsimplerhythmic motiveswasachievedthroughchildren’smotorresponsestoauditorystimulipresented
by the physical educator, using voice and percussion instruments. Children’s motor responses combined
jumping with simple fundamental locomotor skills, such as walking and running.
During the third phase (3 weeks) of the program, the complexity of the activities increased. Chil-
dren had to find relations between rhythm and movement concepts. For example, they were asked
to express the different intensities of sounds through the different levels of space, or to show the
accented beat by changing the direction of the movement or the body shape for each accented
The recognition and production of elements of rhythm and the understanding of complex rhythmic
motives were expressedmainly through the execution of jumping andbalancing. Thisphase alsoincluded
traditional Greek dances, such as sirtos, kastorianos, and tsakonikos, which were taught through creative
activities. Moreover, traditional Greek games, such as “One-two-three-red light”, “Bee”, and “Chasing”,
modified to fit in the children’s needs, were applied.
638 E. Zachopoulou et al. / Early Childhood Research Quarterly 19 (2004) 631–642
1.5. Physical education program
During the sameperiod, the two control subgroups were taking part in the physicaleducation program,
which concentrated on the jumping and balancing tasks. The activities of this program were based on
movement concepts used in the music and movement program. Children were instructed to follow and
react to the physical educator’s instructions. Children were trying to execute the activities through an
exploratory teaching style. This means that theyhad time to create their own ways to execute a movement
or an exercise. The main difference between the two programs was that there wasn’t any rhythmic
accompaniment during the physical education program.
The content of the exercises which focused on jumping tasks included activities for jumping and
landing, jumping for distance, jumping for height, jumping over a rope or obstacles, and jumping with a
partner to mirror actions or to match actions. Exercises to develop balance were based on activities for
balancingondifferentbases ofsupport;balancingondifferentbodyparts;movinginspaceandstoppingin
balanced positions; balancing in different body shapes; balancing with partners; moving while balanced;
performing sequences that combine stationary balances and moving on mats; transferring weight to
different feet positions; balancing while walking in various body positions; moving while using different
parts of the feet to touch the floor; and balancing while walking or running between or over cones or other
forms of equipment.
physical education programs (Barnett, Williams, & Whitall, 1992). In each lesson there were activities
promoting social development (performing activities in groups), cognitive development (understanding
relations between the rhythmic symbols, space elements),and affectivedevelopment(expressingfeelings
according to the changes of rhythm elements). Based on the principle of active learning, exploration
and improvisation activities were implemented, allowing the children to select the movements. While
scheduling the activities of the intervention programs, the following attributes were taken into account
(Bredekamp, 1992):
the children’s age and the different domains of development;
reinforcement of cooperation in order to promote practice in pairs or in large teams;
activities which were scheduled to provide children with learning experiences and to reinforce the
acquisition of new space concepts;
use of various equipment (new or modified useless objects) respective to the children’s ability;
proper organization of the exercise environment in order to help children solve cognitive and motor
problems; and
different types of music to provide opportunities for creative movement.
2. Results
Meanand standard deviations forpre-testand post-testmeasuresof both groupsare depicted inTable1.
To identify possible differences between the experimental and the control group in the pre-test measures,
one-way analysis of variance was used. In the absence of significant differences between the two groups
both on jumping (F
=.93, p>.05) and on balance (F
=.40, p>.05), the multivariate analysis of
variance [2 (groups)× 2 (sexes) × 2 (ages) × 2 (measures)] with repeated measures on the last factor
E. Zachopoulou et al. / Early Childhood Research Quarterly 19 (2004) 631–642 639
Table 1
Mean and standard deviations of pre-test and post-test measures, for both groups
Measures M (S.D.)
Pre-test Post-test
Experimental group Control group Experimental group Control group
Jump 2.76 (.41) 2.28 (.52) 5.22(.75) 3.24 (.82)
Dynamic balance 2.41(.60) 1.93 (.35) 4.82(.93) 2.54 (.49)
was used. The results showed that the multivariate effect of measure (F
=95.93, p< .001) and the
multivariate effect of group (F
=12.95, p <.001) were significant. On the contrary, the multivariate
effect of sex (F
=2.64, p=.072) and the multivariate effect of age (F
=2.15, p=.123) were not
The only significant interaction founded was the measure× group interaction (F
=27.31, p<.001).
The group× sexinteraction(F
=2.57, p =.084) and thegroup× age interaction(F
=.437, p =.648)
were not significant.
Follow-up univariate tests showed that the measure× group interaction was significant for scores on
=39.23, p< .001)and onbalance(F
=32.63, p< .001)as well.AsshowninFigs.1 and2
thisinteractionis attributedto thesignificantlygreater improvementoftheexperimentalgroupin the post-
test measure.
Fig. 1. Mean and standard deviations of the pre- and post-measures for both groups on jumping.
Fig. 2. Mean and standard deviations of the pre- and post-measures for both groups on dynamic balance.
640 E. Zachopoulou et al. / Early Childhood Research Quarterly 19 (2004) 631–642
3. Discussion
Inthepresent study,it wasfoundthatthe preschool’smovementprogramfollowedbythe control group
did not significantly affect the development of jumping and dynamic balance. This program included
motor skills performed individually and games scheduled and modified for this age. All these activities
focused on the jumping and balancing tasks. The experimental group improved its performance on the
post-test measure compared to the control group. This means that the developmentally appropriate music
and movement program positively affects the level of performance for the above measures. According
to Gallahue (1996), using movement as a way to develop the elements of rhythm reinforces fundamental
movement skill development and fosters an understanding and feels for rhythm. Through practice with
certain fundamental movements, children begin to understand the structural elements of rhythm and
are able to express this understanding through coordinated movements because moving to rhythm is an
essential element of all coordinated movements.
Music and movement education emphasizes the significance of rhythmic ability in motor skills execu-
tion. Rhythmic ability refers to the understanding, memorization and movement presentation of the data
from the temporal–dynamical structure and modulates the execution of the movement (Martin, 1988).
It is considered an important factor in the development, execution and learning of motor skills (Thomas
& Moon, 1976). Martin (1988) mentioned that rhythmic ability is the ability to observe, con-
trol, and differentiate the rhythm of a movement according to the environmental demands for the
given time. This enables the quick motor adjustments of the performer in an unpredictable envi-
ronment, assuring success in performance (Martin, 1988). Since music and movement activities im-
prove children’s rhythmic ability (Weikart et al., 1987; Zachopoulou et al., 2003), they may have
contributed to the development of the fundamental locomotor skills in the present study. Accord-
ing to Martin (1988), ages 4–7 are the best to develop rhythmic ability because during this period
the basic functions of the central nervous system, on which coordination abilities depend, are more
The success of such a program can also be attributed to the quality of its content. Painter (1966)
and Brown et al. (1981) also implemented a music and movement program and examined its effect
on perceptual-motor development in young children. This program was based on repeated rhythmic
exercises designed to develop the natural rhythms of the body while training for economy and precision
of movement. On the other hand, the content of the music and movement program in the current research
had a more clear structure, based on movement concepts and rhythm elements. In addition, it was taken
into account the changes of the different elements of rhythm (tempo, intensity, and accent) suggested
by Sherill (1976). Concurrently, children were able to explore space and its elements (levels, pathways),
which, as Fait (1978) stressed, led to a more accurate and complete body and space awareness. High
(1987) studied the effect of a music and movement program on the rhythmic accuracy of preschool
children and found that the experimental group improved its rhythmic accuracy more than the control
group. The same conclusion was drawn by Moore (1984) and Burnett (1983), who implemented a music
and movement program for preschool children with delayed development and found that they improved
their motor skills and their rhythmic ability as well.
It is interesting to notice that the intervention program in the present study had a greater effect on
dynamic balance than it did on jumping. According to Clark and Phillips (1985), the basic patterns
of coordination for the motor skill of jumping are established by about age 7. In an earlier age, the
development of jumping follows slower steps. On the other hand, the developmental movement patterns
E. Zachopoulou et al. / Early Childhood Research Quarterly 19 (2004) 631–642 641
of dynamic balance appear at age 4 (Gallahue & Ozmun, 1998). A 4-year-old child can walk on a line or
on a beam maintaining his/her balance for short periods of time.
way they were organized was also taken into account. Hochmann and Weikart (1995) stated that learning
depends on experiences, which are meaningful to the children and support their development through
exploration, guided discovery, and problem solving. More specifically, the activities of the intervention
program implemented in the present study were organized: (a) to enable both the physical educator
and the children to participate actively and interact with each other (e.g., children could add their own
rhythmic motives to those of the physical educator); (b) to build children’s knowledge not only through
the physical educator but through themselves as well (achieved by allowing them to decide and perform
skills which represented specific rhythmic motives); (c) to enable children participate in the organization
of the program (suggesting, for example, the percussion instruments to produce different sounds); and
(d) to reinforce children participate in the activities in pairs, in small or large groups, according to their
level and way of learning.
The positive effect of the developmentally appropriate music and movement program on jumping
and dynamic balance could be generally implemented in preschool children programs. Taking into ac-
count that the developmentally appropriate practices do not form a specific teaching model or method
but a way of thinking and acting to educate children physically, it seems important for the early child-
hood educators to organize or modify lesson content according to the children’s needs. The rhythmic
activities seem to play an important role on motor performance of preschool children. Future stud-
ies should examine if the developmentally appropriate organization of the above activities can also
positively affect the other domains of children’s development, including cognitive, affective, or social
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... After testing using statistical analysis with Independent Sample T-Test testing, it can be concluded that "there is a difference in the effect between the rhythm training model and the non-rhythmic exercise model on the level of concentration and groundstroke skills in the group with low skill level and the rhythm group is superior to the rhythm group." group without rhythm". Rendy Aditya Cahyadi,Amung Ma'mun,Dian Budiana Participation in rhythmic activities in sports allows the development of performance in learning sports skills (Zachopoulou, Tsapakidou, & Derri, 2003). Sogut et al (2012) stated that rhythm training is relevant to skill learning. ...
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The rhythm training model is a new training model applied in Indonesia, especially in tennis. The rhythmic movements that are applied using a metronome are designed to improve motor movement, focus, concentration, and increase the athlete's confidence. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of the rhythm exercise model on groundstroke and concentration in tennis athletes. The researcher used the experimental method, with the research design used in this study being a 2x2 factorial design. 24 tennis athletes were selected using the purposive sampling method. The instruments used are Hewitt's Tennis Achievement Test For Groundstroke to measure groundstroke in tennis and Concentration Grid Test to measure concentration level. The results of this study found that there was a difference in the effect between the rhythm training model and the non-rhythmic training model on groundstroke skills and concentration levels in tennis athletes.
... The improvement in different types of force especially in artistic gymnasts causes significant effects on the application of the movements performed on the floor, balance beam and vaulting table (Kankal, 2008). Evridiki, Aggeliki & Vassiliki, 2004 presented that the movement education program positively affected the jumping and dynamic balance performances of preschool children aged 4-6. In this study, a statistically significant difference was found between the S&R pre-test and the post-test of the participants. ...
The anaerobic activities is frequently used in soccer including high intensity actions. The aim of this study was to examine relationships between anaerobic power, reaction times and body composition parameters of young soccer players. The twenty-seven amateur young soccer players (Age: 13.81±0.48 years, height: 166.74±6.16 cm, weight: 55.17±5.40 kg) were involved in study voluntarily. The Wingate anaerobic power test parameters (minimum power, mean power, peak power, fatigue index), dominant and non-dominant hand visual and auditory reaction times and body composition parameters (lean body mass, body fat mass and body fat percent) were examined. The statistical relationships among explored variables were determined by correlation analyze technique. The relationship between parameters was examined by Pearson’s correlation coefficient. According to the results, it was found that lean body mass, anaerobic capacity and mean power parameters had a statistical positive correlations (p<0.05). Also, it was found that body fat percent and body fat mass values had a negative correlation with minimum power values (p<0.05). There was no significant correlation between visual and auditory reaction time values with body composition and anaerobic power parameters. Consequently, it could be said that the relationship between lean body mass and body fat percent with some anaerobic power parameters could be arisen from similar mechanisms affecting related parameters. Also, it can be concluded that the reaction time parameter is not closely related to the body composition and anaerobic power parameters, as it is closer related to neural mechanisms than physical mechanisms.
... For each of these four areas, there is a growing database of research literature that demonstrates that these can be nurtured through sustained engagement in musical activity. This is evidenced in studies on children's executive function (e.g., Bugos & DeMarie, 2017;Frischen et al, 2019;Moreno et al., 2011;Zuk et al, 2014), social and emotional development (Alemán et al, 2017;Barrett, 2011Barrett, , 2017Hallam, 2010;, motor development (both in children, Derri et al, 2001;Zachopoulou, Tsapakidou & Derri, 2004, as well as in child and adult musicians, Schlaug, 2015) and also early literacy and numeracy (Anvari et al, 2002;Cohrdes, Grolig & Schroeder, 2016;Moritz et al, 2013;. ...
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The paper reports on a research evaluation of a six-month specialist singing project ‘Sing Every Day’ that was undertaken with young disadvantaged inner-city 6yo children in the London Borough of Hackney. A team of professional singers from the London-based VOCES8 Foundation visited two classes in each of two Primary schools to provide focused mentoring to generalist (non-music specialist) class teachers. Children from two identically aged classes in a neighbouring school acted as controls. The mentoring embraced a specially designed programme of singing and vocal activities across two school terms. This was undertaken in each classroom with the staff and their Year 1 children numbering N=121 in total. An independent evaluation of the impact of the project included both musical and other-than-musical measures of children’s development. In particular, in addition to an assessment of participant children’s singing behaviours at the start and at end of the project, other assessments included measures of possible changes in children’s reading development and in aspects of Executive Functions. Overall, the implications from the data are that the mentored classroom-based singing activities resulted in significant improvements in children’s singing, as well as positive changes in reading and aspects of Executive Function related to inhibition and phonological working memory – the latter being closely correlated to changes in the same children’s reading scores. Although there is previous research literature reporting positive links separately between music, singing, reading and aspects of Executive Functions, this small-scale study is one of the first to explore these three aspects collectively. As such, the current data suggest that more detailed research would be useful, both in seeking possible replication of the findings with a larger group of participants and also to understand the mechanisms of such possible linkage in terms of both basic research and also its implications for music pedagogy.
... The concept of movement, which has become an indispensable part of life, has an important place and importance in all life. [1] When movement is considered as a term, it is used synonymously with the word motor. Childhood is a period in which the most permanent and positive contributions to movement skills can be made. ...
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Introduction and Aim: Early childhood is the most important period for gaining basic movement skills and improving physical fitness parameters. Physical fitness level is a determinant of health an early age. Influencing one of the physical fitness parameters related to health or performance directly affects physical fitness. The aim of this study was to evaluate the morphological and motor development characteristics of children in the 12-week movement education program, and a research for 7-9 years old childhood was discussed. Material and Methods: A total of 116 male students aged 7-9 participated in the study. A 12-week movement training program was applied to the students participating in the research. Before starting this program, in order to measure morphological features as a pre-test, body fat ratio, height, body weight, body mass index (BMI), head circumference, neck circumference, chest circumference, abdominal circumference, Hip circumference measurements. On the other hand flexibility, horizontal jump, vertical jumping, push-ups, sit-ups, touching the discs, 10 meters sprint, Balance flamingo measurements were taken as a performance characteristics. The same measurements were taken again as a post-test after the 12-week movement training program was over. The data of the research were analyzed in IBM SPSS 25.0 program. The mean and standard deviation statistics of the data were calculated. The "Shapiro-Wilk" test was used to determine whether the data showed normal distribution, and because all variables showed normal distribution, the Repeated Measures ANOVA (intra-group and intergroup comparison) test was performed and the level of significance was stated as P<0.001. Results: When the morphological characteristics were evaluated, there was a significant difference in body weight and body fat percentage within the group, while no significant difference was found in other tests. In the comparison between the groups, a significant difference was found in all tests except body fat percentage. While a significant difference was detected in all tests within the group in performance tests, no significant difference was found between the groups in flexibility, push-ups, sit-ups and sprint values. Conclusion: 12-week movement-based exercise provided improvements in children's motor development and morphological features. Movement education is important for children's morphological characteristics and motor development.
... Iako je u SAD-u i Evropi ovakva praksa već ustaljena, bitno je napomenuti da je malo podataka o ovoj plesnoj praksi dostupno. Jedan od njih je Wisher (1972), koji je zahvaljujući svojoj praksi bio uvjeren da je američki znakovi jezik (ASL) izražajna neverbalna komunikacija kroz pokret, te da ona ustvari već čini jednu vrstu plesa. Zahvaljujući tome, on je osnovao edukacijski program na Gallaudet univerzitetu. ...
... Notably, in early childhood, physical activities are usually unstructured and performed through engagement in other types of recreational activities such as singing and storytelling. A previous study showed that participation in a developmentally appropriate music and movement program was associated with improvement in jumping and dynamic balance among preschoolers 19 . On the other hand, while drawing activities may not have direct effects on gross motor skill development, previous studies found that drawing skills were associated with executive functions such as inhibition and fine motor control 20 . ...
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The graded association between family socioeconomic status (SES) and physical fitness is evident, but little is known about the mechanism underlying this association. This study investigated the role of early-life activities as mediators of the longitudinal relationship between early-life SES and health-related physical fitness in 168 adolescents (51.2% boys; final mean age: 12.4 years old). In Wave 1 (2011–12), their parents completed questionnaires about family socioeconomic status (SES), parent–child activities, and child screen time. In Wave 2 (2014–15), participants’ physical activity levels were assessed through parent proxy-reports. In Wave 3 (2018–19), a direct assessment of handgrip strength, standing long-jump, and 6-min walk test (6MWT) performance was conducted. After controlling for demographic factors, results of mediation analyses revealed that (a) Wave 1 SES predicted Wave 3 long-jump and 6MWT performance; (b) child physical activity level in Wave 2 mediated the relation between Wave 1 SES and standing long-jump performance in Wave 3; and (c) recreational parent–child activities and child screen time in wave 1 mediated the relation between Wave 1 SES and 6MWT performance in Wave 3. Our findings suggest that the type and frequency of early-life activities play a role in the graded association between childhood SES and physical fitness in adolescence.
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This article examines the effects of Montessori music-movement activities on the development of the rhythmic abilities of 59 children from Montessori preschools, aged between 3 and 6 years. Children were deployed into two experimental groups (EG 1 (n = 20) & EG 2 (n = 22)) and a control group (CG) (n = 17). Our intervention consisted of introducing 15 to 20 min of unstructured movement time, either accompanied by a piano (EG 1) or recording (EG 2), three times a week for four months, whereas the control group carried on the usual Montessori program. We used a quasi-experimental nonequivalent groups design with pretest–posttest. Three tests for measuring rhythmic abilities were used: auditory discrimination of the rhythmic patterns, imitation of spoken rhythmic phrases, and determining the synchronization of movement with the rhythm of the music. The interventions had a positive effect on the development of the rhythmic abilities of children included in the study. The most significant effect was noticed in EG 1, while no effect of non-activity was detected in the control group.
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Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is a motor development disorder that affects an individual’s growth and development, and may persist throughout life. It is not caused by intellectual or physical disability. Studies have suggested DCD often occurs in childhood, resulting in a series of abnormal manifestations that hinder children’s normal development; cohort studies suggest a higher incidence in boys than in girls. Early diagnosis and appropriate interventions can help relieve symptoms. Unfortunately, the relevant research still needs to be further developed. In this paper, we first start from the definition of DCD, systematically investigate the relevant research papers in the past decades and summarize the current research hotspots and research trends in this field. After summarizing, it is found that this research field has attracted more researchers to join, the number of papers published has increased year by year and has become a hot spot in multidisciplinary research, such as education, psychology, sports rehabilitation, neurobiology, and neuroimaging. The continuous development of the correlation between perinatal factors and DCD, various omics studies, and neuroimaging methods also brings new perspectives and working targets to DCD research. DCD-related research will continue to deepen along the research direction of multivariate, multidimensional, and multimodal.
In this study, it was aimed to examine the effects of badminton basic training program applied on 11-12 year old children on motor development. Experimental group (EG) mean age was 11.40±.507 years, mean body weight was 38.48±10.10 kg, mean height was 143.26±6.61 cm, Control group (CG) mean age was 11.46± 30 children (13 Female, 17 Male) with a mean body weight of 5.516 years, an average body weight of 34.84±10.05 kg, a mean height of 139.13±6.17 cm and a training age of 2±1.8 years participated voluntarily. Children participating in the study were randomly divided into two groups as control and experimental groups. Different training programs were applied to these two groups. (EG) A 60-minute badminton basic training program was applied for 8 weeks (3 days/week). The control group (CG), on the other hand, only participated in recreational activities without specifying any branch. Pre-test measurements (agility, balance, strength and vertical jump) of both groups were performed before the studies. At the end of 8 weeks, the last test measurements of the groups were taken. Paried Samples T test was used to compare the preliminary and final values of the groups. When the first and last test measurements of the groups were compared between the groups; According to the analysis of the data, a statistically significant difference was observed in the agility test, balance test, strength test and vertical jump test measurement values (p<0.05). As a result; It was observed that the badminton basic training program applied to 11-12 year old children in (EG) was effective on agility, balance, strength and vertical jump performance values (4.785, 2.995, 5.445, -7.651).
This study explored the relationship between the developmental appropriateness of kindergarten classroom instruction and first-grade report card grade overall averages and averages in reading, language, spelling, math, science, and social studies. The interactive roles that gender, SES, and kindergarten classroom type play in children's later achievement were also examined. The sample consisted of 166 first-grade children who had attended kindergarten classrooms with teaching practices identified as predominately developmentally appropriate or developmentally inappropriate. Findings indicated that first-graders from more appropriate kindergarten classrooms had higher reading averages than children from less appropriate kindergarten classrooms. Females had higher overall and subject area averages than males. Significant interaction effects indicated that high SES children from less appropriate kindergarten classrooms had higher overall averages and higher averages in all subjects except reading, when compared with low SES children from less appropriate classrooms. Low SES children from more appropriate kindergarten classrooms had higher overall averages and higher averages in all subjects except reading when compared with low SES children from less appropriate kindergarten classrooms. No significant differences were found between high and low SES children from more appropriate kindergarten classrooms.
This study investigated the effect of classroom type (more developmentally appropriate—DAP; and less developmentally appropriate—DIP) on the stress behaviors of 102 preschool-age children as moderated by socioeconomic status (SES) and sex. Also explored were activity type participation rates in both classroom types as a function of both SES and sex. Substantive findings indicated that twice the level of overall stress behavior was observed in DIP versus DAP preschool classrooms. In DIP classrooms, lower SES preschoolers exhibited significantly more stress behavior than did higher SES preschoolers. This was not the case in DAP classrooms. Males in DIP classrooms also exhibited more stress behavior during small-motor/paper-and-pencil activities when compared with females in less appropriate classrooms. Lower SES preschoolers were more involved in less appropriate classroom activities than their higher SES counterparts in DIP classrooms. No SES or sex differences in activity type participation were found in more DAP classrooms.