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06/02/2005 Entry: "Rhythmic Babies"

"A new study shows that movement, such as bouncing a baby on your knee or rocking in a chair, plays a critical role in how infants learn to “feel the beat” or rhythm of music."

Full story.

I've said for years that the ability to have good rhythm can be taught, but you have to teach it early. I've had drum students that had absolutely no sense of rhythm. Two come to my mind immediately. And, they were two kids who had absolutely no interest in learning drums. In one case, Mom paid big bucks through the school rental program to buy a snare. An by gory, he wasn't going to quit. I taught him for two years, and it was like pulling teeth for both of us. He didn't want to play, so didn't practice. So I would go over for 1/2 hour every week, and say the same thing week after week, play the same exercises week after week. Oh, it was awful. Anyway, back to the topic. I think that if kids learn rhythm at an early age, it's easier for them to pick it up later on when music education comes along. But my theory is, if you haven't got good rhythm by high school, you'll never get it. If you're not exposed to the triplet swing feel early enough, you'll never get the right feel for it.

So get bouncing those kids! My boys are playing maracas already--no rattle for them! And they love to pound on the coffee table. Nat looks like he'll be a great dancer. Matt will be too busy smiling the chicks up. Julia's got pretty good rhythm, and drummer friend Barry's daughter (also a dancer in Julia's company, but a few years older) has got great time.

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