How Rhythmic Skills Relate and Develop in School-Age Children

Silvia Bonacina, Jennifer Krizman, Travis White-Schwoch, Trent Nicol, Nina Kraus*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Rhythmic expertise can be considered a multidimensional skill set, with clusters of distinct rhythmic abilities evident in young adults. In this article, we explore relationships in school-age children (ages 5-8 years) among 4 rhythmic tasks hypothesized to reflect different clusters of skills, namely, drumming to an isochronous beat, remembering rhythmic patterns, drumming to the beat in music, and clapping in time with feedback. We find that drumming to an isochronous beat and remembering rhythmic patterns are not related. In addition, clapping in time with feedback correlates with performance on the other 3 rhythm tasks. This study contributes to the taxonomy of rhythmic skills in school-age children. It also supports the use of clapping in time training as a way to possibly affect a broad spectrum of rhythmic abilities that are linked to language and literacy processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGlobal Pediatric Health
StatePublished - 2019


  • beat
  • beat alignment task
  • rhythm
  • rhythmic patterns
  • rhythmic skills development
  • synchronization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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