We adults may not even notice when our feet start to tap to a favorite song.  And we are full of delight the first time a baby claps or rocks along to a song. Keeping a steady beat is a big, important deal for that baby, though!

A Steady Beat is the unchanging continuous pulse in music, just like your heartbeat or a clock.  And children at all ages love to keep a beat – even if they are still too young to match an external beat, such as the beat of a song they are listening to.

As a newborn, a baby will recognize and be drawn to a beat because it is reminiscent of his or her mother’s heartbeat.  Within a few months, Baby will do things like rock, clap, or kick to a steady beat.  As motor skills improve, the child will soon be able to tap two toys or instruments together, tap a drum, and even run or jump to his or her own steady pulse.  Finally, around the age of four, a child will begin to be able to match an external steady beat.

What’s the big deal with keeping a steady beat?  Research has shown that a strong beat sense – the ability to keep a beat – is critical for gross motor skills like crawling, walking, or clapping, and cognitive skills involving reading, language, and speech.  And, as a child gets older, a steady beat is found in activities such as using scissors, performing choreographed dances, and playing musical instruments.

In Kindermusik, we engage in steady beat play all the time!  In every class we play instruments along to music, move our bodies to steady beats, sing songs, recite rhymes, read books to steady beats, and so much more!