Study: Handclapping Aids Cognitive Skills

BEER-SHEVA, Israel, April 28 (UPI) — Israeli scientists say they’ve conducted the first study to show a link between handclapping songs and development of important cognitive skills in people.

Idit Sulkin, a researcher at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, said she found a direct link between participation in handclapping songs and development of major skills in children and young adults.

“We found children in the first, second and third grades who sing these songs demonstrate skills absent in children who don’t take part in similar activities,” Sulkin said. “We also found children who spontaneously perform handclapping songs … during recess have neater handwriting, write better and make fewer spelling errors.”

Music psychologist Warren Brodsky, who supervised Sulkin’s research, said the findings suggest, “Children who don’t participate in such games may be more at risk for developmental learning problems like dyslexia and dyscalculia.

Sulkin said she also discovered handclapping song activity has a positive effect on adults: University students reported that after taking up such games, they became more focused and less tense.

“These techniques are associated with childhood, and many adults treat them as a joke,” she said. “But once they start clapping, they report feeling more alert and in a better mood.”

She said the study’s findings, part of her dissertation, suggest handclapping songs should be an integral part of education for children aged 6 to 10 to provide motor and cognitive training.

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Categorized | Music, Other
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