The Impact of Music on Locomotor Skill Performance in Children

Julieann M. Berg, Casey M. Breslin* – Temple University

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Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of asynchronous music on the performance of locomotor skills in a group of children ages 9-12 years. Statistical analysis revealed no significant differences in locomotor performance between the music and quiet conditions, t20 = .142, p = .889.

Introduction: The development of fundamental motor skills (i.e., running, jumping, hopping) contributes to cognitive, social, motor, and physical growth in children (Robinson & Goodway, 2009). Facilitating a timely and proper development of these skills is essential to keeping children healthy and active. Once learned, these skills lay the groundwork for the development of more specialized exercise and sport skills that can be retained for a lifetime (Stodden et al., 2008). Motor skills must be taught, and the continuous interaction between the learner and his or her environment can determine the competency of skill performance that is achieved (Clark, 2007). The constraints present in the learning environment can encourage or discourage different behaviors and may contribute to the reinforcement of skills throughout the lifespan (Haywood and Getchell, 2009). Haywood and Getchell (2009) define environmental constraints as characteristics of the world outside the body that encourage some movements, while discouraging others, and these constraints can be physical or sociocultural in nature.

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