Brain and Melody
Can you remember the lullaby sung by your mom, or a catchy meaningless tune from a childhood memory? Our brains have emotional memories that are attached to the type of rhythms we’ve engaged in. Research shows that humans are born with an enormous number of neurons, more than we use when we get older. Babies need those “extra” neurons, for they have to process everything that flows into their perceptions. These neurons cannot flourish when we don’t utilize them efficiently; by the age of 8, our brain removes the neurons that are not needed as much.
Therefore, it is easier to teach languages and tunes to children as their brain uses those excess neurons for learning purposes. It’s the same with rhythm and timing. They help build the foundation for a child’s emotional and interactive development.
I’m sure you’ve enjoyed tapping or nodding to a song or beat. In developmental activities, rhythm and timing involves a child to incorporate sound and vibration with movement. The coordination helps a child set their own beat, be it to an external or internal source.
It is also why Allah (swt) created the Quran to be recited in such a beautiful, rhythmic and inspiring manner.
God has sent down the most beautiful of all teachings: a Scripture that is consistent and draws comparisons; that causes the skins of those in awe of their Lord to shiver. Then their skins and their hearts soften at the mention of God: such is God’s guidance. He guides with it whoever He will; no one can guide those God leaves to stray. (39:23)
Rhythm and Timing
Infants and children naturally enjoy dancing and singing along. Children’s play-along represents far more than just following a physical activity, it reflects their ability to listen, understand directions, and follow social cues. The ability to synchronize also reflects young minds developing a timing system, becoming engraved into their working memory.
Games like jumping rope, playing with a ball, solving math questions, and certain video games* help improve timing. Although we encourage Atlasians to play outside and limit screen time of course, parents can limit their play time in order to foster healthy screen time routines.
1. Reciting Quran to a child in the womb
2. Wudu (Ablution) in the morning
3. Learning a Dua
4. Asma ul Husna