In 2005, a study was conducted by Adam Winsler, Ph.D, and graduate student, Lesley Ducenne, in the Department of Psychology at George Mason University. The researchers were looking at “The Effects of Kindermusik on Behavioral Self-Regulation in Early Childhood”.
The 15-month study included 91 children between the ages of 3 and 5 who were split into three groups: 23 students currently enrolled in Kindermusik, 19 students previously enrolled in Kindermusik, and 49 students of similar family backgrounds from local preschools who had never had Kindermusik.
The children were observed doing a variety of tasks that required self-control such as slowing down their motor behavior, delaying their gratification, refraining from touching attractive but forbidden toys, quietly whispering, and compliance with instructions to initiate or stop certain behaviors. Parents also completed surveys.
The results proved what Kindermusik educators are already well aware of—the longer you stay in Kindermusik, the better.
Specifically, the study showed that:
- Children currently enrolled in Kindermusik showed higher levels of self-control than those never enrolled and those previously enrolled. This suggests that in order for children to reap the benefit of increased self-control as a result of Kindermusik participation, it is important to have repeated and recent Kindermusik experiences and remain enrolled in the program.
- Four-year-old children who had been exposed to Kindermusik for longer periods of time are better off in terms of self-control—namely a child’s ability to plan, guide, and control their own behavior—than similar children with less Kindermusik history.
- These experiences, stop-go, high-low, fast-slow, short-long, and loud-soft, whereby children’s motor behavior is guided by the music, appear to be good exercise for young children’s emerging self-regulatory skills.
Licensed Kindermusik educator, Beth Frook of Clifton, VA, on whose classes the research was conducted, shares her reaction to the results and the role that research plays in her Kindermusik classes. “The research is important because is adds impetus to a parent’s decision-making. It’s more than just saying, ‘Ok, we’ve done Kindermusik, let’s try something else.’ It encourages a parent to go beyond the smorgasbord approach to children’s activities. A lot of times parents will say, “We’ll do art, then soccer, then swimming.’ A study like this encourages families to look at the value of re-enrolling. Repetition is vital for a child’s learning and currently in our culture, it’s not viewed that way.”
No other program provides more ways for your child to thrive than Kindermusik, and now we know that re-enrollment is the key.