Headteacher website publishes Dr Antonia Zachariou's findings on musical play

  • Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Important findings linking musical play to children's development published in Headteacher Update magazine.

Antonia Zachariou_Ed_Photo.jpg

Research conducted by Roehampton's Dr Antonia Zachariou, Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies is the subject of a major article in this month's Headteacher Update magazine.  The research focuses on self- regulation - a child's ability to monitor and control all aspects of his or her behaviour - and how musical play such as clapping games can help develop this skill. Self-regulation is acknowledged as an important factor in children's mental and physical health, and in their ability to learn.

The issue is topical because new regulations from September 2021 will require early years education providers to consider self-regulation in their curricula. The objective is to ensure that all children starting Year 1 are able to regulate their behaviour to accommodate their own and others' feelings, and control their impulses, for example when they have to wait their turn. 

An example of a musical game designed to foster self-regulation is described as follows: the children sit in a circle and are given the challenge of passing a tambourine with an egg shaker in it around the circle without making any noise, while singing a song. For the game to be successful the children have to wait their turn, constantly monitor what other children are doing, monitor and control their own behaviour, maintain very high levels of motivation and focus, and resist distractions.

Dr Zachariou's findings indicate that musical play is indeed a powerful tool in fostering a child's self-regulation, which is good news for early years educators as such activities are enjoyable and easy to incorporate into the school day.