Responses to Rhythm Patterns When Presented to Children Through Auditory, Visual, and Kinesthetic Modalities

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1992


The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of three rhythm presentation modalities on the recall of rhythm patterns. Seventy first graders, 70 third graders, and 70 fifth graders were tested either visually, auditorily, kinesthetically, or with combinations of these modalities. Each child was asked to memorize and clap six rhythm patterns of increasing difficulty, which were presented either iconically (visually), by playing a resonator bell (auditorily), by patting the child's hand (kinesthetically), or through combinations of these treatments. Grade level was significant (p < .0001). Test scores from students who were presented rhythm patterns using a multimodality presentation indicate that students were not confused by the multisensory input. The first-grade visual test results were significantly lower (p < .05) than results with older children. These findings suggest that the incorporation of learning modalities into music teaching methods could result in more efficient learning of rhythm patterns. Although the visual method for first graders was not as effective as other presentations, older children were successful with all combinations of teaching presentations.

Document Object Identifier (DOI)



SAGE Publications

Publication Information

Journal of Research in Music Education

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