Handclapping songs: A spontaneous platform for child development among 5-10-year-old children

Warren Brodsky, Idit Sulkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The impact of music activity on children's motor and cognitive skills has been investigated with music learning, instrument lessons and classroom music. While none have employed natural utterances, singing games or playground/street songs, these musical experiences of childhood are acknowledged as a major platform for child development. The current study isolated handclapping songs exploring the association of performance quality with classroom academic achievement and examined whether children who spontaneously engage in handclapping songs activity demonstrate improved motor or cognitive abilities. Finally, the study investigated the outcome of a two-group eight-week classroom intervention. The study found that: (1) children who were more skillful at performing handclapping songs were more efficient First Graders; (2) Second Graders who spontaneously engage in handclapping songs were advantaged in bimanual coupling patterns, verbal memory and handwriting; and (3) classroom handclapping songs training was more efficient than music appreciation classes in developing non-music skills among Second and Third Graders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1111-1136
Number of pages26
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2011


  • Aural dictation
  • Bimanual coupling
  • Gender differences
  • Handclapping songs
  • Transfer effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics


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