WEDNESDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Moving to the beat of
music actually helps you hear the music better, according to a new
Researchers at McMaster University in Canada played a series of
regular beats for study participants, half of whom tapped on an
electronic drum pad while they listened while the other half
listened without tapping.
The participants were asked whether the final beat was
consistent with the preceding rhythm, and those who tapped while
they listened were 87 percent better at detecting the rhythm change
than those who didn't tap.
"We found that tapping along while listening does more than help us feel and enjoy the music. It actually helps us hear it better," Michael Schutz, an assistant professor of music, said in a McMaster news release.
He and his colleagues also found that participants who tapped to
the beat were more confident in their answers about the rhythm
The findings, presented at the recent Acoustics Week in Canada
conference in Quebec City, are important for music listeners,
performers and educators, according to Schutz.
"From a young age, we teach students to move to the music while performing, and now we know at least one reason why this is beneficial," he said. "This study sheds light on why moving while playing helps musicians keep time and improves their overall performance."
Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary
until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
The American Music Therapy Association explains
therapy and its benefits.