Conductive Learning—Rhythmic Intention
Rhythmic Intention has two elements.
Rhythmical counting and the repetition of dynamic words or rhythmical songs provide a sense of timing.
The client must consciously want to achieve the goal and uses vocalization to express that intention, while getting ready to carry out the action (O'Connor, 1998).
Emphasis is on "I."
The emphasis on "I" results in the necessity for the child to take responsibility. It also aids the child to learn motor planning so that movement could occur.
Rhythmic Intention also:
- helps eliminate other distractions while focusing on the goal;
- helps to prepare mentally to learn a movement;
- helps to express intention;
- helps to concentrate on the action and develop motor memory;
- harmonizes the groups;
- regulates timing and quality of the movement;
- predisposes individuals to adopt a positive outlook on solving problems, taking control of their lives; and
- helps to involve parents. (O'Connor, 1998)
Rhythmic intention is facilitation that capitalizes on verbal self-direction that a child/adult will say when attempting a task. It is based on the client's ability to learn through repetition, language, and rhythm. It includes rhyme and song in younger children and spoken description based on task analysis in older children, in order to promote motor control during functional tasks (Bourke-Taylor, O'Shea, Gaebler, 2007). The conductor sets the rhythm for the class and brings everyone's focus on the task at hand. Spoken language is then used as a cue to assist in completing all parts of the task (planning, execution, and completion).
The type of language and the tempo of the language or song are dependent on the age, emotional, motor, and cognitive needs and abilities of the children. For example, a group of five children may sit around a table to eat a snack, after making their own way to the table using rhythm, song, and verbal intention to mobilize as per their individual goals. Once seated, with the various equipment required to facilitate the seated position, the children will check and correct their positions together as a group. Led by the conductor, together they may sing, (always in the first person) "My feet are flat (referring to heels down and foot perpendicular to ankle); my back is straight; my head is in the middle; and I am sitting tall!" (Bourke-Taylor, O'Shea, Gaebler, 2007).