RAMSR (Rhythm and Movement for Self-Regulation) is a program for young children that aims to support their attentional and emotional regulation skills, as well as mental flexibility, inhibition, and working memory (the executive functions).
It is based on a number of neurological areas of research as shown in the below figure, including music therapy, the cognitive benefits of music education, and self-regulation development.


For all early childhood practitioners and parents internationally to have the confidence, skills & resources to use evidence-based rhythm and movement activities for self-regulation support for children. In particular for those children who do not gain access to specialist music programs and associated benefits, and for those children whose life circumstances mean they are most at risk of poor self-regulation, learning, & wellbeing outcomes.

The program was first designed and piloted in 2016 by Associate Professor Kate Williams (Queensland University of Technology) and her music therapy and early childhood music education colleagues.

The RAMSR pilot in 2016 showed some early promising benefits for children’s self-regulation development, and the program is the focus of a further clustered randomised control trial across 2019 to 2023.

RAMSR is a series of rhythmic movement activities that encourage beat synchronization and challenge one or more of the executive functions in a fun and engaging way. Activities are supported by rhythmic auditory cueing and include start / stop (inhibition) games, reversal of instruction games (shifting), and working memory games. Sessions end with a calming series of movements to target emotional regulation. Extensions of activities are provided to allow for increasing levels of challenge. Original backing tracks to provide rhythmic support, and low-cost instrument and visual resource packs have also been created.

The program is designed to be low-cost and able to be run by parents, educators, and allied health professionals with no prior music training to ensure dissemination is not limited.

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