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Entrainment: A Reflection of Learning Something New.

Date: July 12, 2018 Author: hpelc Categories: Educators Blogs, Reflection Blogs

By Loretta Davis

Recently Handprints educators were invited to join Kylie and Carmel from Jim Jam Music for professional development in their studio. It was a wonderful afternoon filled with a lot of learning and a lot of laughter. We learnt about the history of Jim Jam, musical theoretical frameworks and how the musical program is very carefully planned to support children to learn skills and music through play, at a developmentally appropriate pace.

Something that really struck me during our session was a word I’d never heard before:


Have you heard of it? I hadn’t. Quite a few of us hadn’t heard of it before. Entrainment is the coordination or synchronisation of different rhythms. Kylie went on to explain entrainment by giving us an example. She showed us a video of 5 pendulum metronomes and how over time, they began to synchronise with each other. You can watch the video on youtube here:

It was very cool to watch! But then we got to try it ourselves! We each had a drum and we began tap the tops of the drums, slowly. After a few minutes, we’d realised we’d gotten faster and we were very well in synch. The eerie part was that no one had said anything or given any instruction to get faster. We did it ourselves. We brought ourselves into this rhythm through entrainment. Kylie went on to help us learn about how we can use entrainment strategies to change the levels and rhythms around us, how we can bring ourselves or the children up, or back down, by using entrainment together to synchronise environments and the people within. What an amazing strategy to learn about!

Today it was a very wet and rainy day. I found myself listening to the rain. Drip, drop, plonk, on the roof. It’s a quintessential sound. I began to pick up the rhythm in the drops. I was feeling myself connect to these sounds, typing on the keys of my computer to the pattern I could hear on the roof above my head, tapping my foot along to the heavier drops that went plonk loudly. I recognised how the sounds were making me feel peaceful and how my breathing had slowed, my shoulders had relaxed, and my typing had become rhythmic.


It got me thinking about how powerful it was that I had learn this new word and it’s meaning, and it what ways it might change my days ahead.

I wondered what more it would help me notice in the world around me? Would I have otherwise have noticed a pattern in raindrops if I hadn’t learnt about and experienced entrainment in the Jim Jam studio that Saturday?

I’m excited to notice more patterns and rhythms in my day, in people around me, in the children, in the greetings and departures of families as they arrive or go, and in the activity of each room at Handprints.

Jim Jam Kylie said that each day has its own rhythm.

What rhythm did your day have today?