Bofill Ana Maria - eufapa
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY WITH MUSICAL SUPPORT IN POPULATION WITH
Authors: BOFILL, A Ma. Group of Investigation in Health, Physical Activity and
Sports. University Ramon Llull. Barcelona; GUERRA, M. FPCEE Blanquerna.
University Ramon Llull. Barcelona; MARTÍNEZ, E. Colegio Jeroni de Moragas.
Barcelona. CARTES, M A. ACELL. Barcelona
The proposal for physical activity in population with Intellectual Disability (ID) has
been limited to the rehabilitation field, or to sports promoted by several sports related
institutions. Nowadays, the inclusion of individuals with ID in sports and physical
activities, including activities with musical support, is increasing.
Physical activity with musical support (dance, aerobics, and rhythmic gymnastics)
allows to this population to improve their physical conditioning, their body posture,
the control of their mimics and of their breathing profile. Besides, it helps their
expressiveness, decreasing their aggressive attitudes being a clear opportunity of
socialization improving their affectiveness. Moreover, these activities give them
several cognitive benefits, including some safety principles of the movement and the
understanding of these activities that allow them to recognize them both, as
participants and as audience. Concerning the affective area, it provides successful
experiences that contribute the individual to obtain self-confidence.
Added to these activities, individuals can develop a well-deserved use of their leisure
and learn to interact with others in a social way, improving their quality of life.
In this communication will present from our experience and a theoretical point of view
the basis for future studies related to physical activity with musical support. A
proposal of contents will be presented concerning this topic.
Historical antecedents show us that music not only has been used to be listen but
also as a support for many kinds of physical activity since the beginning of the
history. Ancient individuals used ritual dances with percussion kind of music
performed with several kind of materials or instruments. All these activities developed
in different ways arriving to the 20th century when it can be distinguished a wide
range of performances as follows:Gymnastics, Dance, Aerobics and Expression, all
of them with its own varieties example giving artistic and rhythmic gymnastics;
classical, modern or folkloric dance; step-aerobics, aquatic-aerobics or hip-hop.
After a physical, biological and motivational screening using quality criteria for health
and wellness promotion will allow to program, direct and teach activities in order to
improve physical condition using movement, exercises and choreographic
techniques with musical support.
Once the sample is recruited all of them with intellectual disabilities it is necessary to
identify their needs and motivations. That’s why it is necessary to know through
several questionnaires, medical examinations and fitness tests their actual capacity
to perform this kind of activities. For example, an individual with Down Syndrome
needs to work strength instead of flexibility training; on the contrary an individual with
spastic cerebral palsy will need to work flexibility and if it is performed in aquatic
environment it will be better. Moreover, considering that these activities use music as
a support it is very important to evaluate sight and ear in these individuals as both of
them will condition balance and coordination.
So, to design the activity should be considered the characteristics of the sample and
how will adapted for them.
Benefits can be of different kinds: health promotion, physical and psychological
improvement, social and learning support. Focusing on social and learning support
these activities can be used to work memory, social communication, affectiveness,
expression, creativeness, deinhibition and amusement.
Memory (Berge, 1985) is applied to activities using repeated movements related to
repeated rhythm as it was a phrasal expression this can help to individuals with
intellectual disabilities to learn and retain information transferring from the isolated
movement to the complex action.
Social communication: Considering these activities as an expression using their body
there is a language behind this movement and activity that helps these individuals to
communicate with others being able to express their feelings and to understand what
others want to tell him.
Afectiveness and deinhibition can be worked in the same way that expression is
done and get the same benefits for the individual.
After acquiring skills and patterns training any kind of activity with musical support
individuals are able to create, improvise and perform spontaneous rhythms,
movements and choreographies getting profit of their high creativeness capacity at
their own capacity level.
Amusement (Ossona, 1985) is known by everybody that is included in any activity
where individuals enjoy themselves. Moreover if it is done with friends it also benefits
from the social point of view giving chances to feel as part of the society.
APPLICATION OF THESE ACTIVITIES IN INDIVIDUALS WITH INTELLECTUAL
Not having a complete overview of individuals with DS, doesn’t allow work with them
with a global intervention. Usually all kind of actions are done in a partial way, so it is
necessary to consider all aspects that will affect the individual and its performance
changing the concept considering these activities as part of their leisure time and not
of part of a rehabilitation program.
Physical activity with musical support suppose an amusing and gratifying physical
work that improves their fitness, postural condition, the control of their movements
and of their breathing profile, between others (Guerra and Bofill, 2002).
This leisure time is free when there is no competition which is conditioned by rules.
Nevertheless, with and without competition, both will benefit individuals with
A key point is to use the specific resources of these activities to obtain new adapted
and creative ways to work with this population. The adaptations are related to spatial
orientation, execution rhythm, arms movements, turns as well as specific material.
Also, choreographies will need adaptations in their structure and will consider
coordination difficulties in this population. Music should be selected properly with
different compositions to allow variations in the sequences of movements when the
basic structural elements can be modified. The main aspect is to maintain the
purposes and the objectives raised at the beginning of the program.
The choreographic composition to be applied must include the traditional parts used
in a regular Physical Education session that is warm-up, central part and cool-down.
Future research is needed applying physical activity with musical support programs
studying their effect on a psychological, biological, sociological aspect of population
with intellectual disabilities.
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Ana Mª Bofill, ([email protected])
Group of Investigation in Health, Physical Activity and Sports.
University Ramon Llull. Barcelona
C/ Císter, n.34
08022 Barcelona (Spain)