Difficulty in performing rhythmic tasks often co-occurs with literacy difficulties. Motivated by evidence showing that people can vary in their performance across different rhythmic tasks, we asked whether two rhythmic skills identified as distinct in school-age children and young adults would reveal similar or different relationships with two literacy skills known to be important for successful reading development. We addressed our question by focusing on 55 typically developing children (ages 5–8). Results show that drumming to a beat predicted the variability of rapid naming but not of phonological awareness, whereas tapping rhythmic patterns predicted phonological awareness, but not rapid naming. Our finding suggests that rhythmic interventions can be tailored to address PA and RAN deficits specifically in reading disabled children.
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