All About Metronomes

A metronome is a gadget which generates "ticks" or "peeps" at specified intervals. The numbers on the metronome indicate the number of ticks per minute. The standard settings are 40 - 208.

Although some teachers despise them, I feel a metronome is an important learning tool. It lifts from the student's shoulders the burden of maintaining a steady tempo during the learning stage of a piece so the student can concentrate on locating the notes accurately and playing them for the duration specified by the composer.

Another use for a metronome is for a gradual increase in tempo. The increments are so small that, almost without knowing it, the student increases the speed at which she can play the piece accurately.

Many teachers use the metronome as an adjunct to technical drills.

And a metronome can introduce the student to the reality that sometimes he may not select the tempo! Sometimes someone else - - such as the conductor - - will impose her idea of what the speed should be. The student must learn to adjust his playing!

There are three kinds of metronomes:

You need volume. What good is a metronome if the student can't hear it after he starts to play along with it?!


Two other points:

A metronome is an investment your child will use forever. Don't scrimp on this purchase, please.

The one my parents bought me is still ticking away!

copyright 1998-2013, Martha Beth Lewis, Ph.D.
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