Teaching Metronome Use

I believe the metronome is a valuable practice aid. Like any other skill, such as counting out loud or playing with a duet partner, it is a skill that must be learned and therefore can be taught.

With beginners (teens and adults, the first or second lesson; with 3-year-olds, perhaps the 4th lesson; with school-age children, the 2nd or 3rd), I use these steps to metronome use:

For a child, I make the first three items above into "The Metronome Game," whose idea is to avoid "getting tricked" by the parent or sibling who sets the metronome. "The secret of winning," I whisper into the student's ear, "is always to listen first." I suggest about 6 different speeds daily, especially focusing on the ones that seem weak (slow speeds, usually).

After the metronome is easy for the student to use, make sure you assign its use regularly in literature, as well as for the hand-over-hand triads.

copyright 1996, Martha Beth Lewis, Ph.D.
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