Improve Timing with a Metronome

May 31, 2020

Our brains are capable of doing several tasks at once.  However, if the brain’s ability to keep time is not working well, the different parts of your dome can’t function properly.  This can result in difficulty with concentration, reading, calculating, and coordination skills from walking to even more advanced sports.  If you can improve this skill, your brain can actually change and strengthen. 

Using a Metronome

A simple and inexpensive way that you can try to improve your child’s timing is to use a metronome, a device used to mark time at a selected rate. Musicians have long used a three-dimensional metronome that is commonly known. If you have a smartphone, you can simply purchase an app sometimes at no cost and use it to help improve your child’s performance with this skill. In addition, some apps are equipped with the ability to increase and decrease the speed of the beat. You can have your child clap or stomp to the beat. You may notice that an impulsive child may clap ahead of the beat, where a child that is slower to move might wait for the beat before acting.

5 Things to Consider

1. If your child is having difficulty, practice doing it with them and using words to help.

2. Have the child clap in a more circular motion because it requires more involvement of the brain.

3. Aim to keep close to the beat for more than 10 consecutive seconds before increasing the level of difficulty.

4. Try to incorporate the hands and feet in various ways to increase difficulty.

5. For professional training, seek an interactive metronome specialist.

Want to Learn More?

Metronomes can be used in many more ways. Check out this video to learn about the benefits and for demonstrations on how to use a metronome for other exercises and hand coordination activities like using coins and playing cards.

I hope you find this helpful. You can also practice timing by completing crossbody exercises to songs. For examples on how to do that, you can watch Playapy instruction videos for the popular songs “Can’t Stop the Feeling” and “Better When I’m Dancin’.” Have a playful day!

Amy Baez, MOT, OTR/L


Amy Baez is the Founder of Playapy and Creator of the PALS Handwriting Program. She is a pediatric occupational therapist, speaker, and parent coach with 20 years of experience. Learn more at www.playapy.com.

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