Metronome training for ADHD

MaryLou Roberts said: Apr 15, 2013
MaryLou RobertsTeacher Trainer
Institute Director
Suzuki Association Member
Ann Arbor, MI
272 posts

Here is another way music is being shown to benefit child development! I got this from web md.

Interactive Metronome training involves listening to a computerized rhythmic beat that the person then tries to mimic with hand or foot tapping. The person using Interactive Metronome training is provided feedback that indicates how well they match the beat of the metronome.

Supporters of Interactive Metronome training believe that the behavioral problems associated with ADHD stem from a motor planning and timing deficit. They believe that over time, the individual using Interactive Metronome training can learn to focus for extended periods of time, to filter out distractions, and to monitor their physical and mental actions as they occur.

Some scientific findings show promising results involving Interactive Metronome training and its ability to reduce ADHD symptoms in boys. In one study involving 56 boys, ages 6-12, diagnosed with ADHD, researchers compared results from the group that received the interactive metronome training, the group that received no training, and the group that received video-game training. Researchers concluded that the group of boys with ADHD who received Interactive Metronome training had a significant improvement in attention span, behavior, and motor control.

Gretchen said: Apr 22, 2013
Gretchen Lee
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Austin, TX
28 posts

Interesting! Have you tried this with students at all?

Kiyoko said: Apr 22, 2013
 95 posts

I wonder if early music education would help benefit ADHD kids in general. This is helpful to know!

I have an extended family member that people are concerned may have ADHD or autistic traits. Recently, I reflected that music lessons might help develop focus and attention span. Now there is an actual basis for this.

Barb said: Apr 23, 2013
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
685 posts

“Motor planning and timing deficit” … Is this the same as beat deafness? A few of my students started without being able to clap to a beat. The kids can now, and the adult has improved very much. I don’t think these kids have any diagnosis, but do have some ADHD-like characteristics.

Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

Sue Hunt said: Apr 24, 2013
Sue HuntViola, Violin
403 posts

Does cross crawling (from brain gym) help this as well?

MaryLou Roberts said: Apr 24, 2013
MaryLou RobertsTeacher Trainer
Institute Director
Suzuki Association Member
Ann Arbor, MI
272 posts

I think activating the cross nervous system is developmental, and an important factor. That is why it is part of brain gym. The martial art Tai Chi uses this a lot as well.

I am pretty aware of how to work with kids who may or may not be ADHD, from growing up with my brother, and then learning through reading much later. We may take for granted that children can tap a steady beat throughout an entire song, but it takes a certain focus to do it. So I apply this as an activity, to tap-clap facing the parent while I play a piece from their repertoire, and then train the parent to do this with the cd at home. In all cases, students play better after tapping a steady beat while listening to the music being played. Another way is to count 1-2-3-4 with a piece, or walking between beat and rhythm. It all trains “musical attention” through rhythm and give the students energy.

Today’s children are less likely to come from a background of jumping ropes, doing hand clapping rhymes and other rhythmic activities, even Mother Goose Nursery rhymes are read less often, so a basic rhythmic background may not be developed in a majority of our new students.

Thanks for yo dialogue, I am thinking of a new way to tap—clap that uses cross nervous system……can’t wait to try it out!

Kiyoko said: Apr 24, 2013
 95 posts

Sounds like an old fashion jump rope is a great birthday gift idea! My husband’s eight year old cousin recently got a jump rope this past summer and is interested in watching local jump rope stunt groups perform. Not only does it help rhythm, as you can’t jump the rope without keeping tempo, promotes good healthy physical activity.

Beth Cantrell said: Apr 25, 2013
Beth CantrellTeacher Trainer
SAA Board
Suzuki Association Member
62 posts

I agree with MaryLou that the tap-clap while listening really enhances what students get out of the listening experience, whether ADHD or no.
Many, dare I say most, children, but especially ones with that condition, need to move in order to learn. Maybe incorporating listening and games in lessons with the jump rope would be productive, engaging and fun.

Beth Cantrell

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