Friday, May 21, 2010

Interactive Metronome 5/21

When I do the Interactive Metronome (IM), until last session, I have been saying the alphabet on the beat.  Verbalizing really helps me stay on beat.   However, if you think about it, verbalizing becomes another step between hearing the beat, feeling the beat, and clapping/tapping.  I am finding I  require a verbal assist, i.e. talking myself through a process, while I am trying to do a lot of things.  Unlike most people who can see/hear and then do, I see/hear, talk to myself or others, and then do.  I guess this can be kind of annoying to other people around me when they can automatically see and do without extraneous chatter.

Dr. Herzberg, my optometrist, and the therapists at A Total Approach, want me to stop verbalizing during my exercises.  I tried it yesterday, and only used my alphabet when I really couldn't get back to the beat.  I only used the alphabet as a 4-8 letter cue to get back to a nonverbal place.

This is  tough.  I feel a bit stifled. My scores were all over the place.

I have been pondering how to really feel the beat and I picked up the violin and a metronome and have been practicing.  We shall see.   I have two metronomes:  one is a digital version of the old fashioned metronome that emits a regular sound and the other is a body beat, that vibrates at a regular pulse.

Unfortunately, on a functional basis, I am not having much luck with IM so far.  Unlike Tomatis, where I could see definite improvements in vision, hearing, and stability after the first few days, I am not going anywhere with IM.  I think this is related to getting over the verbal hump.  I think once I cross over into the nonverbal territory and really start synching up with the beat, the whole range of improvements that IM can bring like improved hearing, vision, attention, and focus will start clicking in.

Like Ann said, I am hovering.  She is a little bit frustrated herself... she is a dancer and is kinesthetically (body) talented so all this comes naturally to her.  We just haven't found the right mechanism to get the linkage between hearing/feeling the beat and body movement.  So far, it is just the same frustration that I have had with all my music and dance teachers.  They tap/clap or sound the beat and expect me to follow.  The guide sounds in IM (that tell me when I am clapping/tapping before and after the beat)  help but it is still not clicking.

I am starting to look at how pulse is formed and understood. I think getting to the pulse is the heart of my problem.  'Cause I just don't feel the beat.

The neuropsych community admits it doesn't understand problems of timing and rhythm completely... but I am wondering how much of my problem is similar to a Parkinson's disease.  More on this to come, stay tuned.

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