Thursday, September 22, 2011

Third Round of Interactive Metronome: Getting in Touch With My Body

A row consisting of three cowbells.Image via WikipediaFinished my third round of Interactive Metronome(IM)  and am feeling a bit "Anh" about it.  You know that feeling, when you've worked really hard at something and improved a bit  but not spectacularly--and you were hoping for spectacular.    My overall scores at my final evaluation did go up somewhat -- I am in the low 40s overall, which is a good range but I was hoping for a lot more.   My right foot goofed up during the balanced tapping exercise and gave me a lousy 114 as a score.  I have never scored so low on that foot since day one.  Ever.  Oh well.  On the other hand, I got a 14 with tapping my right hand against my body, which is phenomenally good.  Most of the other scores were in the 30 and a few 40s.

I do think significant improvement is still there but was blocked for a number of factors.   The cleanup from the flood from Hurricane Irene really tired me out.   We had some really rainy days after Irene which messed up travel on the turnpike so I was quite late to some of my sessions and feeling a bit of angst over the lateness. Also, during the first three days, I had someone in the room who was clapping loudly but off beat; so it was hard to focus on the cowbell.

Additionally, I feel that my body was reorganizing as I was beginning to feel my body resonate to the beat.  This time,  when I was spot on the beat, I could feel it in my shoulders, hips, and derriere.  So, I was focusing on getting back that feeling when I was getting off the beat... thinking where is that feeling.  Ok, I am relatively on time but I want to do more and in the process of trying to do more, I am negatively impacting my performance. 

It is nice to feel in touch with the body.  At times with IM, I feel like I am definitely in my body.  In the past, I would focus on the cowbell to the exclusion of my body.  Now, I feel my body in time with the cowbell.   My poor violin teachers had wanted me to feel the beat in time  which I could never do.

Also, I was noticing some drift due to posture and balance.  I am much better with clapping my hands in various exercises than I am with my toes and heels.  Motor planning was another distraction when I did 4 taps clapping and 4 taps tapping.  I had to start to think about shifting balance on the 3rd and 4th beats so that I would be prepared for the transition.

Additionally, I noticed some drift in attention.  I tried a reverse EMDR technique of visualizing a ball in space that correlated to the happy feelings in my body and that helped a bit with bringing my attention back in a nonverbal manner.  But,  its a lot to coordinate all together along with motor planning. 

I think I will try another round of IM later next year after I revisit balance and also do some biofeedback/neurofeedback.  

Net result after this round of IM, is that I feel a little bit more wired into my body, my hearing has improved a bit.  My husband notices that I am much more smoother in my body motions and that I can multitask better.  In the past,  I'd really have to focus hard to keep all the balls in the air.

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