Traditionally, we use Metronomes to develop time keeping skills but there are so many other benefits to introducing a metronome to your students practice routine.
1. Listening ‘Outside’ of Yourself.
Pro-musicians typically (hopefully) have one ear on the band and one ear on their performance. Young musicians have never needed to develop this skill and a metronome is a great place to start. Practising against an outside sound source develops auditory and response skills that also over lap into other areas of life.
2. Rhythmic Theory:
Digital metronomes have many sounds and subdivisions, rhythms and beats. These features can help teachers communicate tempo and time signatures to students in a fun, visual way.
3. The Human Tone:
One of the BEST features of a digital metronome is its Human Tone. Rather than a repetitive click or slap, it counts the beat VERBALLY. Playing to a ‘One-Two-Three-Four’ is useful tool to teach kids to “Locate the One” and understand the logic of bars, repetition and looping patterns.
4. Playing Games:
Metronomes can be great for playing ‘Call and Response’ games, ‘Creative Clapping’ games or making Exercise books a little bit more musical.
5. Competitive Learning and Creating Objectives:
The first few months of reading are often filled with easy, but rather plain tunes. Learning them with a metronome (Slow at first then building up, etc) can be a fun way to bring some competitive objectives/aims into your lessons. Remember though, not to let it be a compromise for accuracy and technique.