Body Beat Pulsing Metronome
Sep 17, 2009
This metronome is phenomenal! Over the years I've taught people who fall into these categories: those who automatically feel the beat, those who learn to feel the beat and those who never feel the beat! Let's just go straight to the point here. Those whom I've taught who barely have any sense of what the beat is TOTALLY RESPOND TO THIS METRONOME! Not only that - those who seemingly have "bad" rhythm actually have excellent rhythm. They just have a really hard time getting in touch with their own inner metronome.
The Peterson BB-1 BodyBeat Pulsing Metronome has a barrel with a clip on it. When you turn on the metronome the barrel vibrates similar to a cell phone or pager. It works best if you can wear the barrel tight against your body. My students have used it in their shoe, on their hip, at the base of their spine and on their shoulder. It's slowest tempo is 40 and it's quickest is 216. The Body Beat can indicate how many beats per measure from 0 - 9 and has subdivisions of the beat including dotted rhythms! If you unplug the barrel you can use the metronome with a beep tone. There is also a visual display of the beat that shows you the beginning, middle and the end of the beat. Lastly - there is a tuning pitch at 440. The metronome comes with a battery. My students and I were so excited when I got the metronome that we wore out the battery pretty quick. When I installed a Duracell battery the metronome really perked up and made a much stronger pulse.
I introduce tempo and rhythm pretty successfully using a large exercise ball, a metronome and the Introduction to Metronome Techniques Worksheet. Bouncing on a ball at an even speed while playing whole notes usually is my first tactic in introducing tempo and rhythm. Students practice whole notes, dotted half notes, half notes and quarters on the ball. We then progress to the metronome and then the Introduction to Metronome Techniques Worksheet. Some students have a really hard time maintaining their ball bouncing at an even speed. That goes for clapping and walking too! This is where the Body Beat Pulsing Metronome really does it's magic!
My own experience with using the Peterson BB-1 BodyBeat Pulsing Metronome has been quite interesting. I'm concertmaster of our local orchestra and I've noticed that since using the metronome I'm totally in sinc with the conductor. If you imagine the point of a ship as well as the wake it leaves behind I feel as though I'm right at the point along with the conductor and not part of the wake. I also have been able to tackle an age old habit I've had where although I feel the beat my down bows are sometimes delayed in comparison. Using the Body Beat has really given me the information I've needed to really align my bowing changes with the metronome.
Along with using the metronome with students at lessons I've had a blast teaching chamber music with it. Each student in the ensemble takes turns with the metronome in their shoe! The rest of the ensemble has to follow the person with the metronome. Once everyone has had a turn the group plays without a metronome. The entire activity is a ton of fun for the students and they really enjoy the results.
This metronome is like no other! It's amazingly effective and fun. In my studio the Peterson BB-1 BodyBeat Pulsing Metronome quickly got a nickname: The Zapper! Now go practice and join in the fun and get zapped!
by Diane Allen
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