Sep 04, 2009
Here’s a worksheet to use for learning beginning metronome skills. The track racer goes from start to finish as fast as possible. The musician develops the skill to go from start to finish at all different tempos (speeds).
The first tempo I have a student work with is 60. 60 is a second and out of all the tempos I would imagine that people are most familiar with the speed of a second. Students start with whole notes at 60 playing the entire D Major scale. I find that starting a student with whole notes is more relaxing and easier for them to get accustomed to playing with a metronome. Then repeat the scale using the dotted half note. When complete repeat again with the half note and then finish up with the quarter. When a student can control their bow and fingers at 60 playing whole notes, dotted half notes, half notes, and quarter notes we check off the top box and go on to 65. After the top box of 65 is checked off we go to 55, then 70 and then 55. You get the idea. Once the slowest tempo has been reached students usually blaze through the quicker tempos with ease.
After that is all completed we go back to 60 again. This time to subdivide the beat into eighths, triplets and sixteenths. For eighths I have students play each note in the scale twice (d d e e f# f# etc.), triplets play each note 3 times and sixteenths play each note 4 times. When students can accomplish each of these subdivisions we check off the bottom box at 60. Proceed to 65, 55, 70, 50 etc. When practicing the subdivisions you may find it easier to start in the middle of the bow.
If someone has a terrible time feeling a beat and playing with a metronome I highly recommend the Body Beat metronome.
As far as I know there is no "graded course of study" for learning how to keep a steady tempo. Some people have perfect pitch - meaning they can hear a random note and tell you what it's called. Others have tempos memorized - play them a piece of music and they'll tell you the speed a metronome would be set to. What we have here is a beginner's worksheet for skills with a metronome. A first step towards what later will become mastered!
by Diane Allen
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