Interactive metronome

Good morning all. Does anybody have direct experience of 'Interactive Metronome' please? (Interactive Metronome (IM) is a training program that supports people to overcome attention, memory, and coordination limitations)

Despite good progress in other areas, my son still has big problems with rhythm and coordination. He won't touch his drums (it upsets him when he can't play) and he's scared to get back to any kind of sports as he 'knows' he will be unable to do it like he could before his accident.

I am genuinely fascinated by the principal of IM - that the brain has an internal clock which manages neural timing and that this specific timing can be damaged by brain injury/stroke etc.  But I'm not having much luck finding a practitioner in this country with specific experience (maybe I should train up myself!).   Meanwhile, I have set up a general 'metronome app' on my phone which taps out a regular beat when my son exercises (mind you, he doesn't do that much at the moment either!).  It is fascinating though to see, for example, that he can clench his fist much faster and more regularly when he has the 'tap-tap-tap' at the same time.

Apologies if I haven't explained this very well and given you all a headache - I know it's giving me one! Have a lovely day.

6 Replies

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  • Morning

    Sorry- I don't know about this at all. I think it sounds like you might be worth looking it yourself... as you have done some research and have noticed some effects in your son's case in particular. 

    I wonder if your son would use the drumsticks on surfaces other than face the whole drum set ? My student who stayed recently just used the desk upstairs ..... might be less daunting/disappointing for your son ? or is there a music support group anywhere ? 

    As for sports I wonder if he would consider any sort of yoga/tai chi/martial arts type thing - non-competetive - no right or wrong - doesn't matter what you wear - and absolutely great for improving co ordination and balance as the years go by (it's no quick fix for any of us ) . I don't know what his sports were before BI so don't know what might "fit" best ....  does he swim ? Is there anything you could do together ? 

    Hope you find some things that are  helpful ..

  • Hi Moo. Yes love the tai chi idea but can't get him interested - before he was a very fast moving, strong, dexterous athlete so anything slow seems strange for him. I'll try suggestion again! He won't even pick up the drumsticks at the moment. We did try music therapy but, again, the mood it put him in was counter productive.

    X

  • Could just leave the drumsticks out - with maybe something different alongside ? bongo drums ? xylophone ? some new music ? some headphones with african / japanese drumming ..... 

    tai chi / yoga - could perhaps find a you tube online course and try it together ? ( My son - non BI - did an online yoga course recently - built up over 8 or 10 weeks) 

    good luck x

  • Take him to Stonehenge on summer solstice - being around drummers will help to reintroduce the sounds and rhythms.  Not doing something because you know you will be shit, is a poop reason... I did it, knowing I would laugh at myself, knowing I'd fall over, knowing I'd probably stop after a few minutes, knowing it would give me a headache.  But I did it anyway.  I had accepted my situation.  I knew what I had to do to get my life back...  Faced with prospect of staying in that dark horrible place, it propelled me forward literally to the light and to regular exercise.  Best rhythm came from my 15 min walk.  Not just an ordinary walk.  A walk with the aim of a swinging arm rhythm - to the sound of fav music if it suits better.  Walking gave me back my confidence, restructured my brain, brought my right leg back into play, gave me back energy, increased oxygen intake. 

    I wonder if he has dealt with the fear of doing sport or activity and making it worse?  TAlking around this point can tease out worries, allowing them to be released.  Brain injury is a slow process of realisation, acceptance and acknowledgement.  Communication with self shuts down.  Disconnection results.  Disconnection to yourself.  I started to make up all sorts of things about how I thought I felt, when actually when I wrote it down, it didn't make sense at all, and I realised it was just a rewiring activity that had ended up as a preventative worry to progress. 

    All the Best Elkay, I honour your pioneering spirit to protect and hold a safe space for your son.  As a mother, you might try a back door approach of contacting his friends and finding out if they could help out by taking him to music events!

  • I had a look on the net.

    Seriously considering it for myself. The little reading I did it sounds really interesting.

    I was reminded of a film where prisoners of war clicked their fingers to the rhythm of a second hand on a watch for a long time until they were able to accurately tell how much time had passed without reference to a clock.

    Does your son actually understand that we need to re learn the things we lost and yes it is a real pain to have to start again but unless we try we won't make a difference.

    Overcoming the hurdle of "I can't do it anymore" and turning it into working to small goals is probably the way to go.

    One step at a time.

    Not sure if this makes any sense but lobe n hugs to you both.

    Xoxo

  • Thanks Random and Recovering for your intelligent words. He has so far refused to speak to anyone about his low esteem although I think he may be coming around to the idea. No, I don't think he has really accepted where he is and therefore unable to move forwards. He also is in a habit of constantly re-enforcing the negativity by comparing the old person to the new person he is. He needs to be sending his brain good positive messages. He is living independently with his friends again and attending courses run by our local head injury service on his own. He shops on his own and is beginning to cook on his own. I'm obviously so proud of what he is continuing to achieve - but I also know that his body fitness was always, and still is, extremely important to his well-being.  Think I will pursue IM if I can (and if my son is willing of course) so watch this space... I'm also thinking of a long overdue Stonehenge summer solstice trip....

    x

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