I have never met a student who was excited about working with a metronome...unless they had experienced the great benefits of using one; and then I found that they use one regularly and want to use one!
What is the difference between those that are afraid of the time machine and those that aren't?
The metronome can be blunt and quite direct. There are no grey areas; you are either with it or you are not. It's confining, insistent, doesn't care about "why's", and is the great task-master.
It's a little like gardening. We prune bushes so they will actually grow bigger and bushier. When we cut back dead flower blooms, the plant grows even more flowers.
It can feel like we're confining ourselves by heeding the honesty of the metronome; we think we're playing a steady tempo but the metronome says that we're not.
So how do we embrace this fear and open our practicing to the wonderful benefits of using the metronome?
Think about what you do in life when you are afraid of something...specifically in how you approach it? If you hear a loud noise at the door, you approach the door, but slowly, right? (At least I do, and on my toes!)
That's the first thing you want to do when you feel the least bit of apprehension when even looking at your metronome...start slowly.
Take something that you can play well...even if it's a C Major scale.
Next, move the metronome up 1-2 settings and do the same thing.
This process is exactly how you use the metronome with anything that you are practicing on.
The biggest connection to make here is that fear is 'calmed' by slowness.
The other way you combat apprehensions about the metronome is by consistently challenging yourself with it in your practice sessions.
Then you'll want to start using it in your pieces. This means that you are going to be working/practicing on your pieces...not performing them.
Just like learning the piano, we learn to use the metronome easily and comfortably in steps; building one upon the other.
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