By Wendy Harron - May 10, 2012

Are you new to IM?

Every few weeks, I have a new batch of kids who will be receiving IM during their occupational therapy sessions. This also means there is a whole new batch of parents who like to know what exactly it is that their kids are doing and working on. I always refer them to as well as having them search Interactive Metronome on youtube so they and their children will get some idea of the specialized treatment that their child will receive over the next few weeks. So hopefully the terminology listed below will help you get a better understanding as a parent when your child comes running out to you from their session saying something like “I got 15 bursts today and my task average was 65!”

  • Burst: a set number of consecutive “super right on” (green) hits of the trigger (within 15 MS of beat).
  • Guide Sounds: audible feedback tones indicating how close the trigger hits are to the beat of the reference tone.
  • Long Form Assessment – mode used to evaluate capacities in several areas including timing and rhythm, motor planning and sequencing and attention and focus. It consists of 14 tasks that require performing a variety of upper and lower body movements in synchronization with the IM reference tone. Typically done at the beginning, middle and end of the IM course.
  • Millisecond (MS): one thousandth of a second; unit of time used to measure the accuracy of trigger hits in relation to the reference tone.
  • Reference Tone: cowbell-like audio tone with which the individual attempts to synchronize his/her physical motions during IM tasks.
  • Task Average: calculation in milliseconds of how close the trigger hits were to the reference tone during a task.
  • Tempo: rate (in beats per minute) of the reference tone; the setting we typically work in is 54 bpm.
  • Triggers/Switches: sensors that are used to hit on the reference tone during the various IM tasks; these allow the program to measure the accuracy of each of the hits in relation to the reference tone.


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