By Amy Vega - May 10, 2014

How To Use Difficulty Settings With IM Training


I had a student who had been hitting 26 milliseconds (ms) consistently, then 23 ms; so, today, for a 1 hour slot, I set the time to automatic.  She went up to an average of 32 ms with the automatic setting and had lots more errors.  Should I be keeping her on automatic or moving her to a higher time setting for a while to keep her from getting frustrated or discouraged?




You might try turning off AUTO diff for now and adjust difficulty to 50.  If she is able to maintain good scores there (at her best), then switch to AUTO diff and allow for period of adjustment as she learns to process and respond to the more intense feedback.  It is not uncommon to have a small set-back as the challenge is increased. It is a good idea to warn the person that when AUTO diff is turned on it is the most challenging exercise, and be sure the client is ready for it. Also, remind them that it is OK to hear the buzzer a lot (it does not mean they are performing poorly)!  If that is not explained in advance, the person will hear the buzzer much more (which is not an indication of poor performance), but it can be quite disconcerting and frustrating. Hearing the buzzer more is intentional at that level and boosts progress.


When AUTO diff is turned on, the buzzer is set just outside of the person’s best score; so, if she is getting 23ms, then she will hear a buzzer at 24ms. Therefore, the buzzer does not mean performance is poor, rather it is intended to nudge her toward an even better score.




Amy Vega, MS, CCC-SLP

Interactive Metronome, Inc

Clinical Education Director

Clinical Advisory Board Director

Clinical Education Administrator

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