While there are many aspects of music that are good for the brain, two stand out: the demands music makes on working memory and sequencing skills. Rhythm Recall, an exercise from the Memory category, is designed to distill these core musical components to give your brain practice with them.
In the exercise, you’ll hear a sequence of tones while also seeing a representation of the timing of the tones. Your task in Rhythm Recall is to repeat the timing (rhythm) of the sequence. Responding correctly requires that your brain translate what you hear and see into a clear mental model, then in turn translate that into precise action.
Coordination between auditory processing, visual processing, and motor action—as is exercised in Rhythm Recall—is called “multimodal integration,” and it’s another important facet of musical training. Multiple brain centers have to work together with extraordinary accuracy to be successful. That’s true in many of the things we do in life. Just think about having a conversation with someone: we have to listen to what they say, watch their face and body for visual cues about how they feel, and react by following their directions, answering a question, or however else is appropriate.
Here's how the exercise works:
- A sequence of tones will begin to play, often backed by a metronome to keep the beat.
- After the sequence finishes, you can begin providing your response. Input the rhythm.
- Your answer will be displayed next to the original sequence.
If training from a computer, you can use your keyboard to provide your response. You can use any of the letters, numbers, or arrow keys on your keyboard for inputs. If you’re training from a mobile device, you can tap anywhere in the exercise window to provide your input.
Since Rhythm Recall is more freeform than other exercises in BrainHQ, the way Rhythm Recall is scored is unique. An answer is deemed “correct” if your inputs were within a certain tolerance (that is to say, they were “close enough”) to the original sequence. If a correct answer is given you’ll hear a “boop” sound and the sequences in the following turns may become longer or more complex. If an incorrect answer is given, you’ll hear a “bonk” sound and the sequences in the following turns may be shorter. In both cases, the level then continues, repeating from Step 1 above.
You can review the exercise video tutorial below:
We also have a recording of a live demonstration of this exercise here:
As you progress through Rhythm Recall, it becomes more challenging in these ways:
- Visuals: The visual information gradually decreases, until you are relying entirely on the auditory information to drive your response.
- Speed: The speed of the song varies, going from a moderate pace to a slow pace and then to a quick pace.
- Metronome: In later levels, the metronome may not be present.