Begin With The Hand

You were told to use your hand to develop smooth movement across the printed page. Your hand "pulled" your eyes along. There is no harm in using the hand, but if you read or practice for more than a few minutes, your hand does have a tendency to tire. To help develop the ability to read and practice well with or without the hand, part of the metronome practice is to be done without using the hand. When you are doing the exercises, remember to keep your eyes moving smoothly. Do not get hung up. You may have to alternate back and forth, using and not using your hand, until you can move easily without the hand. The key to success here is smooth movement. A simple trick to use if you are having a problem moving the eyes easily, is to look at the white space between the printed lines. Don't follow the print, follow the white space.

When you first start using this trick, you will not see the print well. Don't let that concern you. Your peripheral vision is more than capable of seeing. You can easily see not only the print on the line above, but the print on the line below, at the same time. Keep practicing, your ability to see will rapidly improve until you will be seeing the line and lines clearly and easily. To make it easier for you to move steadily down the page as you move your eyes smoothly across the page, lay the heel of your hand on the page and curl your thumb slightly toward the print. Use the tip of the thumb as a pointer or marker as you move down the page. (See Illust. 8) Reverse the picture if you wish to use the left hand.

Open your practice book and look at the print without using your hand, in the manner we have just discussed. There will be a pause to enable you to get your practice book open. Begin to read with your recorder left running. Do not turn your recorder off. DO IT NOW!

Continue to practice looking as you are instructed. Focus your eyes just under the print and move your eyes along the white area beneath the print. It may be difficult not to look directly at the print, but concentrate and consciously look beneath the print at your imaginary line. Don't

Using the Thumb as a Pointer

try to read or understand. Move your eyes rapidly and smoothly. Notice how smoothly your eyes move when they are focused under the line, rather than directly at the print. Keep moving your eyes in this manner for a few minutes.

You may not get much comprehension at first, but as you continue to practice this way, you will begin to see more and more. Don't force yourself to see the print while looking at your line. Just relax and let the eyes flow.

If the eyes will not flow smoothly, then use the hand until the movement becomes smooth. Then, remove the hand again. Maintain the smooth movement. Remember that the hand is used only for the purpose of helping the eyes move smoothly and rapidly.

If this exercise is practiced correctly, you will soon be moving more rapidly and smoothly without the hand than with the hand.

Turn the recorder off and continue practicing in this manner for a few minutes, until the movement feels comfortable. When you have completed practicing without the metronome, stop, shut your book and return to this point. DO IT NOW!

Tape 4, side A in your program, the Timed Intervals Tape, is designed to help you practice all the skill steps you have begun to learn. There must be deadlines, or measuring devices, available to compare performances. It is important to know how fast and how far to go. The Timed Intervals Tape is for that purpose. Use it to practice and for repetition.

This tape is a series of nine 2-minute periods and one IO-minute period. (The IO-minute period is broken into five 2-minute time periods with the sound of a tone every two minutes.)

The instructions and information on understanding and remembering apply here, now. At this time, return to the instructions (Reading Process) on page 44. Review the instructions until they are fresh in your mind again. Then, return to this point. DO IT NOW.

REMEMBER THIS WARNING: Do not skim! Do not grab at words. Move smoothly and relax. It doesn't matter how much you remember at first. Learn one step at a time. One step leads, automatically, into another step. Practice correctly.

Continue reading here: Exercise

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