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BrainBeat User Guide

Table of Contents


Introducing BrainBeat To Your Family - top

INITIAL INTRODUCTION

    If your child is a younger BrainBeat user (ages 6-8), he or she may view BrainBeat as more of a game than a training program. Children this age tend to be motivated by the novelty of Nigel, the coach, the "new world" introduced in each session, and the challenge of ascending levels.

    If your child is a bit older (8 or 9-12), consider introducing BrainBeat as a training program to help improve focus and concentration. Ask him (or her) to think about areas where he hopes to do better and use this conversation to discuss the importance of using BrainBeat.

    Here are some ideas on how to get your child excited and motivated to use BrainBeat.

    1. BrainBeat will help your child do better in just about anything. Focus helps not just with school work, but in learning music, playing sports, and even staying on top of household tasks. BrainBeat can help your child reach their full potential in just about anything that matters to him or her.
    2. Practice is key. Stick with it! BrainBeat is so effective because it demands total engagement from users, requiring them to stay on the beat every second for minutes on end. This can be a bit taxing at first for new users -- kids and adults alike. Light frustration is not uncommon in the early days, so some kids may require a bit of encouragement to keep at it.
    GETTING STARTED
    • We recommend you first take BrainBeat out of the box as a family, with at least one parent involved. If other siblings may train on BrainBeat at some point, you ideally want to include them.
    • The Getting Started booklet, enclosed in your BrainBeat package, will walk you through installing BrainBeat on your PC or Mac in a matter of minutes.
    • Once you are set up, we recommend you unplug the earphones initially. This will enable you and your child to listen to the introduction together, something we learned was important from early customer feedback. (Please note: this slightly contradicts the booklet’s instruction, but you will plug the headphones back in for actual training. The next version of BrainBeat will make this update. Thank you for your understanding).
    • Click on the “How to Play” button, which will give you a quick overview of the BrainBeat program. The video runs less than two minutes.
    • Next, click on the “Demo” button. This allows the family to try their hand at BrainBeat in two sample “worlds,” Splat-O-Mat and Balloon Pop.
    • We have found that letting everyone in the family “demo” BrainBeat upfront helps parents and siblings better understand and support the BrainBeat user in his or her training. Parents are often surprised that BrainBeat is initially demanding, even for adults.
    • The BrainBeat core training program consists of 14 individual training sessions (or days), each taking 20 minutes (except Session One, which runs 30 minutes as a tutorial session).
    • We recommend your child begins training at a time when they (and you, in support) can complete the first two sessions on consecutive days.
    • The goal for completing the BrainBeat training program is 4-6 weeks, so we recommend a user complete 2-3 sessions per week. After the first day of training, completing a session every other day is an achievable goal.
    • “Can my child complete the training faster?” Sure. There’s no such thing as finishing BrainBeat training too fast. As with most kinds of training, improvement comes down to the total number of repetitions of exercise.

    What Happens During The Training? - top

    Sessions 1-3 - LEARNING
      • These are learning days. Lots of instruction and feedback (literally) is being thrown at your child. Motivation is usually highest during these days, which is important, as many users are working hard to achieve competency and some mild frustration is not unusual.
      • Nigel, the BrainBeat coach, works extra hard these early days. Some older kids have found him a little too chatty at times, but he is offering important feedback on training. (e.g., “You were a little ahead of the beat that time. Try to slow it down a bit next time.”)
      • Nigel introduces the graphically richer training environments (“worlds,” in BrainBeat terms ) in Session 3.
    Sessions 4-10 - MASTERY
      • During this period, performance really begins to improve. Personal bests in lowest Millibeat score or highest In-A-Rows can occur almost every session. You child will seek to advance levels as the gaming aspects really begin to kick in.
      • As your child advances levels and improves, BrainBeat gets more difficult. Successful video games keep players in a sweet spot between competency and mastery, ensuring continued engagement. This was our vision in developing BrainBeat, and why we engaged with world class video game developers – a team who were excited to bring their talents to a learning program with the potential to actually help kids developmentally, not just have fun.
      • Nigel begins to throw in some random interrupting noises with little warning, all with the goal of your child building the ability to block out external distractions.
      • Cognitively, a lot is happening during this period as well. Individual exercises are increasing from 1 minute to 2-3 minutes, which is helping your child build greater ability to maintain concentration for longer periods. Twenty minute sessions that were somewhat difficult to complete in the initial days of training are now flying by.
    Sessions 11-14 – LOCKING IN THE BENEFITS
    • Our science team calls these final sessions the “lock-in” phase of training; by now, your child has completed several hours of BrainBeat training. During this time, he or she has worked hard to achieve new levels and new best scores. In doing so, they have been systematically strengthening the all-important brain capacities of timing and rhythm, as well as attention and focus. The final phase is about hard wiring these gains so your child continues to benefit over time.
    • Personal best scores still happen, but begin to slow a bit.
    • The individual exercises are longer, stretching to 3-4 minutes at times (sessions are still 20 minutes, however). These longer uninterrupted durations of training really enable your child to encode this improved ability to focus. This creates a “habit” – so that focusing is something your child does more naturally without thinking about it.

    THE 14 WORLDS YOUR CHILD WILL CONQUER - top

    BrainBeat was created to motivate your child to conquer 14 unique game worlds, each with its own theme. As your child progresses through the program he will have a chance to fine tune his focus skills by advancing through each new world.

    Here are the 14 BrainBeat worlds:

    HOW DO I KNOW MY CHILD IS IMPROVING? - top

    In addition to conquering new worlds, your child will ascend different “levels” as he improves his millisecond score, and will unlock “badges” along the way as he improves. Below is a chart showing millisecond scores and different levels he may achieve. Most children start at the Beginner level and will finish the game at the Platinum level. Some may achieve Rhythm Master, but this level is very advanced. Rhythm Master is typically achieved by professional athletes and musicians (and by no means do all of them attain this level), so if your child doesn’t make it all the way to Rhythm Master, it’s nothing to be disappointed about!

    To see how your child is progressing, click on the “RESULTS” icon within the Main Menu. There, click the “Best BBC Score” and then the “SCORES” icon. You will see your child’s improvement based on the number of sessions he has completed.

    WHAT CHANGES OR IMPROVEMENTS WILL YOU NOTICE?

    What you may see:

    • Parents of kids going through the BrainBeat program have reported seeing improvements in follow through on everyday tasks like making the bed, brushing teeth and completing homework unprompted (or at least with far less prompting than before).
    • Many parents also note gains in more intangible but vital areas such as self-confidence, self-esteem and the ability to more richly engage with others.

    What your child may notice:

    • Many kids warm up to the idea that BrainBeat is exercising their brain and building the important skill of focus. Because training is self-directed, many kids feel empowered by the experience.
    • One 10 year old boy told his mom he didn’t need school anymore after completing BrainBeat training and regularly finishing homework before his twin brother, which had never happened before.
    • Because every child advances considerably on the BrainBeat metrics like millibeat score and difficulty levels throughout the training, BrainBeat offers every child ample opportunity to feel proud of material achievements within the program.

    What others may observe:

    • Pay attention to comments from other adults in your child’s life (teachers, coaches, etc.). While your own observations of changes in your child’s behavior and performance are important, teachers and coaches often offer the best credibility for BrainBeat’s impact because they usually won’t know your child has taken on a new enrichment activity.
    • Often this takes place with a variation on the following anecdote. A teacher, coach, or tutor will ask a BrainBeat parent what, if anything, has changed with the child. The son or daughter has been more engaged in class, practice, etc., or more confident, and the teacher or coach wanted the parent(s) to share in that excitement.

    WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE 14 WORLDS ARE CONQUERED? - top

    • First, congratulations to you all, but particularly your son(s) or daughter(s). Completing the BrainBeat training requires work and perseverance, as any worthwhile training program does.
    • As with physical training, some maintenance over time is needed to maintain all that development.
    • Because the brain is a bit different than other physical muscles, much of the gained benefit is now permanent, even after a month of training.
    • We have learned that our best successes have happened when BrainBeat “graduates” engage in the simple but effective BrainBeat Maintenance Program. This consists of:
      • 10-15 minutes of BrainBeat training per week.
      • Kids should choose whether they want to do this in 5, 10 or a single 15 minute increment.
      • Many BrainBeat graduates use this training just before a big test at school, or an important game or recital.
      • Other families have found that doing a little BrainBeat brush up before homework (5 minutes, e.g.) actually makes homework go faster.

    BrainBeat is fundamentally different from the other tools and training out there in that it also synchronizes movement and coordination of activities while engaging multiple senses, addressing both cognitive and physical abilities at once. And it does so in an incredibly precise manner, which takes kids’ engagement to another level.
    Additionally, unlike many brain training products, the technology behind BrainBeat has been scientifically researched and validated to improve many aspects of human cognitive performance in more than a dozen peer-reviewed studies over the years.

    If you have any questions please contact us at 1-888-982-0288 or at greatsupport@brainbeat.com.

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