Line Limp

Do you have any students who pause at every single barline? It’s probably because their eyes not tracking properly across. These students see the music as separate little boxes of information.

Line Limp: Forward Thinking

Looking ahead and preparing for what’s coming up next is a very important skill, not just for students with Line Limp, but for all music students. It’s part of what makes a great reader.


  • Ask your student to try to keep her eyes on your pen or other pointer as she plays.
  • Stand beside her and point at the music, always staying at least one note of the note she is currently playing.
  • Repeat this exercise a few times at each lesson until the Line Limp is cured.
  • Write reminders (or have your student write them) for her to continue to try to move her gaze forward during practice also.

Line Limp: Plus One

Sometimes with a Line Limp, you just need to take it one note at a time. Using these tiny increments you can inch your student over those barlines and pave the way for smooth, even playing.


  • Use a sticky note to cover up the notes after the first note in the second bar (measure).
  • Ask your student to play this short section.
  • Once she has played this successfully move the sticky note forward so it covers everything after the first note of the third bar.
  • Continue in this way so that your student learns to move her gaze past each barline, one at a time.
  • You can assign the Plus One exercise for just a few bars at home, most young students won’t have the stamina to do as much as you covered in the lesson.