Soundbeam in special education and music therapy
Soundbeam has been most extensively and thoroughly evaluated with children with Severe Learning Difficulties and Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities.
However, the benefits to children and adults with a range of conditions and syndromes including Autism, ADHD, dementia, Downs Syndrome, Retts Syndrome, depression, Cerebral Palsy, Alzheimers Disease and challenging behaviours, have also been documented.
Soundbeam provides a medium through which even individuals who have profound physical or learning impairments can become expressive and communicative using music and sound. The sense of control, agency and independence which this provides can be a powerful motivator, stimulating learning and interaction in other areas.
Soundbeam is identified as a key resource by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority in assisting children with learning disabilities to attain learning targets as prescribed by the National Curriculum for Music. Its success rests upon two factors: the sensitivity of the beam means that even the most unreachable or immobilised individuals can play independently; secondly, electronic technology makes available a huge pallette of possible soundworlds, releasing the player from the traditional limitations of percussion-based activit
Soundbeam uses ultrasonic sensors to detect movement - big or small - and translates this into sounds. It comes with pre-loaded 'soundsets' that range from tracks which allow the exploration and performance of different genres - blues, classical, to more improvisational soundscapes and other musical ways of playing. It is completely programmable so that the user can make changes to personalise the soundsets and save them. Soundbeam 6 has a wealth of instruments, backing tracks and sound effects to choose from.
You can have up to 4 sensors attached, though the most popular choice to start with is two.