The Soundbeam A Musical Instrument Must Have for Therapeutic Centers
What kind of musical instrument is a Soundbeam?
A Soundbeam is a sensor, hooked up to a midi instrument, likely a piano keyboard, which translates body movement into music and sound. I thought of the sensor (which looks a little like a microphone) as a motion detector. The sensitivity of the sensor can be adjusted so that movements as small as your eyelashes blinking can create music. If you want larger movements to create music you can adjust it for that as well.
What are the benefits of a Soundbeam?
-The Soundbeam is a musical instrument EVERYONE is able to play and enjoy the benefits of creating music.
-The Soundbeam is flexible in that it can be used for fun, but most importantly is therapeutic and can be used by Music Therapists, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, etc. the Soundbeam can be positioned to only work when a certain area of the body moves. If you would like a person to work in left hand movement, you can position it so it will only detect left hand motion. The act of making music doesn't feel like work, so often after working out the left hand (aka making music) the client will hardly believe when their time is up.
-Often individuals with limited mobility suffer from depression, low self-esteem, and feelings of isolation from not being able to do and enjoy activities others can do. Creating your own music lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, and can stave off depression. You also end up with a real sense of accomplishment after creating music. The Soundbeam makes it possible for literally everyone to make their own music. Some additional benefits of music making include: inspiring creativity, increasing productivity, building confidence and creating social connections/bonds.
My experience with the Soundbeam
Before staying home with my children, I was a Music Therapist (board certified) at a residential school for children with severe/profound disabilities. I was extremely lucky to have been awarded a grant so the school could purchase a Soundbeam. Some of the children at the school were wheelchair bound. Some were always physically disabled, others had disorders which caused them to lose control over their bodies slowly over time. In every case the child was able to successfully create music with the Soundbeam. Their sessions were full of joy. Each child worked very hard to move their bodies to create music the way they wanted it to sound. The kids were full of joy, never complaining about pain.
The Soundbeam is a wonderful device to enrich lives. It is worthwhile considering it as a tool to use in your therapeutic setting.
Soundbeam in Use
© 2013 HeatherH104