Interactive and sensory workshop
College Interactive and Sensory students had a treat this week, when the team from the Eye Music Trust installed an interactive creative sensory studio on site at Treloar’s. The workshop was organised by Alicja Thomsen, Sensory and Interactive Tutor at Treloar’s.
The Eye Music Trust is a charity funded by the Arts Council who tour schools, hospices and children’s charities. They create new sensory environments by linking music, colour, light, space and movement.
Our students were each given time individually to experiment in the workshop and encouraged to learn for themselves how they could create sound and light shows.
Unlike a traditional sensory room, this workshop is a Creative Sensory Room, an active space in which the sounds, music and colour changes are created and controlled by the students themselves, irrespective of their level of cognitive or physical ability, using a range of movement and touch sensors.
Infra red movement sensors, which can be tuned over a range of movements from finger to whole body movements, allow the use of any part of the body and any deliberate or unconscious movement to play the system. The students smallest movements are translated into sounds and lights around the room.
Ollie found that his voice could be amplified and echoed round the room; he enjoyed creating a sound and his eyes followed the sounds of the echo round the room. As he gradually got used to the sensations and sounds, there were plenty of smiles as he connected his movements with the sounds created. He enjoyed tapping the microphone and creating rhythmic echoes.
For Ella, the technician positioned sensors all around her chair. She discovered that moving her arms in a clapping style created music all around her. When she stopped moving, she learnt that the sounds stopped, and she could control it.
It was an amazing experience for the students to participate and create unique sounds and light shows. The sensor equipment is designed to respond to the lightest touch or broadest gesture across their whole surface, providing a music and light playing interface that is easier to understand yet still allows room for developing a personal playing style.
The intensity of the colour experience has highly therapeutic effects, and many feedback mechanisms are developed in the user as they play with the sensors. One of our students found it so soothing he appeared to be falling asleep.
It’s so important for our interactive and sensory students to have opportunities to experience different environments and sensations and to feel they can create unique music and light displays.
Sensory and Interactive Pathway at Treloar’s
This pathway is designed for students with highly complex physical, learning and medical needs, working largely at pre entry level. Students will be based in small tutor groups with an emphasis on multidisciplinary and integrated delivery of the curriculum. There is extensive multi-positional learning, providing opportunities for maintaining and developing the student’s physical skills, posture and mobility.