Two Case Studies Using the Skoog in Music Therapy
First off, Shane Harvey, an HCPC registered Senior Music Therapist from Northern Ireland. In his clinical work he address the development of Children and Adolescents living with Visual Impairments, Physical Impairments and Complex Needs. Here he describes Skoog’s effectiveness after working with it for over a year in clinical practice.
“The Skoog’s touch-sensitive responsiveness means that it can bypass some of the more stringent physical playing demands made by conventional musical instruments.
Visually Impaired Skoog player
With a touch from an individual’s hands, fingers, forearms, elbows or feet, it is possible to elicit a musical response from the Skoog. This has made participation in musical play a practical opportunity for success during my sessions, particularly for Children and Adolescents living with Visual and Physical Impairments. Consequently, in individual sessions, I have observed the potential for clients to maximize on their independence by exploring the Skoog in a variety of unique and individual ways, with the motivation that it can respond and give feedback when play is initiated. I have also noted how this process of discovery has opened up potential benefits for developing self-expression.
A pupil playing Skoog with their feet
In the process of exploring the Skoog, I have observed how clients have often engaged with greater vocal self-expression, smiling facial expressions and laughter. It would add to the Skoog’s present level of flexibility, if at some point in the future, a wireless model could be developed- this would make the Skoog a more optimum and mobile instrument for sharing and turn-taking activities in group work.
Nevertheless, from my experience of using the Skoog in clinical practice, it holds the potential to work effectively.
On account of this, I would recommend other clinicians, working for Children living with complex needs, to consider trialling it in their practice.”
Second up, we have a Sandy Matheson talking about his experience using Skoog with an Autistic client. Sandy is a therapist working with Nordoff Robbins Scotland
Tom is a gentle, dreamy five-year-old boy, with an unconfirmed diagnosis of ASD/LD. He is not verbal, but occasionally vocalizes. His mum noticed that Tom responds positively to musical stimuli of various kinds, and consequently she referred him for music therapy. I undertook four assessment sessions with Tom in January 2012. It was immediately clear that Tom is a highly tactile child; he explores and investigates his environment by touching and holding objects (and if not discouraged by popping them in his mouth)! For this reason, I decided that the Skoog might be an appropriate instrument to draw him into a musical relationship.
Tom was intrigued by this strange, colorful object, and delighted by the sounds it made. His first response to it was to try to eat it, but It did not take him long to understand the relationship between the action of touching various parts of it and the different sounds that could be achieved.
It proved to be one of the instruments on which we could enjoy a creative relationship, turn-taking and playing duets. Mostly, his relationships were with the instruments themselves rather than with the therapist; inasmuch as he involved me, he tended to use me as a means to an end rather than using the instrument as a means of communication. (This is what one would expect to find in the earliest stage of therapy with a client with ASD).
A Child playing Skoog
Therefore it was significant that the Skoog drew Tom into a musical relationship. It also held his interest for a relatively long time; Tom’s interactions with instruments tended to be very brief, but our Skoog activity lasted around five minutes. Were I to continue working with Tom, I would continue to use the Skoog as a way of hooking him into a relationship.”
Meet Dr. Ben at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention in San Antonio.
“What is a Skoog?” – Thursday, February 13th, 2014 at 4:00PM in Room CC204
We will be giving away a SKOOG at the session! Do not miss!
Dr. Benjaman Schögler PhD – is Creative Director at Skoogmusic Ltd and co-inventor of the Skoog. Ben was a core member of the NESTA ‘new musical instrument project’ and worked closely with Dr David Skulina, and Professor Nigel Osborne to develop the Skoog. A long standing member of the Institute for Human Music and Social Development and the Perception Movement Action Research Centre, Ben is still an active member of the international research community. His current focus is in the more applied, ‘hands on’, field of educational technology. Creating fun new things at Skoogmusic, supporting new ways of engaging young people in making music, and promoting the benefits of active music making for all.