Get them talking about the BEAMZ!

It’s been exciting month here at Spectronics! We have seen lots of BEAMZ Interactive Music Systems going out into schools. I have had one in my clinic to “play” with as well. And everyone on the Specco team has been learning how to set them up and use them.

If you haven’t seen the BEAMZ yet, jump over to our website to see all the information and some videos of it in action.

“Beamz Interactive Music System is a universally designed laser controller that gives users of any age, physical or cognitive ability instant access to hundreds of musical instruments, sound effects and songs.” In a nutshell – wave your hands {or anything} to break the laser beam and it makes a sound.  All these combine to make music. The Beamz turns anyone into an instant musician!

Now the Beamz is cool and groovy, motivating and fun – but how can it help our students with special needs? It is a powerful tool for engagement, turn taking, cause and effect, etc. Therefore, amazing communication opportunities can come off the back of this!

So- let’s get the students talking about the music they are making on the Beamz! To help you out with this, I have created some symbol communication boards that you might like to use. You can model language using the symbol boards,  as well as help the student to make choices and comments about the music.

beamz-commboard

Here is the communication board. Use this communication board to talk about the type of music, the volume, playing it fast & slow, swapping the music sets, etc. etc.

beamz-instrumentchoiceboard

And here is a supplementary vocabulary board, with symbols of the different musical instruments and sounds. I have used this board to help kids talk about what kind of instruments they would like to play. I have quickly learnt where to find the different musical instruments, eg. if a kid wants to play the trumpet, then loading the “Brass Knuckles” playlist gives him a trumpet and some other cool brass instruments. I have also used this board to help kids listen and identify the different sounds/instruments.

You can download and print the PDF files of these boards here:

beamz-commboard

beamz-instrumentchoiceboard

We would love to hear how you are using the BEAMZ! And please share these resources in your schools!

Amanda

 

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About Amanda Hartmann

Amanda is a Speech Pathologist with over 17 years experience. She has worked within educational settings, as an Inclusive Technology Consultant with Spectronics www.spectronics.com.au , and currently focuses her time on her busy private practice.

Amanda is a Key Word Sign/Makaton Presenter, an official Proloquo2Go trainer www.assistiveware.com/amanda-hartmann and an official expert TBoxApps Trainer for Therapy Box. She is also a certified Apple Trainer and regularly runs iPad workshops to help schools integrate iPad technology into the classroom, for all learners.

Amanda has a special interest in supporting and developing communication, literacy and learning for a wide range of diverse learners, often through the use of visual tools, sign language and technology. She has spent many years providing therapy support and teacher/parent training in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) for students with complex communication needs, due to disabilities such as: Cerebral palsy and other Physical impairments, Visual impairment, Hearing impairment, Autism, Down Syndrome, Fragile X, Intellectual Impairment, Angelman Syndrome, Rett Syndrome and others. She also has specialist knowledge to support the literacy learning of students with learning difficulties, language impairments and other diverse learning needs. She is passionate about providing interactive and engaging presentations to educators, parents and therapists.

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