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New instrument is hit in schools

Wonderful sound: Teaching assistant Dawn Craven helps with the Skoog interactive musical instrument at Pear Tree School, Kirkham

Wonderful sound: Teaching assistant Dawn Craven helps with the Skoog interactive musical instrument at Pear Tree School, Kirkham

The launch of a new instrument is music to the ears of staff at Lancashire’s special schools.

The Skoog, as the device is known, is being rolled out to schools across the county after being trialled by a handful of youngsters.

Technology company Skoogmusic Ltd is working in partnership with Lancashire Music Service to put at least two Skoog instruments in every special education school.

The Skoog is hailed as a ground-breaking musical instrument designed to empower those unable to play traditional instruments. The soft, spongy cube plugs into a PC or laptop via a USB connection and by touching, pressing, squashing, twisting or tapping its five colour-coded sides, users can play a wide range of instruments.

Sensors inside the Skoog respond to the user’s movements, and the software converts these movements into sound through loudspeakers or headphones.

The Skoog’s innovative technology mimics the behaviour of real musical instruments and creates a direct correlation between the gestures a player makes and the sound that is produced.

Children at Pear Tree School in Kirkham have been using it and according to their teachers’ have had a great time making new tunes and being able to join in music lessons with their peers.

Tim Rogers, head of Lancashire Music Service said: ‘’Skoogs are a fantastic musical resource that enable all young people to access music making in a creative and stimulating way.

“We are looking forward to developing the use of this instrument with both staff and SEN pupils throughout Lancashire.”

The Skoog is designed for pupils with a wide range of disabilities and works for those with the most challenging of circumstances.

Tim added: “Due to a lack of appropriate instruments, some children are unable to participate in a range of musical groups, limiting their engagement of making music with their peers.

“The National Plan for Music Education indicates that this is not acceptable, and I believe that the Skoog helps us to ensure that we provide our SEN students with the ability to participate fully in music lessons. Providing valuable resources to schools and training staff is just one of the many ways we are making a commitment to develop the National Plan here in Lancashire.

 

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