DruMeBa (2010)

Created by Dee Balkissoon, Cathy Chen, Orla Garriques, Conor Holler:

DruMeBa is a customizable multimodal drumming experience promoting collaboration among children with Autism. By combining the communicative and collaborative power of drumming with technology, DruMeBa brings music therapy into the 21st Century. At one of four drumming stations, each player hears the rhythms she or he creates while DruMeBa’s central table displays dynamic visuals. These provide players with immediate, whimsical, and easy-to-understand information regarding how hard they are hitting the drums, how much they are collaborating, and whether or not they are in-time with one another. Dynamic visuals are not the only benefit of collaborative play: when the players are in sync, DruMeBa enriches their performance by adding melody and instrumentation in real time. In a sense, the system and the players create a continuous musical feedback loop: the players generate the melody by hitting their drums an then try ...

Full Description

Created by Dee Balkissoon, Cathy Chen, Orla Garriques, Conor Holler:

DruMeBa is a customizable multimodal drumming experience promoting collaboration among children with Autism. By combining the communicative and collaborative power of drumming with technology, DruMeBa brings music therapy into the 21st Century. At one of four drumming stations, each player hears the rhythms she or he creates while DruMeBa’s central table displays dynamic visuals. These provide players with immediate, whimsical, and easy-to-understand information regarding how hard they are hitting the drums, how much they are collaborating, and whether or not they are in-time with one another. Dynamic visuals are not the only benefit of collaborative play: when the players are in sync, DruMeBa enriches their performance by adding melody and instrumentation in real time. In a sense, the system and the players create a continuous musical feedback loop: the players generate the melody by hitting their drums an then try to match the melody’s rhythm, which continues to drive the song. The system is also designed to be able to accommodate collaborative play from players with a wide range of abilities and skill-levels; skilled players can play along side novice players and still generate pleasing melodies and have an engaging experience. Finally, DruMeBa will grow with its user base by developing a suite of games and relaying statistical data from each play session to parents, teachers, therapists, and researchers. Its online social network will help players connect to each other’s music at home and on mobile devices, while offering adults access to specialized lesson plans and play modes.

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