Soundbeam in education - testimonials


” I think it’s given some of the children the opportunity to shine in ways they wouldn’t have shone in the classroom. Given them the chance to see each other in a different light because they’re seen to be shining in something, whereas normally they wouldn’t be seen by the others to have (any) particular talents…”

Helen Smith, teacher Class 4S, Leighswood School, Walsall.


“The Desktop Soundbeam is brilliant. The flexibility of the MIDI control system and the visual clarity of the interface makes it a joy to work with. In fact, it’s so good that after only one training session the teachers at Kenilworth Nursery are programming their own patches to allow the kids to do their own sound effects for stories and circle time.”

Mike Roberts, Warwick Music Services


“…the joy for me … was that this was not a hand-picked bunch of kids, this was a complete mixed ability form all working together. I just felt that was a real way forward.”

Stephen Tommey, Head of Performing Arts, Bishop Perowne High School, Worcester


“… Children are coming to understand much more the inter-disciplinary nature of making something with multi-media…. They retrieve and manipulate their work, hobbies, and games on computers, and are familiar with interactive DVD material. They also possess the ability to read the multi-lingual language of the TV pop video - the mixed-media package of image, text, music, graphics, drama, dance and art.

Our schoolchildren are becoming multi-media-ists! This is why I am so evangelistic about the future uses of Soundbeam. I think we are exploring a special tool, an instrument which will become a cornerstone of their creativity, which in turn will fuel that interconnectivity.

So, in an educational environment, for instance, exploring a science or geography topic could be taken into new realms with the use of Soundbeam - a multi-media performance exploring the rainforest for example, or the solar system . We have yet to see such methods of learning in a truly live multi-media setting, but this is what we are attempting to do with Soundbeam."

Martin Kiszko, composer


“Traditionally dance and music have always been soul mates, it’s really only, I suppose, concert halls that started to divide the two subject areas apart. When you think about the two art forms, in the view of most young people they are clearly almost concomitant”

Mike Parrott, Group Manager for Arts and Development, Walsall Education Authority

“…. But yes, their music is far better than the other Year 8 groups because of that …. It has helped their composition, way of working and everything really

Nicola Raggett, Head of Music, Bishop Perowne High School, Worcester


“… the possibilities afforded by Soundbeam, both in terms of electronic music and multimedia live performance technology, and its possibilities for group music in which all participants are actively involved in the process of music making, provide classroom teachers with new means of developing their pupils’ creative imaginations in many directions across the curriculum.”

INUA Evaluation, Sept 2004 – Professor Helen Coll, Faculty of Education, University of Central England, Birmingham


“Instruments such as Soundbeam ….. permit an engagement with the control of sound which is especially suitable for developing the responses of children. According to Gardner (1983, 1999) human beings are able to develop and integrate several independent intelligences, including capacities he designates ‘spatio-temporal’, ‘social’ and ‘musical’. The characteristic of Soundbeam and other elektrokinaesthetic devices is their unique and innovative elicitation of behaviours which engage these aspects of human intelligence”

“Soundbeam in Walsall” – Dr Nicholas Bannan, International Centre for Research in Music Education, University of Reading


“I don’t see any reason why Soundbeam can’t be used in schools as an instrument that you learn, and can be invited into the school orchestra just like any other instrument. I can’t see any reason for that at all, really.”

Martin Kiszko, composer, “INUA”


“There can be certain technical hurdles to learning a clarinet, it could be the cost, it could be the attitude that lies behind the teaching of that instrument – “ you must learn to read this way, or you must learn to bow this way”. I really do believe that (using Soundbeam) is a process by which children can be brought in to making music … with potentially less initial barriers.

Mike Parrott, Group Manager for Arts and Development, Walsall Education Authority


“… I was amazed at the technology, and I think it had an enormous inpact on the kids … The kids were quite frightened of it (to start with), …(but) they adapted to using it, and obviously got a great deal of enjoyment out of using it, and particularly finding the position of things.”

John Haydon Head of Science, Bishop Perowne High School, Worcester


“ … As a resource for performances I think it’s an invaluable tool.”

Stan Partington, Head of Music, Alsop High School, Liverpool


“… One of the most important things (about Soundbeam) is it’s a mechanism for inclusiveness. It can be inclusiveness within a particular cohort of children, it could be a means of getting different groups of children to come together. Obviously we do use Soundbeam a lot with the special schools, and it’s very interesting, if you actually questioned a pupil from our special schools, (they would say ) “Yes, I play the Soundbeam”. I suppose they’ve become dextrous and used to those mediums, and they would certainly regard Soundbeam and other processes being used as being just as valid and just as natural as the clarinet or kit or whatever…”.

Mike Parrott, Group Manager for Arts and Development, Walsall Education Authority


“… it allowed a lot of the children to do things that they couldn’t do … it wasn’t like the recorder players who could already play things … this was new to everybody, so everybody started from the same place.”

Kartherine Curd, Specialist Music Teacher, Leighswood Primary School, Walsall 


“…. We’ve actually got to think about the costs - 3 really good orchestral instruments could set you back the same amount of money, with less possibilities – as well as not being ‘street cred’ as far as the boys are concerned.

Mike Parrott, Group Manager for Arts and Development, Walsall Education Authority


“… Such new instruments extend the kind of instinctive relationship between movement and play described by Winnicott (1971) as essential to child development. Unlike computer keyboards and electronic pianos, which offer little or no response to emotionally-motivated or gross bodily movement, elektrokinaesthetic instruments such as Soundbeam introduce to the contemporary world of music technology the properties Young (1992) identified as formative in children’s experimentation with acoustic instruments. They offer a means of reconciling physical excitement and aesthetic experience made all the richer, more flexible and more accessible by the capacity of digital information to permit infinite variation of both sonic output and kinaesthetic control.”

Soundbeam in Walsall” – Dr Nicholas Bannan, International Centre for Research in Music Education, The University of Reading


“… Soundbeam gives us in the visual arts a chance to work with groups and the moving image in a live interaction that challenges traditional notions of ownership and sensitivity to the work of others. We are excited about using it in multi-media approaches, in performance art and in installation pieces that reflect some of the more adventurous contemporary practices in the visual arts.”

Linda Hunter, Head of Art, Backwell School, North Somerset