In this short case study from 2005, Kathy Watson discusses using a MIDIcreator to aid in communication.
This case study was previously hosted on the MIDIcreator-Resources website and is dated according to it’s original submission to that site.
I’ve been using MIDICreator with a mixed group of 16-19 year olds, two who have PMLD, others with comlex needs/autism. I’d like to describe the responses of one student.
S sat several metres away from the group, though showed interest by making fleeting eye contact. During the first few sessions, I included him from a distance by making sounds with the MIDIsensor, watching for his responses, then commenting, e.g. ‘You like that one? Let’s try it again’ etc., leaving lots of pauses with my hand held dramatically, ready to make the sound again on a signal from him. Over these weeks, I found that by including him in this way, eye contact increased, he began to relax and smile when he liked a sound, frown and shout when he didn’t like it.
We had a nice breakthrough 2 weeks ago. He was sitting in his usual place, twiddling his fingers on the table next to him. I used the MIDIsensor to ‘echo’ his movements, staring and stopping when he did. He noticed this immediatly, and every time I stopped, he looked, smiled and started again. I tried the same by using the mic and sampler, either drumming my fingers on the mike when he moved, or making small vocal sounds to match his movements. Again, he was very interested, looking and smiling, more relaxed. He then began to tolerate me going over to him with the mike (as long as I did it in a teasing way!) and after a while, he did a big vocal ‘whoop’, stood up and began to do a jumpy ‘dance’, which i joined in with vocal sounds to match our movements. He then came over and sat in the group for a short time (very rare!).
Since then, we’ve had a simliar session with good responses. It really has been worth persisting with the same activity, moving gently towards his involvement until he ‘trusted’ what was going on!
We have several pieces of Music Tech equipment in school, and they’re all great, but I really feel that our MIDIcreator is the most valuable for using in situations where communication is the focus.