Tennessee School For The Blind

The following article was found when looking through archived marketing material.  What a gem!

Tactile Sound…The Resonating Music Floor and its Purpose

The resonating music floor has been designed for those with multiple disabilities who are both verbal and non-verbal having sensory impairments such as: hearing, visual, and tactile deficits.  The technology of the floor’s structure ushers in the “third dimension,” or sensory input of touch to the existing inputs of sound and sight, which stimulates every facet of the child’s being.  Thus, the odds of a child responding would be much greater with this unique vehicle of communication.  The Tactile Sound Transducers, supplied by Clark Synthesis, Inc., hold the ability to help develop and reinforce basic concepts including: rhythm, tempo, dynamics, verbalization, socialization, coordination, gross motor skills, and self-awareness in all children.  For example, children who have difficulty moving to a beat will not only hear, but will also sense the pulse in their bodies, which helps them identify more clearly when to move.

Motivation, behavior modification, and stimulation have been the most obvious benefits of this system.  Inappropriate behaviors in various students have many times instantly changed due to direct use of the floor.  It is said that music has a calming effect, and after some hands-on experience, this proves true.  Many hyperactive children when initially encountering the vibrating floor, would leave their chairs to lay peacefully on the surface, embracing its effects.  On the other hand, there have been cases of several inactive or non-participant children who would cheerfully jump from their chair to leap, shake, and dance to the inviting pulse they felt and heard.

In regard to motivation, non-verbal children who would not respond to verbal stimulation alone, had been seen clapping, stamping, jumping, swaying, etc…to acquire the floor.  One such student who formerly refused to cooperate or participate in activities, became so enthusiastic about the vibrations that he did just about anything, including actually verbalizing and singing small phrases of music to gain the reward of the music floor.  This proved not only his reward, but a vital key to his development and growth.  Another student became so attached to the floor that he would actually cry and express extreme dissatisfaction when having to leave the classroom every day.

Stimulation for the deaf/blind child proves vital to his/her development.  For this person, sensory impairments are the most severe for he/she lives in an isolated world.  With the resonating floor, it is possible to communicate the concept of sound and rhythm in a tangible way through touch.

One exciting adaptation of this system involves connecting a microphone in such a way that a student can feel the vibrations of his/her voice while speaking or singing into it.  The entire room resonates as they vocalize.  This technique works tremendously well with non-verbal or verbally delayed students because again, another sensory input is added resonance.  There was a verbally delayed student who greatly disliked microphones and refused to vocalize in their presence.  However, when presented with this microphone, she actually reached for the mic and spoke/sang to her heart’s content.  It became difficult to remove the microphone from her!  Other like cases have developed directly from this feature.

It’s exciting to watch students emerge and progress with almost immediate effects due to this floor system.  Though the technology recently has developed, many lives have already been greatly impacted by its existence.  As you can see, many gains have already been accomplished with use of the resonating floor, and I’m sure there will be many more that are yet untapped.


Georgette Atsedes, BM

Tennessee School for the Blind

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