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School for deaf young people try out new AI technology to explore access to music

Posted in News

Press release from Mary Hare

“On Friday 15 September, deaf young people who attend Mary Hare School had the opportunity to engage with sound and music through innovative vibration technology.

Mary Hare School is a large and vibrant school for deaf children and young people between ages 4 to 19, and is based near Newbury, Berkshire.

SoundX is a research and innovation company, dedicated to the development of inclusive sound technological solutions. Their flagship project is an ecosystem combining artificial intelligence with vibration backpacks that enable deaf people to feel music. Using AI, the technology is able to translate real time sound into vibrations and the packs have been designed for and calibrated by the deaf community. Not only are the low frequencies transmitted, but also the entire audio spectrum, allowing users to feel the melody, rhythm, and the emotional aspect of sound.

SoundX visited Mary Hare School for the students to try out this new technology for the first time and was arranged as part of the school’s continuing exploration for creative solutions for deaf young people to access the performing arts. Using the vibration backpacks within their normal timetabled music lesson, they were able to explore how they might be able to access a wider range of sound using the support of this new technology. This included their first try at playing the saxophone, of which many of the students enjoyed. This technology is also said to be able to support students in finding their voice in Speech and Language Therapy sessions.

There are many students at Mary Hare School who already learn a musical instrument, and so this trial of the technology was an opportunity to explore how it might unlock some potential and interest for some of the students who may have previously thought playing an instrument wasn’t a possibility for them.

For more information about Mary Hare School, visit www.maryhare.org.uk