Student – Honorable Mention: Wild Card


Student – Honorable Mention: Wild Card

Rachel Balma

Form is a blanket and music-therapy tool that translates audio music into varied, haptic feedback for pediatric patients who are deaf or hearing impaired and who have varied body shapes, sizes, and abilities. Form takes a fluid and familiar shape, a blanket, to meet their varied needs.

Pediatric patients who are deaf or profoundly hearing impaired rely on the tangible aspects of music to gain benefit from music therapy, a creative and clinical practice that can play a key role in their growth and development. However, traditional instruments were largely built for an audio sound experience and for bodies that fall towards the center of the bell curve.

Form allows music therapists to use their own familiar interface, gives patients with some hearing a dual experience, and gives patients who are deaf a more nuanced haptic feedback than a traditional instrument is able to. Form is an answer to an opportunity, but also an exploration into all of our perspectives on music, sound, and ability

This was a “solo” thesis project, but it could not have been done without the advice, time, and dedication of:
James Maxson, MM, LCAT, MT-BC, Music Therapist;
Brian House, MS, PhD Computer Music;
Parents, staff, and residents of Elizabeth Seton Children’s.