A music teacher from Audley, Staffordshire, has designed a new musical instrument tailored to the needs of disabled children.
Called Khoros, the device is made up of a series of coloured pads that emit sound and light when touched. It can also play back voice recordings too.
The instrument’s creator, Paul Rogerson, has now begun selling it to schools, hospices and children’s wards.
Speaking to local paper The Sentinel, he explained how he identified the need for disabled children to interact more with music, which can be a powerful tool to aid development and engagement with others.
“To me music is the most important thing in my life, it’s a cliche but it is a universal language,” he said.
“With the Khoros I often get members of staff saying it has had an effect on pupils who have never really engaged before, and it’s great to see these mini miracles.”
Paul got the idea for the device while running workshops for vulnerable groups of children. Following the sessions, he set to designing something that kids could engage with for therapeutic use.
An earlier prototype of the Khoros used a giant dance mat to generate sounds as users jumped up and down on it. The finished product is more sophisticated however and can be assembled in a variety of different shapes and patterns for use on floors and tabletops.
“The Khoros is almost like an oversized, colourful keyboard – you can walk on it, run wheelchairs across it, or put it on a table and use your hands,” Paul added.
Early success has led Paul to set up his own one-man business, Touching Sounds, which he hopes to expand over the next year. His plan is to increase and widen distribution of the Khoros to multi-sensory firms who will then sell the device on his behalf.
What do you think of the Khoros? Do you have any experiences of utilising music for therapeutic purposes?
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