The Byte That Heals

By
Danielle Dreilinger
June 1, 2010
Student Jin Ku Kim shows off the musical possibilities of a brand-new iPad at the Music Technology in Therapeutic and Health Settings Symposium.
Wendy Magee is a visiting professor in Berklee's Music Therapy Department.
Richard Boulanger, electronic production and design professor, gets down with his bad, healing self.
Suzanne Hanser, Ed.D., chair of the Music Therapy Department
Evan Allen, an electronic production and design major, demonstrates RemixGame, which turns video game controllers into musical instruments.
Speaker Annette Whitehead-Pleaux of Shriners Hospitals for Children, Boston
Presenter Michael Bertolami of Perkins School for the Blind
Blocks: not just for children's castles anymore. These are wired to produce musical notes.
Michael Moniz, Berklee faculty, chairs a panel discussion on research findings about the clinical applications of music software in therapeutic settings.
Speaker Lorrie Kubicek of Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
The day's hosts and presenters
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Kelly Davidson
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Kelly Davidson
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Kelly Davidson
Photo by Kelly Davidson
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Kelly Davidson
Photo by Kelly Davidson
Photo by Phil Farnsworth

The field of music therapy has gone high-tech—and Berklee, with its cutting-edge technology, is in the thick of it. In April, a symposium brought together a wealth of resources and experts to discuss and demonstrate how music technology can help patients heal. Visiting professor Wendy Magee, Ph.D., chaired the event.

Attendees flocked to workstations demonstrating such tools as Switch Ensemble, a computer program that allows people with limited mobility and expression to play music; Soundbeam, a device that turns physical movements into musical notes; and Wiimotes. Professionals working in the field, including Berklee faculty member Julie Buras Zigo, presented panel discussions on ways to apply the tools in clinical and education settings. To end the day, students from Berklee's Electronic Production and Design Department gave a performance under the supervision of professor Richard Boulanger that showed off the artistic and creative possibilities of technology.

The Music Technology in Therapeutic and Health Settings Symposium was funded by the Leverhulme Trust UK, the Berklee Music Therapy Department and Professional Education Division, and Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability Institute of Neuropalliative Rehabilitation.

Click the photo to see images of the day's events.