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In the last few decades, the rapid development of electronic music technologies has changed the way society interacts with music, which in turn impacts the profession of music therapy. Except

In the last few decades, the rapid development of electronic music technologies has changed the way society interacts with music, which in turn impacts the profession of music therapy. Except for a few cases, music therapy has not extensively explored the integration of new technology. However, current research trends show a willingness and excitement to explore the possibilities (Nagler, 2011; Ramsey, 2011; Magee, et al., 2011; Magee & Burland, 2008; Magee 2006). The project described in this paper intends to demonstrate one of these possibilities by combining modern technologies to create an interactive musical system with practical applications in music therapy. In addition to designing a practical tool, the project aims to question the role of technology in music therapy and to initiate dialogue between technologists and music therapists. The project, entitled MIST: A Musical Interactive Space for Therapy, uses modern gestural technology (the Microsoft® Kinect®) to capture body movements and turn them into music. It is intended for use in a clinical setting with children with mild to moderate disabilities. The system is a software/hardware package that is inexpensive, user-friendly, and portable. There are two functional modes of the system: the first sonifies specific movement tasks of reaching and balancing; the second is an interactive musical play space in which an entire room becomes responsive to presence and movement, creating a sonic playground. The therapeutic goals of the system are to motivate and train physical movement, encourage exploration of space and the body, and allow for musical expression, play, auditory perception, and social interaction.

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    by Kimberlee Headlee

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