Assistive music technology in the special needs classroom.

Deborah Nelson is a music teacher at the Royal Palm School in Florida.   She uses assistive technology to support her students with special needs in classroom music activities.

The music curriculum requires students to attend, explore and react to music and assistive technology helps to engage more students in active participation in music lessons. For Deborah, one of the key benefits of the wireless Skoog is that it enables students with severe disabilities to play musical sounds within their belief system. Deborah and her team have found the Skoog to be a particularly effective technology with students who are tactile defensive due to the soft feel of the interface.

In this short video, Deborah describes some of the ways they are using Skoog in their music lessons.

(Skoog 2.0 is available online via and in selected apple retail stores)

“The Students work to recognise cause and effect, visual tracking and motor planning.”


The team at Royal Palm routinely use a range of technologies to support their students. They often make use of Apple TV’s connectivity with iPad to engage the whole class in an activity.  When using Skoog this means that students not actively playing can hear and see what their peers are doing.  This simple feature offered as standard by Apple TV opens up iPad activity to the whole class enabling a more social approach to using these types of technologies in the classroom.


Deborah also uses the original Skoog 1 and continues to use the USB Skoog technology with the Skoogmusic software platform. The sampling function in the original Skoogmusic software makes it easy to record sounds for students to trigger by touching the Skoog interface. This can be combined with visual stimuli to promote matching and even copying sequences.

Deborah’s students enjoy using the physically modeled sounds in the Skoogmusic software. These provide a wide range of expressive timbres which the students really enjoy.

Thanks to everyone at the Royal Palm School in Florida for sharing their inspiring work.  We will soon be bringing physical modeled sounds into the Skoog App for iOS for Skoog 2.0 further expanding the range of timbres you can access from within the App.  There are many sampling Apps on iOS that you can use to trigger your own recorded sounds with Skoog.

For a wider range of instrument sounds there 100+ instruments available via GarageBand and many other MIDI compatible apps for iOS, such as Noise by ROLI.

Want to learn more about using Skoog with other Apps?

Here is a video about using Skoog 2.0 with GarageBand, exploring sampling, recording and some of the smart instruments features.

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