MAMI Tech Toolkit Utilising Action Research to Develop a Technological Toolkit to Facilitate Access to Music-Making

MAMI Tech Toolkit Utilising Action Research to Develop a Technological Toolkit to Facilitate Access to Music-Making
Author: Ward, Asha (1 October 2020)


Music is essential to most of us, it can light up all areas of the brain, help develop skills with communication, help to establish identity, and allow a unique path for expression. However, barriers to access or gaps in provision can restrict access to music-making and sound exploration for some people. Research has shown that technology can provide unique tools to access music-making but that technology is underused by practitioners. This action research project details the development and design of a technological toolkit called MAMI – the Modular Accessible Musical Instrument technology toolkit - in conjunction with stakeholders from four research sites. Stakeholders included music therapists, teachers, community musicians, and children and young people. The overarching aims of the research
were: to explore how technology was incorporated into practices of music creation and sound exploration; to explore the issues that stakeholders had with current music technology; to create novel musical tools and tools that match criteria as specified by stakeholders, and address issues as found in a literature review; to assess the effectiveness of these novel tools with a view to improving practices; and to navigate propagation of the practices, technologies, and methods used to allow for transferability into the wider ecology. Outcomes of the research include: a set of design considerations that contribute to knowledge around
the design and practical use of technological tools for music-making in special educational needs settings; a series of methodological considerations to help future researchers and developers navigate the process of using action research to create new technological tools with stakeholders; and the MAMI Tech Toolkit – a suite of four bespoke hardware tools and accompanying software - as an embodiment of the themes that emerged from: the cycles of action research; the design considerations; and a philosophical understanding of music creation that foregrounds it as an situated activity within a social context.

Publication details
View Item