“Bang! Zap!” were the words coming from my students' smiling mouths as they ran their fingers along the lights emitting from the Beamz controller in front of them, interacting with the samples in the application and creating music with just a wave of their hands. Making music by manipulating a beam of light is not an everyday experience for a normal person.
Beamz Interactive was started by Arizona songwriter and musician Jerry Riopelle. His vision to play music with light was how the latest midi laser controller from Beamz got made into reality. Being ahead of its time, Jerry waited 5 years for the technology to mature while he worked on the prototype before finally creating the Beamz Interactive company and putting the its first controller into mass production for the public. Since its first production run, Beamz controllers have been in the hands of special education teachers, DJs across the nation and a range of musical artists that are collaborating with the company making content and using Beamz as unique means to interact with their respective fan bases. Some of the artists involved include Peter Erskine, Craig Chaquico, Euge Groove, David Ellefson, Flo Rida and Roy “Futureman” Wooten. . More than just a method for entertainment for consumers, thanks to a therapist in the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, it was realized that Beamz Interactive controllers can be used as a tool to speed up therapeutic outcomes. Now the controllers are used by occupational therapists, music therapists, recreational therapists, physical therapists and even speech therapists.
If you have seen the Beamz before, the product itself is truly something that you might need to take a second look at now with its’ latest MIDI controller offering compatibility to use with an iPad. At first glance it might seem toy-like with its simplistic design and complete ease of use, but looking further one starts to see the exciting possibilities to connect and engage with students. With a friendly user interface, the Beamz has a very simple learning curve, which allows for speedy orientation to the operations of the hardware and software. Once acquainted, the user has opened up a new world of endless music creation opportunities.
Another high point to the Beamz product is its interactivity with real instruments. Several rhythm tracks are already programmed into the software with up to 12 instrument samples that can be swapped out. Beamz has even gone the extra mile increating their interactive songs with changing dynamics adding that extra level of opportunity to its creatively inspired user.
Beamz is already in use in a few hundred schools with occupational therapists, Autism coaches and in special education classrooms. As it moves forward they are looking into general education and where the instrument can be used in the classroom. The company is in a content expansion mode and are company is in a content expansion mode and is looking for interested collaborators and educators who are innovative and forward thinking to get creative with Beamz in their classrooms. They are ready and open to seeing where their product can go next with a focus on education. From creating music, to composing a background track for a project, or even introducing younger children to new instruments, there is a whole new world opening up with the product. If you have new ideas on how to integrate this within the music classroom, or on how Beamz can help in the world using Arts so that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) may become STEAM, contact email@example.com.
The Beamz midi laser controller gives users a step ahead in music and technology with the innovation of manipulating light as an instrument. The company provides support through webinars, Skype trainings, phone interviews, new content creation, lessons plans, quick start and activity guides, and social media. Visiting the education and healthcare section of their web site is the best place to get started – www.thebeamz.com/education-heathcare.
A big thank you to Al Ingallinera for sharing more about Beamz Interactive with TI:ME. Be sure to email Al at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in learning more about collaborating with the company.