Form lets deaf pediatric patients to experience music therapy anew through a haptic blanket.
In 2013 I attended a concert where I lost some of my high-frequency hearing and gained tinnitus due to an acoustic trauma. I was a classical singer, and it changed completely the way I experienced sound. Later, in my graduate work, I aligned with the music therapists and residents of Elizabeth Seton Children's. Form was the result of our profound collaboration to rethink how therapeutic sound is experienced. Form is a blanket and music therapy tool that translates audio music into haptic feedback for pediatric patients who are deaf or hearing impaired, whose body shapes, sizes, and abilities aren't considered by traditional instruments. We associate sound with listening, but it is as physical as audial; our world simply hasn't been built for those who primarily feel it. While Form was built to empower a small group, my hope and experience is that it also empowers those who come in contact with it to think about how we might build and experience our world differently, for everyone.