Using Sphero Specdrums In The Classroom
The Sphero Specdrums are little white rings that connect up to an app on either smartphones or tablets. They are made with durable, medical-grade silicon – which is ideal for use in a busy classroom where delicate objects can accidentally break. The silicon rings are stretchy enough to find around the smallest of fingers to the largest – so they can be used by many different year groups. The silicon material also means that the products are wipe clean, a great advantage in the current climate.
When you purchase a Sphero Specdrum you receive the musical ring, multicoloured pad, a USB charging cable, and carrying bag so that you can ensure that they are kept safe and stored correctly. The package also includes a Quick Start Guide, with instructions to help you get started and some ideas to begin implementing in the classroom to allow pupils to get to grips with the basics.
These clever devices are ideal for a classroom as they can introduce students to music and different instrumental sounds, without actually bringing the large and expensive instruments into the room. This links into the STEAM agenda, which you will notice is the traditional STEM agenda with an added ‘A’ which stands for Arts. Developing key skills within the arts not only fosters creativity but can also lead to a positive impact on young people’s mental health.
The rings are placed on the finger and contain an optical sensor on the bottom which scans any colour that it is placed on. These rings work by turning colour into sound and are a more active way for young people to get involved in musical composition. The optical sensor can recognise 12 different colours (red, orange, yellow, light green, dark green, blue, purple, pink, light pink, light orange, mid-green, and light blue).
The rings come with a portable multicoloured Play Pad, which allows pupils to identify how different sounds are linked to different colours in an accessible way, however, the rings can also work on any surface, making it far more versatile and meaning that it can be used actively around the classroom.
The Sphero Specdrums ring connects to the app easily by Bluetooth. The app itself can be altered to sound like different instruments such as Drums and Keyboards to give learners a variety of options. They can also get even more creative by recording their own sounds to match different colours. The app allows you to mix sounds together, creating beats and patterns within the music, and teaching key skills like pitch and repetition. The app includes a built-in library where students can select from a variety of different music style beats including hip hop, rainforest, funk, and soul. You can also create your own library where students can save their songs, and return on them later to work on them. The final songs can then be shared via email or social media to share student’s creations with their peers and parents, helping boost their confidence.