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A new kind of floating keyboard

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A new kind of floating keyboard

Postby Andrew Grahame » Sat Aug 05, 2017 7:53 pm

For my day job I'm a specialist school music teacher working across several primary schools. I teach classes of students from Kindergarten to Year 6. Keyboard skills forms a significant part of my work. Each of my schools is equipped with 30 basic Casio keyboards. Sometimes I use the keyboards with headphones, but I also run whole-class or small-group activities with the keyboards played out loud.

As a part-time teacher in each school I don't have a classroom exclusively for my own use. Each school has a "music room" where I teach and store equipment, but I share these spaces with others. I share with before-and-after school care, other teachers, and - in one instance - with weekend users. I've been doing this now for many years so I am well versed in the skills of operating in shared learning spaces and liaising with other users.

Using tables to support the Casio keyboards isn't straight-forward. I have access in each location to mobile collapsible tables, but I can't rely upon them being where I want them, or even available, each time I turn up to teach. Having to drag heavy tables out of storage, or repositioning them following a placement created by other users, is a hassle. Lesson time is limited, and often it's easier for the students to sit on the floor to play the instruments. While this is far simpler and saves a great deal of time and effort, this arrangement creates problems for hand position, as the keyboard is too low.

Recently I began using inexpensive plastic storage boxes to support the keyboards. This raises the instruments to a suitable height for students - sitting cross-legged on the floor - to comfortably reach the keys.

On the first day when these boxes went into use at one of my schools I asked the first class to leave the instruments in place when they left. As the next class entered, a student exclaimed "The keyboards are floating!"

This class hadn't previously seen the new setup, and in a quick glance from the classroom doorway the clear plastic boxes weren't readily seen, so it actually did look as if the keyboards were hovering above the floor!


Andrew Grahame
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Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: A new kind of floating keyboard

Postby engrssc » Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:46 pm

Great idea for kids. Wouldn't work so well with seniors at a nursing facility. :wink:

But introducing seniors to a keyboard would serve to exercise fingers, hands and even hand and eye coordination. Haven't heard of that being done.

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