Smart Band Technology: A Music-Based Activity for the Thai Elderly
Keywords:Music, Smart Band, Therapy, Music Activity, Angklung, Elderly, Thai Aging Society, Music Therapy
The Smart Band Application is a music application paired with a hardware device designed for the Thai elderly at foster care homes to enhance group participation in musical-based activities. It is small, wireless (or wired) and easily attached to most instruments that produce pitches. For this research a set of eight angklungs (a SE Asia bamboo tube shaker instrument) covering the range from C to high C was selected. Angklungs are affordable, easy to play and have an appealing sound. Eight Smart Band devices, which consist of a set of sensors and vibrators, were attached to the angklungs to collect data during the research. The study’s participants were 30 elderly female volunteers who had no music background, living in the Tiwanon’s Friendship and Welfare Foundation care facility in Nonthaburi. The “Smart Band” devices were incorporated into group musical activites in the care home where they providing timing cues to each participant during song playing sessions. Participants were interviewed to provide feedback on its effectiveness and functionality. The potential for self-led or leaderless sessions and the impact on motor skills, cognitive and focus factors are also discussed.
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