The Rhythm Circle Digital Games Project is a collaboration between musicians, digital consultants, and arts organisations. The project aims to create several simple online musical games with a focus on making them friendly for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
The project will commence with a consultation period with play therapist Andrew Kay, Attenborough Arts Centre and B'Opera (representing SEN and Early Years communities) to identify the best ways to make online musical games suitable for use by children who have special educational needs and disabilities.
Digital consultants from Trifort Solutions will then create the games in collaboration with musicians and Rhythm Circle. In early January 2021, trial participants from primary school, early years and SEN communities will be invited to trial the games.
Feedback from these trials will be used to fine-tune the games. The new online games will be made available to the general public in February 2021 via the Rhythm Circle website.
Upon release in February 2021, all the games will be free to access and use on the Rhythm Circle website by everyone.
This project is supported using public funding by Arts Council England from the National Lottery Project Grants fund.
At the time of writing, details of two games have been confirmed:
A fun way to familiarise yourself with music notation. Different levels available to suit players of different abilities.
Suitable for children aged 8 upwards.
Based on the popular tale of Jack and the Beanstalk, this game is a fun way to put your knowledge of musical tempo to good use.
Suitable for children aged 3 upwards.
We hope to develop two more games which deal with other basic musical concepts, details of which will be announced in due course.
Children find games fun and liberating. Being able to make choices which influence the outcome is empowering. This is why games are such a powerful educational tool.
At a time when children's well-being is priority for all educators, we hope that our new games will make a positive contribution to the children who play them.
Wai Sum Chong - Project Manager, Musician / piano and djembe
Wai Sum's versatility as a pianist has taken her on diverse journeys as an accompanist, dance musician and music educator. Trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, she has worked with Scottish Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, and The Purcell School.
Wai Sum is the founder-director of Rhythm Circle, a music education initiative which uses multi-sensory methods to teach music to young children.
TriFort Solutions Limited - Digital Consultants
TriFort Solutions are a Birmingham-based IT services company focused on helping small and medium sized organisations leverage high quality digital solutions.
They can produce bespoke software in the cloud, for the web, on desktop or on mobile.
Trifort aims to be a digital partner rather than simply a software supplier, working closely with clients and helping them navigate the technology minefield to make the best long-term choices.
Attenborough Arts Centre - Digital ConsultantsConsultants, SEN community liaison
The University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre prides itself on being accessible and inclusive. We want everyone to feel welcome and get involved in what we do
With over 20 years of experience, our programme offers performance, courses and workshops, contemporary art exhibitions, activities for children and families, and more.
Zoë Challenor - B'Opera / Early Years’ community liaison, Musician / voice
Zoë combines a career in singing with a passion for education. A prizewinning graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, she worked as a singing teacher and choral director at Trinity Laban Conservatoire Junior Department in London for eight years.
Zoë currently leads singing workshops and education projects for Welsh National Opera, and founded and directs B'Opera, a baby opera company producing high quality interactive workshops and performances for the very young.
Andrew Fox - Arts and Culture School Improvement Lead / Birmingham Education Partnership
BEP was established in 2013 to unite the whole family of Birmingham schools, to harness our collective strengths and to support partnership working. The Birmingham Education Partnership represents the school-led system in the face of shrinking local government.
Recognising that it takes a whole city to raise a child and that schools need to be rooted in locality, BEP champions working with all those who support and develop Birmingham’s young people.
Erica Sinclair - Musician / harp and clarinet
Erica Sinclair is a Scottish harpist currently based in Birmingham where she plays and teaches. She began studying clarsach aged seven with Bill Taylor, and began her studies in pedal harp with Alina Bzhezhinska in 2009 at Edinburgh Napier University. She then studied with Catherine White at Birmingham Conservatoire.
Erica performs regularly throughout the UK, both as an orchestral player and as a soloist; in 2015 she was soloist alongside Catherine O'Rourke for Mozart's Flute and Harp Concerto with the Highland Chamber Orchestra, and is principal harpist with the Mahler Players.
Andrew Kay - Play therapist, SEN consultant
Andrew is a qualified musician and a fully trained and qualified play therapist. He has worked widely as an educationalist in a wide range of settings, including primary schools, music services and within some of London’s leading independent schools. Andrew has taught classroom music, singing and piano, integrating Dalcroze Eurythmics as a particular feature of his teaching methodology
Currently Andrew works in St Mary's CE Primary School, Trafford and Northenden Community Primary School, Manchester as a specific learning difficulties teacher and assessor, and play therapist. Music continues to play a significant component to his professional work.