A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
About this project
About 1,500 children in the United States are born each year with a limb difference. Many more lose limbs to accidents and disease. Most of these children will have to play recorder as part of their elementary music programs, and some may have an interest in recorder of their own accord.
For children with limb differences, playing the recorder can be challenging, if not impossible. These children can feel frustrated and left out, as they are unable to play with their peers.
Triple Play is our solution!
The Triple Play is an adaptation designed for soprano recorder which makes the instrument more accessible to people with limb differences. It adds keys to the bottom three holes of the instrument, making the full range of the recorder playable with just six fingers.
The cluster of three keys augments a Yamaha YRS-24B plastic recorder. Triple Play allows the user to press multiple keys with one finger, and to change easily between keys.
Doesn't this already exist?
While there are other adaptive recorder solutions already on the market, they are expensive, difficult to use, or low quality. All of these factors make them challenging in a classroom setting.
Triple Play is intuitive, affordable, and durable.
How Does the Triple Play Work?
Is it difficult to play?
The key layout is intuitive and is designed for simple transitions between notes.
Who can use Triple Play?
The Triple Play will allow more children with limb differences to be included fully in music class. It is possible that musicians with low muscle strength or other disabilities could also benefit from the adaptation.
Our beta testers are providing invaluable feedback to make the Triple Play even more approachable.
We are asked about this every time we teach a levels course, and we don't know what to tell teachers. This would be a great solution for so many children.
Allen Moody, JoElla Hug, and Laura Koulish - Orff Music Teachers
My student figured out what keys went with what notes right away. It was really intuitive!
Alicia Smith - Elementary Music Teacher
Other Responses from Educators and Parents
"This is an amazing idea. You have found your calling."
"You should do a session on this at next year's [music] conference."
"This is the future."
"This would make such a difference."
"This is a needed use of technology."
We've arrived at a great design, and now we are nearly ready to begin working with our manufacturing partner. Currently, we are finishing up the testing phase. Once we meet our Kickstarter goal, the manufacturing process will begin.
Valerie is a music educator and a musician with a limb difference. As a child, Valerie didn't get very far playing the recorder. Now she plays Moeck recorders with keys added by Peter Worrell. Valerie enjoys playing in ensembles and in English Country dance bands. She is a lifelong member of the Helping Hands Foundation and she loves to help children with limb differences succeed! Read more on her adaptive instrument blog Another Way to Play.
Makers4Good connects engineers, product manufacturers, and makers with philanthropic projects. By securing the engineering talent that created the Triple play, Makers4Good has helped make Valerie's vision a reality.
Founded in 2011 in the heart of Silicon Valley, Extrasensory Devices has launched several successful Kickstarter campaigns. Recognizing the disparity between the wealth of the Bay Area and the poorer economic conditions elsewhere in the world, Extrasensory Devices works to address rising global need as embodied in its credo "100% Profits to Charity." Read more about their philanthropic campaigns on ESDevices.com.
Helping Those in Need
With your help, we can donate adaptive recorders to many that would not otherwise be able to get one! Through contacts at the Helping Hands Foundation, we are identifying students and teachers to support.
Makers4Good is committed to getting Triple Plays to all children who need them through our Tester Program.
If the $20 backer level is prohibitive, support us at the $1 level and we will invite you to join our Tester Program. Testers provide us valuable feedback as they use their recorder. Unfortunately, this program is only for those currently in the US. We hope to expand this in the future.
Risks and challenges
While we have already cleared large design hurdles such as intonation and hole closure, we are expecting similar challenges during manufacturing and fulfillment. Our design partners are highly experienced in rising to the challenges of bringing products to market, and we believe we are prepared for any issues that may arise along the way.
Extrasensory Devices is well prepared for the challenges posed on the fulfillment end of things, having successfully shipped over 10,000 Kickstarter-backed units to happy backers.
We already have a working prototype for the Triple Play and are weighing our best manufacturing options. The manufacturing run will go quickly as we have already sourced needed materials. This will help us ship units to backers quickly!
Thanks to Valerie's strong connection to the Helping Hands Foundation along with her contacts in the music teaching community, we have already identified many students who would benefit from this adaptation.