Benno Spieker is a PhD student at the Human Media Interaction group at the university of Twente and at the Institute for Psycho-accoustics and Electronic Music (IPEM) at the university of Ghent (joint-PhD).
Benno has a master degree in Musicology from Utrecht University (MA, 2015, cum laude) and a bachelor degree in Teaching Music in Schools from ArtEZ School of Music in Arnhem (2003). After working at Liemers College (secondary education, 2002-2009) and Iselinge Hogeschool (Pedagogical Academy for Primary Education, 2009-2017), Benno currently teaches students to become music teachers themselves at ArtEZ School of Music in Enschede (on Monday's and Thursday's, started in 2015). On Friday's Benno is project manager of the Dutch foundation which promotes music in primary education (Méér muziek in de klas). On voluntary basis Benno is board member of the Dutch network of teacher educators in music education (NMP) and board member of the Dutch union of teachers in school music (VLS). To keep a healthy connection with the music practice, Benno plays drums/percussion with Dutch soprano singer Laura Engel and her En-canto.
The PhD-research has been aimed at interactive music technology and how they contribute to joint rhythmical music making in music education in primary education in the Netherlands. It embroiders on research Benno has done as part of his master thesis (written in Dutch) at the university of Utrecht. Therefore a new social music game In the Zone (ITZ) has been developed and tested.
Currently ITZ consists of four drum pads, positioned around a computer screen facing upwards. ITZ allows participants to drum together while in real time receiving visual feedback on the accuracy in synchronization of their joint drumming. When a certain degree of accuracy in synchronicity is established over a certain amount of drum hits, a circle is presented on a computer screen. This may challenge participants to synchronize more accurately. ITZ was presented (paper) at the ESCOM2017 conference on research in music cognition. ITZ will be enhanced, improved and expanded for research purposes in accordance with the current Ph.D. research.