WARSAW A Polish musician has created an unusual interactive instrument - a larger-than life music box bristling with xylophones and drums - that he says can help educate children and aid their development through musical play.
The Musicon comprises a rotating wooden drum fitted with removable smaller instruments. Children play notes by placing pegs in holes on the rotating drum's surface - much like a music box - but one that allows children to play any melody they like.
"Musicon is not only music, it is only a tool for learning, for development," said Kamil Laszuk, who invented the instrument and has developed it with the help of a team of close friends.
"There is also programming here, learning physics, cooperation in a team and also the development of manual skills. Music is the reward."
Laszuk developed the instrument for a project during his industrial design studies at Warsaw's Academy of Fine Arts. Following a positive reaction to his creation, his parents sold their house to help fund its development.
Warsaw's Synapsis Foundation, which helps children with autism and Asperger syndrome, suggested the instrument could be enjoyable for children suffering from those conditions.
"It is very important that there is no possibility of failure, that they can freely experiment in their own way", psychologist Joanna Burgiell said.
The instrument is due to go into production by the end of 2017.
(Writing by Mark Hanrahan in London; Editing by Stephen Powell)