Welcome to iMUSE

iMUSE is a Centre for Research and Training in the use of Interactive Multi-Sensory Environments for improving the quality of life of children with special needs and the elderly in long-term care.

iMUSE interactions support:

  • expression
  • communication
  • aesthetic resonance
  • awareness of control
  • exploration
  • ludic engagement.

The iMUSE Research and Training Centre is located in the North East of England at the University of Sunderland, Faculty of Arts, Design and Media.

iMUSE is contributing to a Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) for Music and Inclusivity. The CETL is a regional consortium of music and performing arts departments from six universities in the North East of the UK, which provide:

  • courses focusing on music and
  • inclusivity for the shared audience of students at the partner universities.

A therapy session [photo]


  • The current iMUSE environment is the result of Professor Phil Ellis' field-based research since 1992. He has developed sound-based interventions for children with cerebral palsy (CP) and with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) using music technology.
  • From 1998 vibro-acoustic devices were added allowing sound to be experienced as auditory and tactile sensation via vibrations. Additional intervention methods were developed for elderly participants in long-term care.
  • Since 2004 a variety of graphical representations of sound and movement have been added to the environment providing a higher degree of immersion for participants.

For a detailed account please view the following PDF document:

Ellis, P. (2006). The development of interactive multi-sensory environments for expression, 1992-2007. Keynote address presented to the Luxembourg society for Music Therapy.


Click to go to iMuse sessions for children with special needs

Click to go to iMuse sessions for elderly in long-term care