Resonance Board

What’s the purpose of a Resonance Board?

A resonance board gives a child more feedback, which facilitates his development of spatial and auditory awareness and helps him become a more active learner.

“The special quality of the board is that any movement on its surface will produce amplified sound and matching vibration, and it will vibrate to music or voices aimed at it even if the sound-maker is not in direct contact with the wood. If you have a board, [other] professionals can be brought in to explore it, to experiment with it, and to collaborate in developing ideas to help individual children. Above all, let the children you know show you how to use the board, and let your imaginations and creative impulses run free together. Discovering these boards almost twenty years ago changed my life in the most positive ways, and I hope the discovery changes your life too.”

– David Brown

David Brown, a specialist in Deaf-Blindness from California Deaf-Blind Services, has elaborated on the use of resonance boards in an article located on the National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness website:

Resonance Board: What is it?

Introducing the Resonance Board

Resonance Board: What About Feet?

Depending on how you use the board, you’ll see different responses from the child. Use the Look For Checklist to increase the child’s opportunities to explore and learn.

The resonance board can be used with students of any age. The size of the board has to be designed for the length and width of the student with arms extended if that is typical for the student.

Yes. The resonance board provides feedback for even the smallest movement to the whole body. It can give a child who is often in a wheelchair a chance to become aware of where his body is in space and how it can move. Decide which items are most motivating to the child and where the items can be placed so the child can access them and move purposefully.


Resonance Boards

By David Brown

This introductory article includes detailed instructions for building a resonance board, how to introduce it to a child, and other topics.

Items for Use with the Resonance Board

By Kathee Scoggin

This list is just a start. Use your imagination to think of items that might be interesting to a particular child.

Phone, Hair ribbons with bells, Tissue paper, Fingernail brushes

Jingle bells

Stuffed animal

Measuring spoons

Mylar pom pom

Car keys

Blocks with bells inside

Cultural items

Aluminum pans

Hair dryer, Nail polish, Jewelry, Toothbrush

Hairbrush, comb


Plate, cup, bowl, spoon, fork

Musical instruments

Salt shaker with beads inside

Pair of glasses/ glasses case


Cooking utensils

Placement of Items on the Resonance Board

By Kathee Scoggin

By placing the same objects in the same location on the resonance board in relation to the child’s starting position, you’re increasing the likelihood that he will develop “spatial memory” for those objects.

Step 1: Introduce child to the resonance board. (Refer to David Brown’s article above for guidance.)


Step 2: Then add items.


Learn More About Dr. Lilli Nielsen

Lilli Nielsen originally promoted the use of resonance boards with children with visual impairment and other disabilities. This website contains additional information.