About Spiritus Studios

About Spiritus Studios

Spiritus Studios offers Rhythm and Beat based lessons and workshops for children with special needs, aimed to promote physical, emotional, social and cognitive (memory, attention and learning ability) development, through horses, music or a combination of both.

An idea conceived when Caren was just fourteen; Spiritus Studios is the result of PhD Research conducted in the field of Fine Art - Equine Therapy. Having an initial background in Sculpture specialising in Audio Visual Media, Caren’s research set down to design and develop an Audio Visual approach to Equine Therapy, thereby making it more accessible to a broader public body. Ultimately her research focussed on Rhythm and Beat Perception, an element characteristic to both Equine Motion and Music.

Spiritus Studios incorporates the theories and findings fundamental to this field of research, in order to promote learning, memory, attention, behaviour and physical abilities.  Ultimately, it strives to assist children and young people with Special Needs achieve a greater potential using Rhythm and Beat based activities.


Personal Info


Rhythm & Beat Perception

Rhythm and Beat Perception Synchronisation is the body’s innate ability to move in sync to beat based rhythms. It can be achieved by physical or acoustical stimulation and is noticeable at an early stage by babies and young toddlers who bob to music. The perception of beat based rhythms has lots of effects within the body. It can stimulate performance, performance velocity, memory, attention and learning ability. This is evident on a daily basis; when we tap our feet in time to music, when the opening bars of a song stimulates the memory of the lyrics, and when our finger movement’s increase in accuracy and pace as we learn the piano. Music consists of a series of beats and rhythms, played over time. In order to perceive music, our brains must remain ‘on-line’ and requires a degree of Temporal Order Processing, so as to piece the various melodies together. This is much the same in a learning or educational environment, where, in order to follow teaching instruction, a child’s brain must sequence information together. However, children with poor timing skills or attention problems have great difficulty achieving this. This also applies, when learning new tasks. It has been determined that a child’s rhythm keeping ability can correspond with their learning ability, in that poor timing skills can often result in poor learning ability. Incidentally, rhythm keeping ability is a very simple skill, which can be taught and learned, encouraging children to process, sequence and pay attention to time based stimuli. Furthermore, regular beat based rhythms have also been shown to stimulate areas of the brain involved in social and emotional behaviour. This in turn can have a greater effect on our behaviour, and our learning ability. Ultimately by teaching children, basis and fundamental skills through rhythm and beat based exercises we can create a greater environment for self-development. For further information or advice on Rhythm and Beat Perception, and how it might assist your child, please feel free to contact Caren.  

Caren Hession Music

In conjunction with her research, for the past 8 years, Caren has been developing her vocal style, song writing and performance skills under the tuition of several internationally recognised Vocal Coaches. Influenced by Gospel, Soul, R&B and Irish folk, Caren is currently training under the guidance of Industry Vocal Coach Joshua Alamu (aka Mad About The Voice), where she is working on her first original album. Her songs explore sentimental moments in time, through heartfelt soulful melodies. Ultimately they echo a similar role to that of her Art Works - acting as a further means of creative and emotional expression. Alongside this, Caren coordinates ‘Mad About The Voice Ireland’- which offers tuition and mentorship in the areas of Vocal Technique, Vocal Style and Stage Performance from Industry Vocal Coach Joshua Alamu, on a bi-monthly basis, through one to one private lessons and group workshops. Caren is currently working as a Trainee Apprentice Vocal Coach under Joshua’s instruction. For more information on Mad About The Voice Ireland please visit: http://joshuaalamu.com/studios/mad-about-the-voice-ireland/  

Creative Artists Statement

Caren is a Galway based artist whose creative work revolves around historical human equine relationships and the contemporary role of the horse as a medium to transport thoughts, feeling and emotions associated with social and emotional conditioning. Caren is interested in the influences society at large impose on us: the manner in which we position ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally and subsequently, the effects this can have on Self-Actualisation. Her recent work explores the fundamental elements of Equine Therapy, as well as the documented findings from her own studies in Rhythm and Beat Perception, in which she uses the physiological and acoustical elements of the horse to assess the benefits of Equine Therapy for children with Special Needs. By drawing a comparison to the repetitive and somewhat restrictive behavioural patterns often imposed through social and emotional conditioning, Caren creates site specific orchestrational works which not only evokes contemplation in the viewer, it also places them in a position where they too may be subject to therapeutic properties of Rhythm and Beat Perception. Through an exploration of the rapport between the external pressures of a conditioning society and the internal conflicts often associated in meeting those demands, Caren’s work attempts to exploit the dualistic relationship of Self-Actualisation, by anchoring reference within intangible human equine partnerships.  


Contact Caren

Email: caren@spiritusstudios.com

About Dr. Caren Hession

Having an early interest in Special Needs and over ten years experience working in the field, Caren’s work revolves around Rhythm and Beat Perception, an element characteristic of both Equine Motion and Music. In particular, her work focuses time based stimuli and its role in promoting learning ability, memory, attention and performance. Her PhD Research, which included the coordination of over 180 children with special needs across Ireland to participate in a self designed therapeutic programme involving equines and music, has been presented nationally and internationally, in Ireland, Greece, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Poland, Germany and the USA. In addition to this, Caren remains dedicated to her first love, singing. Over the past eight years, Caren has devoted considerable time to developing her skills in vocal technique, vocal style, song writing and performance under the guidance of several internationally recognised vocal coaches, most influentially, Joshua Alamu. Caren is currently working on her first original solo album.