Guide to Buying Adaptive Musical Instruments
Creative United and partners release the first Guide to Buying Adaptive Musical Instruments
Compiled over the last 12 months, the Guide to Buying Adaptive Musical Instruments includes details of more than 80 products, from batons and bows to one-handed clarinets and saxophones, that have been specially designed to make learning and playing musical instruments of all kinds as accessible as possible for disabled players of all ages.
The guide is the first of its kind and has been created in response to research undertaken by the Take it away Consortium (a partnership between Creative United, Drake Music, Music for Youth, The OHMI Trust, Open Up Music and Youth Music) in 2018, which identified that a significant barrier to participation in music for disabled children was a lack of access to, and knowledge about the existence of adaptive musical instruments and assistive equipment.
The research findings showed that 59% of the music retailers said they were not aware of any specialist products or adapted instruments. Only 54% of music educators and less than 25% of parents with disabled children agreed with the statement “I know how and where to source an adapted musical instrument”.
The publication of the guide aims to directly address this issue by raising awareness of the extraordinary range of adaptive instruments that are currently available, with the hope that this will inspire and encourage many more disabled people to be confident of their ability to learn and play music.
The 37-page document collates a range of musical instruments, from prototypes and bespoke to commercially available, and common accessories. The aim of the guide is to provide a central resource that can be referred to as guidance and ideas for all – individuals, parents, teachers, schools and retailers. The guide is not intended to be an exhaustive list, as new products and prototypes are constantly being developed and launched.
The guide also highlights that some of the instruments have been developed as bespoke solutions and are not yet commercially available, a question that Creative United and their partners will seek to address in the year ahead through the ‘IAMM Hackathon’ project to be launched next month.