Music is a universal language – or at least it should be. But what if having a physical disability makes it difficult – or impossible – for someone to learn and play a musical instrument?
For three months over the summer of 2020, eight challenge teams aimed to address the accessibility challenges of people who want to play or produce music, but find it physically challenging to do so. This collaborative virtual project brought together a wide range of stakeholders and culminated in a showcase on 2 October.
Bringing together expertise in digital innovation and design technology, musical instrument making and lived experience of disability, our eight teams aimed to build on existing work and take further steps forward in making adaptive musical instruments more affordable, making music education in schools more inclusive and uncovering new solutions that haven't been tried before.
At the culmination of the challenge, Creative United and Plexal hosted an online showcase event where the challenge teams and other contributors came together to share their ideas, solutions and responses to our challenges.
How can we build an effective supply chain of adaptive instruments into schools, ensuring that disabled children are able to fully participate in music education?
How can we redesign music production for a visually impaired person?
How can immersive technology remove the limitations that people with disabilities face with traditional instruments?
How can we improve upon the design and production processes of the existing 3D printed one handed recorder?
How can we improve the fabrication process and solve supply chain issues to make a one handed clarinet more accessible?
How can we refine the prototype electronic interface that significantly improves the accessibility of the bagpipe?
How can we standardise the production of a bespoke moulded Trombone stand to enable mass production?
How can a prosthesis that enables bow control be redeveloped into a modular device (hand/wrist/forearm) to reduce the bespoke part to the attachment to the body?