Jun 23 2020
The Accessible Instrument Challenge | IAMM Hackathon Project
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?
In 2018 we launched the beginnings of what has become known as the IAMM (Inclusive Access to Music Making) initiative, which sees Creative United and Take it away work closely with partners from across the music, tech and music education sector to raise the profile of music making by disabled children and adults, increasing awareness of the opportunities and sources of support available to enable more people to access music.
The research and projects undertaken have clearly shown us that, although there are lots of adapted instruments out there, many are prototypes or bespoke. For example, the one-handed clarinet provided to Nottingham pupil Redeem is one of only two in the world and takes many months to create. What happens when five one-handed clarinets are needed for other children to start learning with their peers at the same time?
With examples like this in mind, Creative United and partners have created The Accessible Instrument Challenge – an online collaborative project that aims to address the accessibility challenges of people who want to play or produce music but find it physically challenging to do so.
The Accessible Instrument Challenge aims:
Bringing together expertise in digital innovation and design technology, musical instrument making and lived experience of disability, multiple teams will build on existing work and aim to take further steps forward in making adaptive musical instruments more affordable, music education in schools more inclusive, and uncovering new solutions that haven’t been tried before.
From supply chain issues to making production software accessible for visually impaired musicians, find out more about the challenges each team will be undertaking.
I’m up for a challenge! Can I join a team?
Absolutely! We’d love for you to get involved and join us. Here’s an overview of who we’re looking for to make up each team:
Disabled and non-disabled musicians — Instrument makers — Designers — Manufacturers — Technologists — Inventors — Innovators — Music teachers — Academics — Students
Are you one of the above?
Applications close on 17th July – please get in touch if you’ve got any questions.
Funded by Arts Council England, the project is designed to raise awareness of the challenges facing people with disabilities playing traditional musical instruments and find practical solutions that will enable them to participate fully in music making.
Plexal is the innovation centre and coworking space that believes in the power of collaboration. We’re building a diverse innovation ecosystem to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing society –starting with cybersecurity, mobility and inclusion.
Our innovation team delivers programmes for clients like Innovate UK and Transport for London, and specialises in forging connections between industry, academia, investors, startups and scaleups.
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In the inclusion space, we run the OpenDoor accelerator and are working with partners like UCL and Disability Rights UK to optimise our workspace for accessibility and champion disability-led innovation.
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The OHMI Trust
The OHMI Trust works to remove the barriers to music-making faced by people with physical disabilities. Any deficiency in an upper limb makes nearly all musical instruments unplayable to any reasonable standard. As a result, thousands are excluded from music-making, including most disabled children.
The OHMI Trust strives for full, undifferentiated, participation in musical life for disabled people through the creation and provision of adapted musical instruments and enabling apparatus. It also undertakes and commissions research into pedagogic practises, instrument design, and manufacturing methods.
Creative. Collaborative. Comprehensive. Hobs 3D offers one of the most complete ranges of 3D services in the world. We bridge the gap between digital and physical 3D creation, employing a select and diverse team of 3D printing specialists, model makers, product designers, 3D digital artists and MIxed Reality XR/VR/AR immersive storytellers.
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UCL is a diverse global community of world-class academics, students, industry links, external partners, and alumni. Our powerful collective of individuals and institutions work together to explore new possibilities.
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Creative United is an independent Community Interest Company that provides finance-based products and services designed to deliver economic growth and social impact to the arts, creative and cultural sectors.
The Take it away scheme is one of its flagship programmes, which supports participation in music by providing interest free loans for the purchase of musical instruments, equipment and software to enable music making at every level.
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