What is this guide?
Introducing the first Guide to Buying Adaptive Musical Instruments.
This guide includes details of more than 80 musical instruments and products, from prototypes and bespoke to commercially available and common accessories. Many 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 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.
How did it come about?
The guide 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, we identified that a significant barrier to participation in music for disabled children was a lack of knowledge about the existence of adaptive musical instruments and assistive equipment.
The research findings showed major gaps in the access to, and knowledge of, where to find adaptive musical instruments. 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 these issues 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.
Where can I read it?
Right here! You can read and download the accessible PDF document here:
This is a working document. The guide is not intended to be an exhaustive list as new products and prototypes are constantly being developed and launched.
We would absolutely love to hear your thoughts, personal experiences and suggestions of instruments to include in the next edition!
For press enquires, please contact us here.
Thank you very much to our music community for helping us to collate all of these wonderful instruments.
Our special thanks go to the members of the Take it away Consortium for their sharing their expertise, the Musicians’ Union (MU) and Normans Musical Instruments for their support in distributing the guide, and the MIA for their support.
The MU is proud to support the Guide to Buying Adaptive Musical Instruments. Having an impairment should not be a barrier to learning an instrument and for too long disabled musicians have struggled to find instruments that work for them.
The MU believes this guide will remove one of the barriers disabled musicians face and encourage the production and wider use of more adaptive instruments
General Secretary / Musicians' Union (MU)
We have a team full of passionate musicians who understand the importance of music and how, as an inclusive subject, it can be used to enhance creative, social, mental and physical activity. We all value this guide as one of the most positive and inspiring resources to develop and stimulate learners of all ages.
The guide showcases what choices are out there and how it is possible to access a suitable instrument to begin or develop their musical journey. This is a particularly challenging area and, as instrument suppliers, we know better than most how the design and manufacture of adapted instruments needs to be given more exposure.
We are proud to be supporting the guide and it’s very exciting to see this first edition being released. We hope it will encourage more disabled children and adults to learn a musical instrument.
Director / Normans Musical Instruments
We’re extremely pleased to be publishing this Guide to Buying Adaptive Musical Instruments as an essential resource for anyone working in the musical instrument retail sector, as well as for professional musicians and the parents and teachers of disabled children.
Not knowing what is available in terms of accessible equipment and accessories is a fundamental issue that is sadly preventing many disabled children from engaging fully in music education, inhibiting their potential to develop as musicians.
This is something we are determined to change through the distribution of this Guide in partnership with the Musicians’ Union, Normans Musical Instruments and other industry partners including our Take it away member retailers and the Music Industries Association.
Chief Executive / Creative United
Stay in touch
For general news and updates about Take it away, please sign up to our mailing list.