The Take it away Consortium

In March 2018, Creative United announced an important and exciting partnership with leading UK music organisations Drake Music, The OHMI Trust, Open Up Music, and Youth Music. The purpose of coming together (under the banner of Creative United's Take it away scheme) was to find ways of ensuring making music is inclusive and accessible to all. Latterly, the group was joined by Music for Youth in 2019 and Technology in Music Education UK (TiME) in 2021.
The aims of our partnership include: 
  1. Improve our collective understanding of the potential demand for adapted and specialist musical instruments for use by aspiring and professional musicians of all kinds and in particular disabled children and adults across the UK
  2. Enable existing prototype adaptations (from OHMI, Open Up Music, DM Labs and other sources) to be taken further into small-scale batch production for wider distribution and use
  3. Enable the development of bespoke new accessible musical instruments to meet the needs of an individual, and the documentation and sharing of designs in the open source model
  4. Explore ways in which we can develop and train a workforce that has the knowledge and skills to introduce and demonstrate adaptive instruments located in ‘centres of music retail excellence’ around the UK
  5. Provide financial assistance to families and individuals that need access to these types of instruments by providing a combination of grants and loans to ensure equality of access for all
  6. 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.
To see news updates on some of our projects we’ve worked on together since forming, please click the button below:
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  • Music for Youth is a national youth arts charity working to provide young people aged 21 and under across the UK with free, life-changing performance and progression opportunities, regardless of background or musical style.
  • Established in 1970, their mission is simple: they believe that music, and the chance to participate in high-quality musical activities, should be open to every young person.
  • Open Up Music empowers young disabled musicians to build inclusive youth orchestras. Together they develop accessible musical instruments and repertoire, challenge expectations and forge new progression routes through the creation of great music.
  • ‘Technology in Music Education UK’ is an alliance of music Industry organisations, dedicated to increasing the awareness and potential of Music Technology. We believe in “Music Technology for All”. This includes those with Special Education Needs and Disabilities, as well as those with Accessibility and Wellbeing concerns.
  • TiME brings music educators and industry professionals together, as well as the informal music education and community groups. TiME increases awareness, access and connectivity between the education and music industry sectors.
  • Youth Music are a national charity investing in music-making projects for children and young people experiencing challenging circumstances. They believe everyone should have the chance to make music.
  • Their projects help young people develop musically, as well as having personal and social outcomes too.
  • Youth Music know that those facing difficulties – economic problems, lifelong conditions, tough circumstances or behavioural issues – are often the ones who get the most out of music-making.
  • Youth Music offers meaningful chances to young people in complicated situations.
  • The OHMI Trust is a UK-based charity pioneering the development and adaptation of musical instruments for those who are physically disabled. Any deficiency or disability in one hand or arm makes traditional instruments unplayable to any reasonable standard. As a result, millions across the world are excluded from music-making for the lack of suitable instruments.
  • This includes people with congenital disabilities, amputees, those who have suffered a stroke, developed arthritis, cerebral palsy and hemiplegic. The organisation was established in 2011 by Dr. Stephen Hetherington, who began his career as an orchestral musician. It was Stephen’s own hemiplegic daughter, Amy, who alerted him to the lack of instruments available to disabled musicians.
  • Creative United is an entrepreneurial community interest company, and Arts Council England (ACE) National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) sector support organisation, that strives for economic growth and social impact in the arts, cultural and creative industries.
  • They provide a range of programmes and business services that enable the development and sustainability of organisations and enterprises operating within these sectors.
  • CU’s vision is for artists, creative enterprises and cultural organisations to have access to the specialist skills, professional advice and services they need to achieve their ambitions for growth and impact within their communities.

2018-2021

  • Drake Music are leaders in music, disability & technology – breaking down barriers to music for 25 years working with disabled people at every level, from school children to professional musicians.
  • Drake Music work to create opportunities and instruments that make music fully accessible, to increase participation in music-making at all levels and to build a musical culture where disabled and non-disabled musicians can work together as equals.

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