UK community interest company Creative United has launched the first edition of its Guide to Buying Adaptive Musical Instruments, distributed in partnership with the Musicians’ Union and Normans Musical Instruments.
Compiled over the last 12 months, the guide includes details of more than 80 products, from batons and bows to one-handed clarinets and saxophones, specially designed to make learning and playing musical instruments of all kinds as accessible as possible for disabled players of all ages.
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, 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.
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.
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.
Mary-Alice Stack, Chief Executive of Creative United, said:
‘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.’