Guide to Adaptive Musical Instruments

  • Sophie Ogunyemi
  • Mary-Alice Stack

I recently helped collate and publish the first guide to Adaptive Musical Instruments. From a haptic baton that uses vibrations to guide visually impaired players, to one handed saxophones - the guide includes details of more than 80 musical instruments and products, from prototypes and bespoke to commercially available and common accessories. Many have been specifically 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. 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.

Project Tags


  • Creative United logo

    Creative United

    • Arts and Culture
  • Youth Music logo

    Youth Music

    • Music
  • Music for Youth logo

    Music for Youth

    • Charity
  • D

    Drake Music

    • T

      The OHMI Trust

      • O

        Open Up Music