Helping the millions who are unable to make music because of physical disability
During Dialogue on Disability Week as we delve into the lives and stories of musicians who have overcome challenges to make the music they love, we are all discovering new stories, organizations and methods making music possible for all.
One such organization I've discovered is the OHMI Trust (pronounced "oh-me") the One-Handed Musical Instrument trust. The OHMI Trust is a pioneer in the development and adaptation of musical instruments for people with physical disabilities.
Millions of individuals world-wide are excluded from music-making because traditional instruments are not suitable for a person with cerebral palsy, congenital disabilities, amputees, or those who have had a stoke or severe arthritis.
Founded in 2011 by Dr. Stephen Hetherington, this UK-based charity strives to remove barriers to music-making. OHMI encourages not only musicians, but inventors and designers of musical instruments to seek innovative designs for instruments that can be played with one hand or one arm, while not taking away from the integrity and facility of the instrument.
Another organization, founded in the UK in 2007, is Open Up Music, which strives to make music accessible to young children with disabilities. Open Up Music launched the first disabled-led national youth orchestra (NOYO) in 2019.
Check out these amazing musicians who have adapted how they play their instruments in order to make the music they love.