Introduction to Adapted Instruments

Instruments can be modified to increase their accessibility for people with special needs.

For persons with motor dexterity challenges, the size of the target object on the instrument (keys, buttons, etc.) may be enlarged. For persons with cognitive challenges, making distinctions between objects (the variety of keys or strings) can be overwhelming. Because of this the number of available musical pitches may be reduced.

To address these issues, I have applied two basic approaches.

First, I modified a number of traditional instruments. The simple modifications used on these instruments are easily reproduced by others. Not everyone who wants music to be accessible has the resources or skills necessary for complex woodworking and electronics. I created these simple modifications to be easily used by teachers, parents, and non-technicians.

Then, and purely for fun, I designed a number of experimental instruments "from scratch" as prototypes for research, or to fulfill the needs of a specific client.