MERU is working with the OHMI Trust to adapt or design supports for a range of musical instruments and so far have produced a trumpet stand and a prototype tenor horn stand.
The OHMI Trust is the only organisation in the UK working to allow people with physical disabilities to be able to participate in music with undifferentiated participation.
As virtually all conventional musical instruments require two highly dextrous hands, this presents some challenges for many people. Although some instruments require a complete rethink, many, especially the brass family, just need a stand to support the weight and keep the instrument in the correct position.
Using these stands OHMI have given 15 primary school children the opportunity to learn an adapted instrument/instrument. There is a plan for a loan scheme that will give people across the country a chance to try an instrument/equipment before committing to purchasing it for themselves.
The need for the tenor horn came because one child in Birmingham has cerebral palsy resulting in difficulty with the tight embouchure required for the trumpet, but the tenor horn uses a more relaxed mouth which he could manage.
Here are some quotes from people involved in the OHMI teaching pilot which is using the trumpet stands:
“H is still enjoying his special lessons, a few other children have seen the trumpet now and are really jealous of him, his self-esteem is definitely on an upward trend!”
“Something that he’s not different on… It’s something that he’s good in, which doesn’t happen that much because something holds him back… He was imagining his world tour last night” Mum – CB
“The stands work a treat” -Trumpet teacher
“A astonished me yesterday with his tone and accuracy” –Trumpet teacher
“Not having to hold the trumpet is a real bonus for R” – Trumpet teacher
“All my friends think it’s great!” – Student
“Thank you for inviting C to take part in the concert, it was great and thank you for giving him this experience it is priceless” – Mum
“He’s looking really tired but he’s smiling so it’s all worth it” – Mum, after concert