Digit Music is a record label, digital instrument manufacturer, and a creative learning and performance company supported by the Youth Music Trailblazer Fund. Their CMPSR instrument won a ‘Tech 4 Good’ accessibility award in 2019.
The innovative CMPSR is an accessible instrument that uses a controller to send digital data to interact with music software. Similar in design to an electronic wheelchair controller, it enables people with restricted movement to perform complex musical phrases. With the controller, users can command different instruments, genres and tempos, creating an immersive musical experience.
To add to the instrument's trailblazing credentials, it was developed with young Disabled musicians.
To bring this to life, Digit Music worked with four special schools and two pupil referral units in Manchester and Derbyshire. Two music leaders and four trainee music leaders were recruited and trained on Digit’s instruments and notation system. Over a series of sessions, small groups of young people used the CMPSR instrument alongside Digit’s Arrownotes accessible notation system to compose new music.
A youth advisory board of nine Disabled young musicians were recruited and met monthly for six months. They took part in industry talks, learned about music production, researched the most accessible local studios and made a map of local offers. A dedicated evaluation gave Digit clear feedback to inform their future work.
“It's been really good, especially for the most disengaged. It's something that people liked, and people could get hands on with and get instant results and feel good. The feel-good factor is high with this activity,” the setting staff shared.
“Music allows me to close my eyes and relax [and] dream,” commented one of the young people involved.
Is your project trialling work for the first time, testing a new way of working, or disrupting the status quo? The Youth Music Trailblazer Fund is currently open for applications.
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Supported via Youth Music's Trailblazer Fund, Germination was a professional development project from Magic Acorns for early childhood educators, emerging artists and musicians.
If you identify as Disabled and need further support to make an application to Youth Music, you can apply to our Access Fund. This provides funding to cover any additional access costs required for you to make an application to Youth Music's Incubator Fund.