Joining the band: How new music technologies are helping students with disability access music education
Dr Anthea Skinner is a musicologist with a lived experience of disability. Inspired by her own experiences growing up, Dr Skinner has launched the Adaptive Music Bridging Program with Melbourne Youth Orchestras to help others with disability access music education and learn a musical instrument.
As a child growing up with disability, the school band was a place where Anthea could compete on a level playing field with her non-disabled peers and make like-minded friends.
Despite her personal success, Anthea was often the only disabled student in any band or orchestra she ever played in. It became clear to her, from an early age, that her disabled peers did not have the same access to music education that she enjoyed.
Today, Anthea works as a researcher at the University of Melbourne helping those with disability access the benefits of music education. Anthea’s latest research project, the Adaptive Music Bridging Program, is connecting disabled students with the latest in adaptive music technologies so they can enjoy the art of learning a musical instrument, no matter their abilities.