The benefits and importance of playing music are well established. However, what happens if someone has limited or no control of a hand or an arm? All conventional instruments require two highly dextrous hands to play, meaning that anyone with an upper limb disability will be excluded from most forms of music-making. But this is not just a barrier to playing music - it’s also an exclusion from the opportunity to make music socially with others, or to have a career in music. The problem affects 10s of thousands in the UK alone. This is where the OHMI Trust comes in.
The OHMI Trust works to remove the barriers to music-making faced by people with physical disabilities through the procurement of suitably designed musical instruments and equipment. Our instruments allow full and undifferentiated participation in music-making to the highest levels of virtuosity.
Dr Stephen Hetherington MBE founded the charity in 2011 after his own hemiplegic daughter, Amy, alerted him to the lack of instruments available to disabled musicians.
The OHMI Trust works in three ways; procuring instruments and enabling equipment, principally through the OHMI Competition; supporting instrumental tuition through the OHMI teaching programme; and raising awareness of the current lack of opportunities. For more details about the 2017 Competition winners, go to: www.ohmi.org.uk/the-ohmi-competition.html
The instruments OHMI is acquiring really do enable people with physical disabilities to take part in music-making on equal terms.
If you would like to support their work, go to: www.ohmi.org.uk
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