We are delighted to announce that Clare Salters is one of three new trustees to join the OHMI Board.
Clare is a former senior civil servant, who worked for many years on the Northern Ireland peace process. By her own admission, it means she can help OHMI on all the ‘nerdy’ governance stuff! She brings a long-standing commitment to improving inclusion in music-making as Chair of a children’s disability charity (Reach, where she created the Reach oRchestRa), teacher at a local music service (Wandsworth Music), trustee of another local music service (Hounslow Music Service) and as a trustee of another music and disability charity (the Music of Life Foundation).
Clare was first introduced to OHMI five years ago when she was looking for an adapted recorder for her friend’s daughter, Maria, who was born with an upper limb difference. (Maria has since moved on to play the clarinet, and joined Clare and fellow musician Rowan to perform as the world’s first trio of one-handed clarinet players at OHMI’s tenth anniversary event in 2021.) Since then, Clare has become a stalwart supporter of all things OHMI, and has been heavily involved in its endeavours to create a 3D printed clarinet.
Dr Stephen Hetherington, OHMI’s Chairman, comments,
“Clare has an innate understanding of our ethos that the art of making music is a fundamental human right. With her extensive background in charity governance and a track record of problem solving and finding ways through (not around) barriers, she will, undeniably, be a wonderful asset to our charity.”
“I see OHMI as the magic wand that transforms people’s lives. The team applies drive and enthusiasm in its approach to complex needs, and artfully brings together engineering, craftsmanship and music to solve problems.
“I’m convinced that, without the work of OHMI, people living with physical disabilities would be excluded from music making. If a child is excluded from full participation in a whole class music lesson, this risks them assuming that they can’t participate in music-making and in turn, feeling that they are somehow ‘less’ and they should lower their expectation of themselves. This diminished expectation risks colouring every aspect of their lives. As well as the impact on the individual, without OHMI the world risks missing out on talented people who, with an appropriate adaptation, can contribute musically at the highest levels. I’m looking forward to helping more musicians get the opportunity to shine.”
Articles on OHMI's two other new trustees will follow in due course.
We are delighted to announce that the Inclusive Access to Music-Making (IAMM) programme has been successful in its latest application for funding from Arts Council England.
IAMM aims to identify the needs of physically disabled pupils, and provide accessible musical instruments and enabling equipment to offer the same music-making experience as their peers, and teachers are able to use uniform pedagogical approaches across a whole class.
As well as allowing us to continue our vital work in this area, this significant investment will help fund the instruments of the future. A third of Arts Council England’s grant will be apportioned to our research into the design and production of a 3D printed clarinet. As well as making the manufacture of the adapted clarinet both scalable and financially accessible, we also expect our research to be applied to the adaptation of other musical instruments.
As the UK’s leading authority on adaptation of traditional instruments, OHMI is uniquely positioned to source and provide the instruments that suit the needs of participating disabled musicians. We’re able to better understand musicians needs because of the work of our project partner Creative United, and the intelligence they capture through their schools survey.
Our music hub partners play an equally vital role. Once the musicians have been matched with the adapted instruments they want to play, our music hub partners Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust (NMPAT), Nottingham Music Service, and for the first time, Services for Education in Birmingham, provide the trained music teachers who can help our young musicians embark on their musical journey.
Rachel Wolffsohn, Manager of the OHMI Trust, comments,
“Applying the principles of 3D printing to a complex instrument like the clarinet is not without its challenges. Working together with Creative United, Plexal, and a very talented band of volunteers including the gifted instrument maker Peter Worrell, we’re seeking to explore how the fabrication process can be improved and supply chain issues addressed. “Like many highly inventive projects, however, the barrier of funding the cost of development time and materials is a significant one. Until now, the project has relied on the energies of it team of volunteers. This injection of support means the project can truly accelerate under the direction of a dedicated Project Manager.”
It is expected that the research will have useful application for the adaptation of other instruments, bringing accessible music-making one step closer for musicians of all genres.”
You can learn more about the IAMM programme here.