Disabled musicians are to benefit from an exciting new generation of adapted instruments, developed with the support of OHMI’s biennial competition.
OHMI’s ambition is a simple one – to allow disabled child and adult musicians living with an upper arm impairment to play the instruments they want to play, when they want to play them. Now celebrating its tenth anniversary, OHMI has gained momentum in its work across teaching, R&D, and awareness raising, counting an impressive 300 instruments and pieces of enabling equipment in its Instrument Hire Scheme.
The competition forms an important part of our work in bringing to life, new instruments and enabling equipment. The 2021 winners were announced at our tenth anniversary event, held at Aston University and live-streamed to a global audience (available to watch here). The winners were announced by Melissa Johns, actor and disability advocate, who has appeared in Coronation Street, acclaimed BBC drama Life, and, most recently, Celebrity Masterchef.
Melissa explains why she felt compelled to support OHMI’s work,
“I’ve never considered being born without a right forearm as a disadvantage. And yet those of us who live with a disability often face the limitations that society creates, simply because we are too often ignored.
“Improving access to the arts is one example. Progress has been made in making it easier for disabled people to experience the arts as spectators. Sadly, active participation can be frustratingly out of reach – simply because there is a lack of awareness of need, and instruments remain expensive to adapt.
“Helping to develop instruments that truly meet the needs of disabled musicians, is a service that is desperately needed, and OHMI fits the bill most admirably.”
The competition attracted submissions from as far afield as the US and Asia, as well as the UK and mainland Europe.
Winners are as follows:
You can read more about the competition here. The next competition will open to entries in 2023