Since 1997, Drake Music Scotland has built up a considerable body of specialist knowledge and expertise in the use of inclusive and adaptive technologies. Participants are supported to take part in musical activities and tuition on an equal basis with other musicians and continue building their skills to whatever level they aspire. Drake Music Scotland is committed to exploring the possibilities of new technologies in order to find the best way for each individual to have as much independent control of their instrument as possible, to play with expression and develop their creativity.
iPads have quickly become one of our key instruments for children and young people who have physical impairments. The flat and sensitive screen allows young people with cerebral palsy to control a range of music apps with their hand, chin and nose. The iPads allow greater independence as young people can write and perform a whole piece from scratch completely by themselves.
Watch our video to see how our Junior Digital Orchestra are using eye-tracking technology to play music apps on tablets.
Brainfingers is a system developed in the US to enable people with very limited motor control to access computer technology through muscle movement and brain activity. Drake Music Scotland is the only UK organisation to use the technology to enable people to make music. A headband fitted with sensors reads the brainwaves that are generated when the player chooses an option shown on the computer screen.
This instrument was designed to enable people with limited motor control or movement to play music expressively. The Soundbeam uses sensor technology to translate movement into sound. For example, a musical scale can be played by a hand moving away from or towards the sensor. It offers the player a range of different instrumental sounds and combined with switches makes it possible for people to play music together.
Created by Edinburgh-based company Skoogmusic, the Skoog (pictured above) is a robust, tactile and colourful cube which responds to a wide range of touch pressure and handling to enable musicians to play with a high degree of expression and sensitivity. Each different colour button can be separately programmed from a vast sound-sample bank to give the player access to almost any instrument or sound.