Creative United Presents Guide to Buying Adaptive Musical Instruments

Elizabeth Dale

Creative United, in partnership with the Musicians’ Union and Normans Musical Instruments in the UK recently published the Take It Away The Guide to Buying Adaptive Musical Instruments, a compilation of more than 80 products that have been “specifically designed to make learning and playing musical instruments of all kinds as accessible as possible for disabled players of all ages.”

Creative United

The UK-based not-for-profit organization is an “entrepreneurial community interest company committed to supporting the growth and development of the arts and creative industries.” With a strong belief that the arts, culture, and creativity should not only be accessible to everyone but that they are an essential component of life, Creative United and its partners worked for over a year to open a world of musical possibilities for players of all abilities. The guide was made possible through the 2018 research conducted by The Take It Away Consortium (, which is made up of Drake Music, The OHMI Trust, Open Up Music, Youth Music, and Music For Youth. The studies conducted by the consortium identified a “significant barrier to participation in music for disabled children included a lack of access to and knowledge about the existence of adaptive musical instruments and assistive equipment.” Other notable statistics included:

59% of music retailers have little to no awareness of adaptive instruments.

54% of music educators and only 25% of parents agreed with the statement, “I know how and where to source an adapted musical instrument.”

Mary-Alice Stack, Chief Executive of Creative United, spoke about the target audience for the guide commenting, “We are extremely pleased to be publishing this Guide to Buying Adaptive Musical Instruments as an essential resource for anyone working in the musical instrument retail sector, as well as for professional musicians and the parents and teachers of disabled children.”

Want to get involved in their next project? Stack encourages those who want to get involved to apply to take part in the recently launched #AccessibleInstruments challenge, which brings together virtual teams of disabled and non-disabled musicians, instrument makers, designers, manufacturers, technologists, inventors, innovators, music teachers, academics, and student. Virtual teams will be “asked to address a specific set of innovation challenges that currently limit opportunities for disabled people to play and product music.” More information about the challenge, including how to apply, can be found at

If you know of any instruments or products that could be included in the next edition of the guide, please contact Take It Away at

To see the full guide to adaptive musical instruments, please visit