Inclusive Music Making in Northern Ireland, 2017 (ongoing)

We are extending our collaboration between SARC (the Sonic Arts Research Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, led by Dr Franziska Schroeder) and DrakeMusicNI (led by Dr Michelle McCormack) to work with two industry facing partners: Farset Labs Belfast and The Ulster OrchestraBelfast

Together we aim to identify improved ways in which music technology can afford the inclusion of disabled musicians into mainstream music making practices. Our research brings together abled and disabled musicians using bespoke technology – designed, tested and built through our partnership.

Dr Schroeder secured a prestigious UK research council funded PhD studentship (an AHRC NPIF award , which is at the heart of this project. The award, made in October 2017, went to Alex Lucas, a former product designer working in industry.


The main stake holders are:

    • The SonicArts Research Centre (SARC) at Queen’s, an internationally recognised facility for digital media with strong industry partnerships including BBC NI, Opera NI, Cathedral Arts Festival, Moving on Music, DTS and Dolby. LeadDr Franziska Schroeder and Dr Miguel Ortiz, PhD researcher Alex Lucas and Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Koichi Samuels.
    • Drake Music NI the subject matter expert with unique insight into the needs of disabled musicians and AMT facilitators. Drake provides the project with representative users of AMT and training in accessible music making. Lead: Dr Michelle McCormack with support by Drake Music Associates Daniel Todd, Damien Mills, Conor Teahan and Brendan McCloskey.
    • TheUlster Orchestra (Northern Ireland’ sonly fulltimep rofessional symphony orchestra which advises on factors relating to the inclusion of disabled musicians in a traditional orchestra. The orchestra is a significant contributor toward the promotion of inclusive music making through the formation of an inclusive orchestra. The involvement of specifically selected players representing a range of instruments, addresses some of the concerns, which more traditional musicians may have with embracing digital technologies. LeadMs Lucy McCullagh.
    • Belfast Hacker space Farset Labs is the technical development team, providing engineering expertise in developing AMT solutions for disabled musicians. This consists of multiple rounds of prototype development and testing with representative AMT users and facilities. LeadDr Andrew Bolster.