by Author simonsteptoe

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New instruments for our Inclusive Ensemble

Bespoke music digital musical instruments

Our "Inclusive Ensemble" project started back in 2019 and aims to support children and young people with profound and multiple learning difficulties in developing their musical ensemble skills together as a first step into collaborating with mainstream groups and ensembles at our organisation, Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust (the lead for the Northamptonshire and Rutland Music Education Hubs). 

Following something of a hiatus during the pandemic, the project has continued to grow and thrive and has recently been given a boost by an influx of new digital musical instruments. Previously, in addition to keyboards, percussions, Skoogs and similar, we had already integrated our own "Sound Control" software into the group's activities... but recently we've collaborating work with our new tech guru, Philip Catterall, who describes himself as a STEM Ambassador providing pro-bono support to charities and other organisations developing new accessible musical instruments for people of all ages with learning difficulties and disabilities. More of Philips's work can be seen on his website:

In addition to Philip's fabulously creative inventions, we have also been using an Arcana Strum (, on loan through our partnership with TiME and operated by one of our star participants, Matei, under the guidance of Musical Inclusion Team member, Rebecca Price. There's a great photo HERE of Matei using the Arcana Strum for the first time, along with his Mum, Laura, at TiME's Connectivity conference at NMPAT back in September 2022.

If anyone is interested in these fantastic additions to our stock of accessible musical instruments, please do get in touch... or... contact Philip via his website... or TiME directly.