The Drake Music School – By Jason Hubal – June 7, 2011
One of the first images you get when the Drake Music School’s comes up is a smiling disabled girl. Also, throughout the site are many happy children making music. The Drake Music School (DMS), located in the United Kingdom, breaks down barriers for the disable to learn music. They use innovated methods and technology to help with teaching, learning and making music. Founded in 1988 by Adele Drake, the school brings non-disabled musicians and the disabled musicians in contact to make music. Their team consists of some forty associate musicians/artists/technologists deliver programs across London, Bristol & South West, and Manchester & North West.
On the Showcase page you can listen and watch young musicians in action. One, Charlotte White, you can see in the video what DMS had done for her. She plays Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 (abridged) using assistive technology and with the slightest thumb and head movements performed the piece. She was seen first on Youtube in 2008 when she was a teen.
Charlotte also had recognition to compose music for the Northern Lights Festival in Tromso, Norway. The music was recorded by the Tromso Symphony Orchestra and performed in the town square.
They also have an online community where musicians for those who want to share their work, find collaboration opportunities, exploring or debating issues and ideas around art, music, disability and technology, and connecting with other practitioners.
Schools/programs like The Drake Music School in the U.S.
Bronx, N.Y.-based Institute for Music and Neurological Function: http://www.imnf.org/
Deep Listening Institute: http://deeplistening.org/site/content/home
New Canaan, CT: http://www.artsforhealing.org
Southern California Conservator of Music: http://www.sccm.us (Braille Music Division)