Performance Without Barriers

Performance Without Barriers

Sonic Arts Research Centre at Queen's collaboration with Drake Music Project Northern Ireland

Dr Franziska Schroeder (Sonic Arts Research Centre, School of Arts, English and Languages) and Dr Michelle McCormack (CEO Drake Music NI) 

What is at the heart of our thinking?

A project dedicated to inclusive music making and accessible design with digital musical instruments (DMIs), used by disabled musicians. 
Using insights from sonic arts, improvisation research, as well as from critical disability studies this project aims to discover innovative modes of inclusive musical interactions for disabled musicians.

Three questions are at the heart of our thinking:

(1) Music technology as barrier and as facilitator 
- To what extent can the design of music technologies enhance and facilitate participation in music making and in what ways do practices with music technology produce opportunities for inclusion or exclusion for disabled people?

(2) Understandings of disability 
- To what extent can more inclusive approaches to music making empower disabled people to participate more fully in music making and technology; thus challenging exclusionary practices and the marginalisation of disabled people in music making?

(3) Challenging traditional musical ontology 
- In what ways can practices of design, making and use of accessible digital musical instruments challenge traditional ontologies of music? To what extent, if at all, is improvisation with accessible music technology an enabling and inclusive form of music making for disabled people?

collaboration with drake music project

Phase 1: SARC / DRAKE MUSIC NI 2016

Collaboration with Drake Music Project at Sonorities Music Festival 2016

The project led by Dr Koichi Samuels and Dr Franziska Schroeder from SARC (Sonic Arts Research Centre) at Queen’s University Belfast has received some excellent media attention in the Belfast Telegraph (1 January 2017).

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Sarc Programme, woman talking to group

Phase 1 — 2016

In 2016 SARC has put together an exciting programme with Drake Music NI

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Phase 1 Performance Without Barriers

Phase 1 — 2015

In 2015 SARC public engagement programme collaborated with Drake Music NI

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Girl with disability using accessible music device

Research Project


This research directly impacts the lives of people with disabilities and organisations and individuals working with accessible musical devices.

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Performance Without Barriers Team


More about the people behind the project

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For further information please contact

Dr Franziska Schroeder