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Amy Dickens: Design Practices for Digital Musical Instruments

Should we make instruments easier to play? This is a question that might divide professional musicians, who have acquired their skills through hardship. But for everyone else, there is little doubt that the fun should start as soon as we engage with an instrument. Making instruments easier to play is also a critical issue for people with disabilities ranging from limited mobility to visual impairment. So, if you’re thinking of making an instrument, why not consider lowering the barriers of playing them?

In this talk, Amy Dickens will shed light on the inclusive design practices for Digital Musical Instruments, and how to make music accessible to everyone. Amy will walk us through some of the standards and best practices for accessibility, as well as design considerations for music technology of all kinds. For those wanting to take part at the end of the session there will be an activity in designing some digital musical instruments for different levels of ability.

About Amy Dickens:
Amy Dickens is an accessibility ambassador, Developer Advocate, and researcher at The Mixed Reality Laboratory, UK. As well as being an audio engineer and musician, over the past five years Amy has been conducting research into accessible music technologies. Currently living in London with partner and Jack Russell (Moo Bean), Amy is working on producing a framework for accessible musical experiences and finishing their all important PhD Thesis.

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