The Adaptive Music Bridging Program’s Second Annual Come & Try Day

“One of Us” End of Year Concert 2023 Performance.

At Come and Try Music Day, children living with disability from across Melbourne visited the University of Melbourne’s Victorian College of the Arts for a chance to try out a range of standard and adaptive instruments. “We have a range of standard string, wind, and percussion instruments on hand, as well as some instruments designed especially to be more accessible. Our staff can help kids and their parents find an instrument that suits their access needs and musical interests. We can also make modifications to instruments, stands, or braces if needed,” says program director Dr Anthea Skinner.

Once children have chosen an instrument, they are invited to join the Adaptive Music Bridging Program which meets every Saturday as part of Melbourne Youth Orchestras’ ensemble program. The project is led by University of Melbourne researchers Dr Anthea Skinner and Dr Leon de Bruin. In the Bridging Program, students learn basic instrumental skills as well as how to play together in an ensemble. Last year’s program culminated in an end of year concert called ‘One of Us’ in which students performed alongside professional musicians living with disability.

As students’ skills develop, they are supported to graduate into Melbourne Youth Orchestras’ mainstream ensembles. “Our first student, Tiana, graduated into the Melbourne Youth Junior Strings this year. We’re so proud of her, she has worked so hard, and it’s great to know that our team will still be there to support her if she needs any help or advice as she progresses through the ensembles.”

Yamaha Music Australia has been a proud supporter of the Adaptive Music Bridging Program since its foundation in 2023.

Tiana, Adaptive Music Bridging Program Alumni now graduated into MYO Junior Strings mainstream ensemble.