Guest Post: Meet Hannah from DMLab North West

Today we are delighted to share a guest post from one of our DMLab North West community – Hannah. Read on to find out more about how she came to be involved.

A disabled musician & hacker talk about their project, with their heads together Hello there and welcome to this, my first Drake Music Northwest blog.

My name is Hannah, I’m a new up and coming musician from Wigan.

I have quadraplegic Cerebral Palsy, I’m a full time wheelchair user and my vision is also impaired. Due to my vision being impaired I have always preferred listening to music as opposed to watching TV.
I have always loved all genres of music. ..

I have been in the education system for many years. I have always been very academic and my mind has always been busy. I’ve always thrived when undertaking new challenges and learning new things.

One day after a flash of inspiration, from where it came I have no idea, I thought wouldn’t it be good if I could some how make some music of my own? Wouldn’t this be a great way to express myself!!!

The question was, how?

I first became involved with Drake Music Northwest in February 2017 after discovering them whilst undertaking an internet search.

This blog will allow you as the reader to follow my journey on which I will travel to become a musician.

I will explore with you some of the barriers I may encounter and how these will hopefully be overcome, or not, whatever the case may be…

Dealing with barriers

In relation to barriers its important to realise that there are two types of barriers that I would need to deal with.

The most obvious one is the barrier that I face in the making of the music itself. The restrictions of my disability mean that I am unable to play any kind of standard musical instrument, I needed an alternate way of accessing music.

How would I ever be able to read music, as I can’t see to be able to read a book? This was another barrier, or so I thought…..

Nor could I go for standard music tuition as I couldn’t access music in the conventional way, so a standard music tutor wouldn’t have the knowledge or experience required…

There are also some secondary indirect barriers that I have to face, these are barriers that are related to my Cerebral Palsy. They include things such as;

If I was to collaborate with other musicians as part of a group, would the venue have wheelchair access, lifts etc? The same could be said when working on any project I take on as a solo musician…

How many staff would I need to support me to participate? are there any accessible toilet with hoisting facilities? If there are no adequate facilities nearby, this would mean bringing two staff…

Musical journey

So now its time to travel on my musical journey with me, let’s see where it takes me…

One last thing, I’m a musician first and foremost, I just happen to have a disability. My disability however is just a part of me, it doesn’t determine who I am, it is secondary to me as a person. Look beyond and you’ll see me, Hannah, the lady who’s inside, you’ll hear me through the music I create….

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