Working in Japan


The British Council & Kawasaki City Council invited Drake Music on a second trip to Japan in early 2019, to deliver a series of taster sessions and training in Kawasaki, with a view to returning for the Olympics in 2020.

Training for Music Leaders

A small team from Drake Music headed out to Kawasaki City. Ben Sellers, DM Associate Musician, led on 3 days working with Tokyo Symphony Orchestra & Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, running training in how to lead accessible music workshops, supported by Tim & Kris from our team.

Our aim was to share & demonstrate our practice so that the 2 organisations can incorporate it into their work when we leave. We delivered 2 days of training and then brought in young people and other Disabled musicians on the last day for a practice workshop and celebratory music-making session.

Technologists & micro-hackathons

During our stay we met a lot of technologists. Tim, the Programme Leader for DMLab, and DM Associate Musician Kris Halpin ran a micro-hackathon based around our Social Model training programme.

We put together teams of disabled musicians and technologists to come up with ideas for instruments which would open up more access to music.

There were some obvious groupings, like the musicians who use EyeGaze working with the technologists who are coding for it. The event was a great success and it looks like there is strong potential for a DMLab-style community to begin to be established.

At the end of the micro-hackathon we were lucky to get a live performance from DJ Utah, who joined in the event remotely and then performed at the end.

We are looking forward to returning again later in the year and to developing the full programme for Japan 2020!