Image showing many guitars, an electric keyboard and a mic in a room that looks like a bedroom recording studio

The ability to play and express yourself through music has and forever will have the potential to enrich your life and of those around you. However conventional teaching and learning practices have been based on the ability to see thus creating a barrier to the blind and visually impaired community interested in learning music.

We want to better understand the challenges faced by blind or visually impaired music learners through their lived experiences as learners, musicians and performers. We also want to speak with teachers who have experience teaching blind or visually impaired music learners to understand the strategies they’ve developed in their teaching practice. The topics of the interview will range from understanding lived experiences musicians, teachers and learners, communication challenges, importance of notation and use of braille music and future of assistive technologies for music learning.

To be eligible for the study, you must be an english speaker with lived experience in music and visual impairment. All Participants must fall into at least one of the three following categories below.

  • Music Teachers: Participants who have experience teaching music learners with visual impairments in a formal or informal setting. Participants may have formal training in either education or in music or both. Participants must have taught at least one blind or low vision music learner for at least 6 months.
  • Blind or Low Vision Musicians: Participants who have lived experience with any form of visual impairment and have formal or informal training in at least one musical instrument (including voice). Participants may also have experience teaching music and/or playing and performing music with other sighted or blind musicians.
  • Early Blind Music Learners: Participants who have lived experience with any form of visual impairment and have less than 1 year of experience learning a musical instrument. Participants may currently be taking music classes in a formal or informal setting.

Interviews will take place via participants’ choice of online platform (e.g. Zoom, Google Meet) or by Phone which will be recorded and transcribed with your consent. Audio recordings are mandatory for the study but video recordings of the interview are optional. Participants will also be compensated for their time with a $CAD 25 e-gift card of your choosing, with the default option being from Amazon.

If interested, email Leon Lu at leon.lu@carleton.ca for more details!

Faculty Supervisor: Audrey Girouard

The ethics protocol for this project has been reviewed and cleared by the Carleton University Research Ethics Board, CUREB-B Clearance # 115766. If you have any ethical concerns with the study, please contact the Carleton University Research Ethics Board-B via email at ethics@carleton.ca.

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