“This is the first music technology I’ve used that actually feels like an instrument! It’s great that Clarion works with the movement of the musician, rather than the musician having to adapt to an instrument that has already been set.” Jocelyn Watkins – Classic FM ‘SEN Music Teacher of the Year’ 2013
Young people play a wide range of musical instruments in Open Orchestras, including commonplace classroom instruments. But for some young disabled people, playing a conventional musical instrument is simply not an option. We’ve spent the last 10 years working alongside young disabled people, teachers and music leaders, to create the Clarion – an award winning, accessible musical instrument that can be played independently with any movement of the body, including the eyes!
Available exclusively through Open Orchestras, the Clarion is revolutionising musical access for 100s of young people across the UK, including musicians with a very broad range of additional support needs. For young people with physical impairments, Clarion for PC can be played with any movement of the body, including head or eye movement. For young people with autism or learning difficulties who are manually dextrous, Clarion for iPad is an approachable and colourful musical instrument that is adaptable to their needs, with huge scope for progression.
All this is possible because our Clarion software works seamlessly with assistive technology hardware that young disabled people use in their everyday lives, such as EyeGaze or Infrared head trackers. Using technology that is already available means less investment in new equipment. It also means that students are more likely to be able to play their Clarion both in school and at home!
Clarion has also been designed to be super easy-to-use. It takes about 10 minutes to learn how to use Clarion, but like all good musical instruments, it will take a lifetime to master!
Clarion musicians can easily change the settings on their instrument to make sure that it meets their individual and often complex needs.
Musical notes on the Clarion are represented as shapes that can be coloured, resized, reformed and rotated. You can play one shape or hundreds, laid out in whichever pattern suits you best. Each shape is expressive, giving the player a range of different performance articulations affected by speed and position.
We don’t think of the Clarion as music technology – it’s an accessible musical instrument. And, with an ever increasing library of high-quality instrument sounds to choose from, Clarion is sure to be a hit with the members of your Open Orchestras.