The aim of Musical Vibrations is to bring vibrotactile technology out of the laboratory and into schools, music workshop, choirs, music hubs, studios and music venues where it can create a real-life impact for d/Deaf people.

It’s important not to forget that there are already groups of deaf musicians who have developed their own strategies to perform together. To complement their experience we would like to provide an informed scientific basis on which others, particularly deaf children, could consider learning to play an instrument and experience the pleasure of performing music with other musicians’

We’ve created a simple to use vibrotactile system which is now available on a loan basis (free of charge) for organisations working with deaf people to try out. We’re looking for feedback on what works and what our next steps should be.

Picture of the musical vibrations musician-ready system. A wooden temporary stage with three green chairs, there is a square in the centre of the stage . In the hole are four vibrotactile shakers. Also on the stage are: a bass guitar, an acoustic guitar and an electric keyboard

What are we trying to find out?

We would like to see how vibrotactile equipment is used by d/Deaf people (and the practitioners who work alongside them) over an extended period of time; as an aid to everyday music making, rather than as a one-off event. So, once users are comfortable in using the equipment, we are curious about what they begin to do next. What can they access/do/feel/understand/appreciate/create that they maybe couldn’t do before. How do practitioners think it has influenced outcomes over time? How could it be incorporated into musical activities in the future?

Who can join in?

  • Music education charities
  • Signing choirs
  • Deaf resource bases
  • Music hubs
  • Organisations working within the wider accessible music sector
  • Music therapy organisations
  • Anyone else who feels that this system would benefit them or a d/Deaf person that they collaborate with.

Support in using the system

Musical Vibrations staff will be able to work to support people in setting up and using the system and are happy to work directly with users where appropriate. (Please note that our signing is at a very basic level).

Closeup of a cellist. Her foot is on two vibrotactile shakers. The cello is connected to the shakers by an electrical pickup device.

How much does it cost?

The equipment is available on a loan basis completely free of charge. Loans are available on a medium or short term basis and the equipment will be delivered, installed and removed for you.

If an organisation wished to then purchase their own system, we would assist them in seeking charitable funding and providing specifications and technical help. As an academic research institution we are not selling the system as such but seeking to gain feedback on whether the system has potential.

To join in get in touch at MUSVIB or fill out our contact form

Find out more

original Research

What’s in the box?