Devices Offering Great Solutions (DOGS)

Adaptive Music

Tools for making music

What does it do?

Music is for everyone! People with all different disabilities can participate in making and enjoying music.

What kinds of adaptive music tools are there?

Switch-Compatible Instruments

Companies like Enabling Devices sell toy guitars, cymbals, bells, and other instruments that are all adapted to work with a switch. For more robust sound options, consider digital instruments like the Arcana Strum adaptive guitar.

Electronic Wind Instruments

The Magic Flute is played using breath and small head movements. The Jamboxx is another hands-free, breath-powered instrument that produces a wide variety of sounds.


Percussive instruments like drums are a great choice for many people. They don’t require a lot of hand control to play and they provide good feedback through vibration.

Another versatile option is instruments that you shake, like cluster bells, maracas, or tambourines. You can use Velcro or other materials to easily add a handle to these instruments if they are hard to grip.

Assistance Reading Music

Dancing Dots offers technology for musicians with low vision to read music. This includes the GoodFeel braille converter and the Lime Lighter scrolling magnifier.

Related Apps

Sheet music readers like MusicNotes and MusicReader make it easy to keep your place in the music and can be used with a foot pedal to turn pages hands-free.

Skoog Music makes a number of apps compatible with their accessories, which can also be used to connect to Garage Band.

Person playing a drumset.

How do I see what's new?

Technology changes all the time. To find out about the latest options for these, you can type keywords into a search engine such as Google, Safari, Firefox, or Bing on a computer or tablet. These are the keywords for this type of item:

adaptive music, adaptive instruments, switch accessible musical instruments

How do I find out more?

If you live in the US outside of Pennsylvania you would need to find your state's AT program.

If you live in Pennsylvania:

  • you could contact TechOWL to work with a specialist. We can meet with you and sometimes demonstrate this equipment. We can also help with different ways to get one for your own.
  • you might borrow this equipment to try out. Do we have this in our lending library?


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Caitlin McKenney

Caitlin is an assistive technology specialist with experience working with students who have multiple disabilities and complex access needs. She runs TechOWL's used equipment and emergency preparedness programs. Caitlin enjoys learning about new tools and helping you make your technology work for you!

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