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And then, there was a Blog

Welcome to our new Blog! We're so excited that you're here, and hope you'll find something interesting for yourself whether you're on our platform for the first time, or are already secretly planning our fan club (a fan club would be amazing, please consider it).

For this blog I was hoping to give readers a basic idea of what we do and who we are. Thinking about topics, my thoughts kept circling back to the word “inclusion”. Never have I explained a word as frequently as “inclusion” since I’ve begun working for Tabula Musica. Since inclusion is primarily what we do, let’s talk about it.

So, what is inclusion, and what does that word mean in our modern society? In February of this year, I would have defined inclusion as the opposite of exclusion, and left it at that. It wasn’t until I started working in communications for Tabula Musica in March 2023, that I realized how much weight this word carries. It’s not only the opposite of exclusion, it’s a term that carries substantial significance in the disabled community. It’s a word that takes a stand against all the societal constructs we’ve built over generations, that are designed for the able bodied majority and not much else. It’s a fluid term that we can define as widely or as narrowly as we wish. It can describe the building that finally installs a ramp, the violin with a narrower neck for a smaller hands (side note, my first full sized violin was from the 1800s, with a so called “lady’s neck) the event that’s translated into sign language, or the Accessible Music Technology Tabula Musica champions in Switzerland.

If you’re a member of the disabled community, you’re probably asking “why am I talking about this? Next, am I going to describe how the sky is blue?” However, I’m a graduate student at the Hochschule Luzern - Musik, and discovered that whenever I tell my friends about what I do with Tabula Musica, I find they’ve never looked up to check what color the sky is. Almost every time they ask me what “Accessible” or “Inclusive” means.

The performing arts music world is an elitist bubble of nerds like me, who fell in love with the sound of an instrument and were fortunate enough to be born with the resources, support, health, and location allowing us to become fully obsessed with the acoustic possibilities of an ancient piece of wood. We spend countless hours by ourselves, perfecting our craft, sometimes looking out the window at the sun. Arriving at Tabula Musica was an awakening for me, that showed many of the things we miss when we don’t remember to leave our bubbles once in a while.

So, what does Tabula Musica do, and who is this privileged classical music nerd writing about it?

Tabula Musica is a Center for Accessible Music making. This includes the TABULA MUSICA ORCHESTRA, which is an ensemble composed of musicians with and without disabilities. The orchestra is also one of the first ensembles worldwide to integrate Accessible Music Technology (AMT). Noel Schmidlin (our conductor) and Denis Huna (co-founder and co-manager of Tabula Musica), arrange the repertoire of the orchestra, with a method developed by Denis which focuses on the abilities of every single person in the orchestra.

TABULA MOBILÉ is the second branch of our center, and is Denis’s area of expertise. Together with Walter Seiler (introduction coming soon) they bring AMT instruments to schools, institutions, and cultural events. To see our full range of our services, click here. At Tabula Musica we believe that people aren’t born disabled, societal structures are what create disability. When it comes to music, we’ve made it our mission to change the world at least in regards to the performing arts, one note at a time.

And who are we? Who’s this voice talking with you over these blogs? For now, let me just say I’m a German-American violinist, violist, writer, and newly appointed communications person for Tabula Musica. Stay tuned, in the coming weeks I will begin introducing our core team, and sharing our stories with you. Hang tight, it’s about to get interesting!

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