Competition encourages development of one-handed instruments
Dr. David Nabb had taught woodwinds at the University of Nebraska at Kearney for six years when he suffered a massive stroke, leaving him unable to play or teach. Â
Unwilling to accept that he could no longer pursue his profession, he began consulting with a local manufacturer, Stelling Brass & Winds, to develop a one-handed saxophone. Â His efforts led to the toggle-key saxophone, which enabled him to resume his teaching and playing career.
Nabb and Stelling Brass & Woodwinds of Kearney, Nebraska, have launched the UNK One-Handed Woodwinds Program with the mission to make one-handed woodwind instruments available to permanently disabled individuals.
Other initiatives have popped up around the globe. Â In Australia, the One-Handed Musical Instrument Trust has launched it’s own competition. Â In Britain, a competition has begun to encourage development of instruments which can be played at the elite level by disabled musicians. Â That effort come out of a father’s effort to enable his daughter, stricken with cerebral palsy,to fulfill her dream of exploring music.
The human spirit is an amazing thing. Â Telling someone they cannot do something oftentimes drives them to prove you wrong and, in the process, benefit all of us.
Watch: Competition launched to develop one-handed instruments (BBC.com)