Welcome to RNIB's Music Advisory Service (MAS)

We support people with sight difficulties in any aspect of making music through individual advice and support, as well as their friends, family members and professionals. In this section, you will find information and resources on a wide range of topics. Whatever your musical interest, ability or experience, we hope you find our pages useful. If you would like further information, or have a specific query, please do get in touch:

Email: mas@rnib.org.uk
Telephone: 020 7391 2273

News and updates

Accessible Music Notation Exhibition

Organised by Music Subject Area, UKAAF and Music Advisory Service, RNIB

Date: 20 March 2015 

Time: 12:00 to 18:00

Venue: Rooms 5 and 6, RNIB, 105 Judd Street, London, WC1H 9NE

Following the success of last year's event, we are pleased to announce our Accessible Music Notation Exhibition for 2015. This year's event will include

  • Presenters talking about specific aspects of music in accessible formats, with live musical illustrations.
  • Exhibitors with equipment, resources and advice on various types of electronic and hardcopy accessible music.
  • Opportunities to network.

The exhibition is designed for

  • Dyslexic, blind or partially sighted musicians of any age, and those who support them (parents, teaching assistants, readers)
  • Music teachers and music technology staff
  • Dyslexia tutors, QTVIs, SENCOs, Disability Student Services staff
  • Music publishers
  • Transcription providers
  • Companies specialising in music notation software

Attendance is free. All delegates are required to complete a short application form. To find out more and to register, please download the flyer below and email mas@rnib.org.uk or ring 020 7391 2273.

Japanese Koto workshop and concert

Given by the Kakehashi Koto Ensemble and viola player Tikashi Kikuchi.

Date: 7 March 2015

Time: Workshop from 11:00 until 12:00 and concert from 13:00 until 14:00.

Venue: Room 5, RNIB, 105 Judd Street, London, WC1H 9NE

Discover the Koto with the Kakehashi Koto Ensemble, founded in 1988 in London, and viola player Takashi Kikuchi in a concert of traditional music from Japan. During the workshop you will hear about the distinctive music of the Japanese Koto, focussing on tuning, playing technique and compositional style. You will have the opportunity to play the koto yourself. The workshop is free. There are 12 places available for blind and partially sighted people over the age of 13. You may bring a sighted companion if you wish.

The concert is free. There will be a retiring collection for RNIB Sunshine House School, Northwood, a specialist school and residence for blind and partially sighted children from the ages of two to 14 who have significant learning difficulties.

For further details, please download the flyers below:

Music education

We provide information and offer advice on music education for blind and partially sighted musicians and those supporting them at all levels, from the earliest signs of interest to advanced studies.

Employment

We support blind and partially sighted musicians working, or wishing to work in the music business through advice, information and professional development workshops.

Making music

Our making music section is the place to find out about taking up music, choosing an instrument, finding a teacher, taking exams and using music technology.

Music events

We run music events for children, sometimes with their families, often in collaboration with other musical organisations. We also run music appreciation events for adults.

Reading music in accessible formats

We can offer advice on producing and learning from music notation in accessible formats, including Modified Stave Notation (MSN), Talking Scores and braille music. We also have suggestions for learning to play music by ear or memorising music. If you support or teach a blind musician, we can also offer help in producing music in accessible formats.

Music awards and funding

This page has details of awards and sources of funding for blind and partially sighted children and adults wishing to further their musical career or study.

RNIB box at the Royal Albert Hall

Did you know that RNIB has a box at the world famous Royal Albert Hall? If you are blind or partially sighted, you can apply for tickets and take a sighted friend or guide. Regular events include the annual BBC Proms concerts, the Cirque du Soleil, Classical Spectacular and events in aid of Barnardo's, as well as artists such as Jools Holland, Michael Bolton and Eric Clapton. We also have information on access to live music and ways to appreciate music from the comfort of your own home.

RNIB online shop

Shop online for a wide range of products that you need to remain independent. From talking scales to tactile labels, mobile phones to magnifiers, we can help you keep doing the things you love.

Online shop