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'll 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'd like further information, or have a specific query, please do get in touch:
We've produced a directory of organisations around the world who produce and loan Braille music. The directory is ordered alphabetically by country and gives contact email addresses, phone numbers and links to online catalogues where these are available.
For details of upcoming events and workshops for blind and partially sighted musicians, please visit our music events page.
ABRSM offers braille files for both piano and flute exam pieces. For piano players interested in taking ABRSM graded examinations, the 2017 - 2018 piano exam pieces for grades 1 and 8 are available directly from the ABRSM website, in the braille files for piano exams section.
For flute players interested in taking ABRSM graded examinations, the 2018 and 2021 exam pieces for grades 1 to 7 are available directly from the ABRSM website, in the braille files for flute exams section.
The files are in .BRF format and may be downloaded for free and embossed or read on a braille disaply. ABRSM also offers a wealth of information for blind and partially sighted candidates who are preparing to take their examinations.
We have updated our guide to buying and loaning music in accessible formats from RNIB. The guide covers Braille music, Modified Stave Notation (MSN) and audio resources, as well as music transcription from RNIB and books on music.
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. You can also find out about taking up music, choosing an instrument, finding a teacher, taking exams and using music technology.
We support blind and partially sighted musicians working, or wishing to work in the music business through advice, information and professional development workshops.
Our updated guide to getting into teaching contains advice specific to blind and partially sighted musicians, including links to professional development, suggestions for marketing and sources of funding.
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.
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 also offer help in producing music in accessible formats.
For screen reader users interested in creating music scores, we're working on a series of short tutorials for using Musescore with NVDA. You can find out about Creating a new score using Musescore and NVDA and inputting notes in Musescore with NVDA.
Further short tutorials will follow soon.
If you're interested in finding out more about this work, please email [email protected].
Our music awards and funding 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.