Joseph and Baluji sit on the floor surrounded by musical instruments including sitars and drums.

Joseph and Baluji explore a new instrument

Have you ever wondered how to introduce a new instrument to a blind or partially sighted individual?

Someone with a vision impairment will require sensory exploration to become familiar with an instrument – touching and feeling it, exploring its construction and the different sounds it can make.

In this clip, professional musician and teacher Baluji Shrivastav encourages Joseph to explore the sitar for the first time. Baluji, who also is also blind, helps Joseph find his way around the instrument. Joseph explores the weight of the sitar and the number and layout of its strings.

Video description: Joseph explores a new instrument, the sitar, for the first time. Music practitioner Baluji, who is also blind, offers Joseph guidance to help him understand the instrument.

It can be more time-consuming to collect information through physical touch, compared to a visual scan of an unfamiliar object. Baluji ensures Joseph has plenty of time and space to explore the sitar, offering gentle guidance.

A number of our Amber music practitioners also have a vision impairment. This adds a wonderful dynamic to the ways in which music is taught to children who are blind or partially sighted. Music practitioners are able to support their students through their own experiences of learning to play an instrument with sight loss.

You can watch the full film of Joseph and Baluji’s story on the Amber Sound Touch website.

Would you like to teach music to children with vision impairment?

The Amber Sound Touch logo - three orange figures with music notes for heads dance on some bar lines

If you are interested in teaching music to blind or partially sighted children, Amber Sound Touch is a free resource to help you get started. You can find a wide variety of videos and resources outlining different teaching techniques and approaches.

We believe that vision impairment should not prevent children and young people from engaging with music. Our Music Services offer a variety of schemes to support children and young people with sight loss.