A blind musician is hoping to remove musical barriers through music.
She is inventing a 3D musical score that can be used by everyone.
The musician often felt alienated by some in the classroom, and now is trying to raise money to create a universal system for all.
Yeaji (pronounced: yay-GEE’) Kim has played piano for most of her life.
Being born blind, she has never seen a musical score.
She learned from a braille score and often felt alienated in piano class in South Korea. Sometimes she would pretend she was just looking at normal text books, Kim says.
“I just borrow one of my friend’s book and then I just opened this book and then as if I am playing like I am sight reading like other kids,” Kim says.
Kim also learned braille scores aren’t as complete as regular scores, and musical instructions such as “hair pin” were missing on the braille scores.
“When we rehearsed they talk about ‘Oh there’s some hairpin here. ‘ What’s a hairpin? A hairpin in here on my head not score. I didn’t know what that is. I don’t have hairpin. And they explained it to me. It was shameful for me,” Kim says.
So she came up with the idea for a complete 3D score for blind students that also be used by anyone else as part of her doctoral dissertation at the University of Wisconsin.
Jessica Johnson, professor of piano and piano pedagogy helped Kim on her dissertation:
“When young children are learning piano if they aren’t able to see they are denied access to a lot of the materials. There currently aren’t many braille scores in existence for studying music, particularly piano. And this system would revolutionise that.”
Kim tried a few different variations: one was made out of plastic, another with a 3D pen.
Now she’s researching an easier way to put it on paper and trying to raise money to produce it.
“What I am hoping is that this score can open the more door for the children with the visual disability,” says Kim.
And take away any barriers to learning music.
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