Paraorchestra: young woman talks about making music as a person with a disability

Charlotte White was a piano player before becoming disabled as the result of a brain injury aged 11.

However at the age of 16 she was reintroduced and now in her twenties still plays and performs using music technology. As a member of the British Paraorchestra, she was involved in BBC Music Day in June; a nationwide celebration of music, aiming to bring people together across generations and communities through their love of music. Following the event earlier this month she has talked about the importance of recognising music assistive technology and custom built instruments as a form of music.  “It’s very different from traditional instruments. It’s much harder to be acknowledged for your ability and much harder to break into areas especially in orchestras. “Apart from Paraorchestra, I don’t really know of any orchestra that plays classical music that has people playing music technology in it." Charlotte says that British Paraorchestra, which is the world’s first professional ensemble of disabled musicians, is opening people’s minds and demonstrating that no matter what a person’s instruments, they can play and perform.  She added: “I think until the day disabled musicians are fully integrated into the mainstream orchestras, organisations such as British Paraorchestra have to exist. “It is giving many of us opportunities which we wouldn’t otherwise exist and that I am very grateful for. It’s also showing people that disabled musicians can make music together and we can perform like other people.”  
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