Lia Mice | Making the One-Handed Violin

Our MA Creative Music Production Programme Leader tells us how she designed the ground-breaking One-Handed Violin...


ICMP is holding its own Disability Awareness month across November with a series of events aimed at promoting discussions surrounding disability, accessibility and neurodiversity. 

Events will see tutors Luke Toms, an ICMP Teaching Fellow, and ICMP Programme Leader Josh Hills, discussing their own disability statements and our MA in Creative Music Production Programme Leader, Lia Mice, talking about her ground-breaking work behind the One-Handed Violin. 

Alongside trumpeter Clarence Adoo, who helped develop the Headspace virtual instrument, and Liza Bec who invented the Robo-recorder, Lia is one of a number of innovators focusing on widening access to musical performance and participation.

You can learn more about Lia's event here and read our interview with Lia on how the violin was envisioned below... 

In collaboration with the One Handed Musical Instrument Trust, you designed the One-Handed Violin. What are the big challenges in accessible instrument design?

The biggest challenge in the field of accessible instrument design is that nothing is accessible for everyone. We can only ever aim for improved accessibility, or more specifically, improved accessibility within certain contexts.

I think everyone can agree that we as humans can do a lot better than we have been doing so far to make the experience of performing and enjoying music more accessible to more people.

Most musical instruments, Digital Audio Workstations, studios, venues and events are not designed with accessibility in mind, and even more are not designed in consultation with people who have lived experience of disability. The result is that much of the music industry is inaccessible to a range of musicians and music-lovers." 

People with lived experience of disability have knowledge of what they themselves find accessible or inaccessible.

People without the same live experience simply do not have this knowledge. So the best way to achieve improved accessibility is to collaborate with those who have lived experience of disability. Excitingly, quite often a focus on accessible design results in heightened accessibility overall.

The voice command technology used in Alexa and Siri was first created to make computer interaction more accessible for those with disabilities, but now many more people benefit from this.

Why have disabled musicians often been left behind by the industry? 

The music industry exists within a larger society which is still working towards accessible design and disability justice. 

Is the industry evolving how it discusses and opens up opportunities for disabled musicians? 

The industry is ever-evolving and everyone I’ve met so far in the music industry wants their products, venues and events to be accessible to as many people as possible.

At the end of the day it’s good for business - it's estimated that ten percent of people identify as disabled, so why make something that’s inaccessible!

A lot of focus is now being placed on increasing accessibility in music technology: companies are hiring people with lived experience of disability as consultants to help improve accessibility."

What can other musicians and performers do to support disabled artists/performers?

We can create a supportive industry by openly discussing access needs. For instance, when planning an event, it’s good practice to share the venue's accessibility information and ask attendees to get in touch if they have access requirements or concerns.

This consideration can be extended to the event team and artists.

When requesting a performer's tech rider, additionally requesting and accommodating access requirements goes a long way to making the industry supportive and inclusive.

Visit to find out more. 

Disability Support at ICMP 

Our dedicated Disability Advisers provide guidance and support to disabled students.

Our team can offer advice before you begin your studies, and it can take a significant amount of time (up to three months) to make some kinds of support arrangements, so please get in touch as soon as you are thinking of studying with us, and if possible before your course starts.  

 CONTACT our STUDENT wellbeing team

Photo credit | Chris Turner

Great producers change the way the world listens

If you’re looking to turn heads with your own unique production style, ICMP’s pioneering approach to music education will provide everything you need. Our Music Production students all benefit from fully equipped Audient and SSL recording studios, Mac Labs, world-class gear, an exceptional team of tutors, masterclasses, exclusive events, collaborative opportunities, and a curriculum that covers studio and live work, engineering, composition, advanced skills, business, and professional development.

To completely immerse yourself in your music career, chat with our friendly Admissions Team via email or give them a call on 020 7328 0222.

Production Courses
by ICMP staff writer
November 21, 2023
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