Just The Tonic with Katie Derham


A Level Playing Field? with Charles Hazlewood

Season 1, Ep. 5

The People's Orchestra open their doors to anyone in the West Midlands who wants play in their orchestras or sing in their show choirs. Being inclusive is part of their DNA.


There are around 11 million people with a disability in the UK - that's over a fifth of the population - but they are hugely under-represented in the music industry and in music education. So, are we ignoring many talented musicians who don't fit the standard mould?


Disabled musicians face challenges like finding and buying the right instrument, accessing lessons and finding opportunities to perform. There are still concert halls in the UK where a musician in a wheelchair can't access the stage.


Strictly Come Dancing's first deaf contestant, actor Rose Ayling-Ellis is changing perceptions around deaf performers and British Sign Language.


How can we make the music industry a more level playing field for disabled musicians?


Katie finds out when she chats to Klara Filip from The People's Orchestra; Andy Sandham founder member of The People's Orchestra and music teacher in Birmingham; and acclaimed musician and conductor, Charles Hazlewood, founder of Paraorchestra, the world's first fully integrated orchestra of professional disabled and non-disabled musicians.





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