Left-handed brass instruments for disabled pupils

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by sooze booze, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. sooze booze

    sooze booze Member

    My daughter has cerebral palsy and suffers from paralysis down her right side. She has been learning to play trombone the "wrong" way round but struggles to support it, prior to that, she played a cornet by holding it with her right hand and operating the valves with her left. This worked very well for a while and when she started to outgrow the cornet, we put her onto the trombone but just did it up the wrong way round. There doesn't seem to be much information available about brass instruments specialy made for disabled players, and she seems doomed to spend her life on a trombone she cannot support without difficulty. Does anyone know anything that might help with our problem? Any suggestions are welcome.
  2. AmandaD

    AmandaD Member

    You may like to try the ergobone


    this will support the weight of the instrument and should be adjustable as your daughter grows. Someone like Micheal Raths would be able to help you further.

  3. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    Could you explain more when you say she "Out grew the Cornet" what exactly do you mean ??
  4. sooze booze

    sooze booze Member

    She was showing signs of being unable to progress into the higher register and was becoming uncomfortable with squeezing her right hand inbetween the valve casings. There just didn't seem to be a comfortable way for her to hold the cornet. Unfortunately she suffers from cramping in her right hand if made to grip something, especially if not designed for the purpose, for any length of time. We didn't want to spend a lot of money on a mirror image cornet because we felt that she would benefit on a larger mouthpiece. Unfortunately she doesn't have the luxury of being able to try out different instruments to see which suits her best.
  5. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    I posted this reply earlier but it seems to not have been saved:
    speak to Sharon McCallum - she has done a conversion before for someone who needed LH drive!

  6. Bungle

    Bungle Member

    I believe Sharron still has the left hand cornet for sale. There are pictures on the Cranbrook Town band website news page for 2006-2007. She may sell it at a discount to your daughter as she has a disability herself. Also being a trombone repair expert she may be offer you some ideas on what can be done for a trombone.
  7. tomskibabes

    tomskibabes Member


    A member of our band plays the baritone left handed due to limited use in right hand, he is an excellant player.
    I previously had an accident which prevented me playing right handed and at that time I played the tenor horn, left handed which i found easy to balance on my knee as i'm quite small!!!

    I even know play the flugel left handed if my right hand is painful, the flugel is much easier to play left handed than the cornet as more space available for the right hand.

    don't know if this will assist or not

  8. sooze booze

    sooze booze Member

    is the baritone specially converted for left hand playing or does your player just reach around the instrument to access the valves with his left hand? My daughter is only ten and don't think she would be comfy doing that!

    sooze booze
  9. Alisop

    Alisop Member

    French Horn??
  10. sooze booze

    sooze booze Member

    You don't find many of them in your average brass band!! It would be the obvious choice otherwise although she also needs help supporting the instrument as well but thanks for replying. Keep forgetting this isn't just a brass band site, must be more specific in future!


  11. tomskibabes

    tomskibabes Member


    the baritone isn't specially converted so it may be too cumbersome for your daughter at this stage, i found the tenor horn, played left handed was ideal for a younger person, my daughter plays tenor horn (shes 8 and she can just manage to reach the valves left handed (she doesn't play left handed so not sure how she would manage long term):-?

    I think as all people are individuals you may need to try different instruments to find the best, and that this may change as she grows.

    There does appear to be a distinct lack of choice or adaptations for mainstream instruments, I have been thinking about this for a while now (i'm an Occupational Therapists by profession), i think manufacturers need to be approached more often and asked about changed / modifications to instruments and they then may realise there is a need for this service, don't know just a thought!