The Case for Adapted Musical Instruments

David Nabb is a Professor of Music at the University of Nebraska at Keaney.  He suffered a stroke in 2000 which paralyzed the left side of his body.  Over the course of several years, he worked with Jeff Stelling to design a saxophone that can be played with the right hand alone.  David recently gave a TedX talk in Lincoln, Nebraska about rediscovering his musical identity through his adapted instrument.  Thank you, David, for sharing your story and your musicianship!

I invented something! And you can, too!

About 6 years ago, I created a soprano recorder brace out of a plastic thumb rest, a wooden dowel, a screw, some glue, and some foam.  I use this brace today and I made one for my alto recorder, as well.  They are not fancy, but they work.

After dreaming about doing this for ages, I finally designed a brace that can be 3D printed!  

I used Tinkercad, a free, online platform for 3D design.  The program is easy to use; even without a background in engineering, I quickly learned how to create, resize, align, and group shapes.  Try it yourself!  

The engineering teacher at my school helped me print a few test pieces once my Tinkercad files were completed.  I designed one that is the same size as my original and a smaller one for elementary students.  Both of these designs are now available as open source files on Thingiverse.  Please share them with anyone who might benefit from them!

Open Source STL Files:

Recorder Arm Adult Size

Recorder Arm Child Size