Earlier this month I visited the Nuvo Instrumental office in Beverly, MA. They are creating a line of high-quality pre-band instruments and recorders. These instruments are designed to make wind instruments easier for children to play and learn. I think the applications for students with limb differences, low muscle tone, fine motor challenges, and other special needs could be tremendous!
I am especially excited about the Recorder +. It is a recorder with keys! I’ve dreamed about this for years, and it actually exists! And it is only $15!
The silicone keys are easy to press and they cover the holes effectively.
Since I don’t need to cover the holes completely with my fingers, I can turn my hand sideways and play low C without any modifications!*
*I am using my wooden brace, but I haven’t changed the instrument at all!
But what about musicians who still don’t have enough fingers to cover all of the holes? Can you add key extensions to play multiple keys with one finger? I made some crude keys out of popsicle sticks and glued them to the silicone. When I pressed the end of the popsicle sticks, air leaked out and I couldn’t get a consistent tone. I’ll keep experimenting, as I think it must be possible to make effective key extensions. With individualized key placements, this instrument would be even more versatile.
This instrument was designed to be played with the left hand on top and the right hand on the bottom. For those who need to play with the right hand on top, it feels a little awkward, but it is possible.
Nuvo Instrumental is a collaboration between an engineer and a musician, which I think is an ideal combination. They are extremely interested in teacher and student feedback and they are constantly revising their instruments. I can’t wait to see what they create next!