Music and Chorus

For many years, it was a popular misconception that individuals who are blind or low vision possessed special musical talent. As with all of the arts, however, it is talent and practice, rather than vision (or lack of vision) that are the key factors contributing to musical success.

Use a Large Print Score or Large Print Lyrics

If you have low vision, you can enlarge the musical score to 16-18 point (or larger) font using a copy machine or a computer with a scanner. You can enlarge just the lyrics if you have a good “ear” for music.

Low Vision Devices

Ask to be repositioned in your choir or musical group to maximize available lighting. This may also help to improve your view of the director or conductor.

Talk with your eye doctor about low-vision optical devices that might help read musical scores and lyrics or see the conductor or director. Helpful low-vision devices can include small hand-held magnifiers and/or magnifiers with built-in lights, small hand-held telescopes for spot viewing, spectacle-mounted telescopes, bioptic telescopes, or frame-mounted binoculars. The Lime Lighter from Dancing Dots allows you to view music notation at up to 10 times standard size while scrolling with a pedal leaving your hands free to play.

Learn to Play Music by Ear

Many musicians learn to play music by ear. There are several courses designed to teach this method. See Bill Brown’s Music Lessons by Ear website for one example of learning to play instruments by ear.

Use Braille Music

Many musicians and vocalists learn to read braille music. For more information on braille music and braille scores, see about braille and other products for making music.

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