Dyslexic harpist unable to read sheet music creates inclusive rainbow harp
A dyslexic harpist who struggled to read music has invented a new harp with rainbow strings and matching coloured sheet music to help her play.
Morwenna Louttit-Vermaat, 34, always struggled to learn to read music but discovered it was easier if she put colour coded stickers on her harp.
Now Morwenna and husband Craeg, 35, both from Gloucestershire, have created a multi-coloured harp so that people with learning difficulties can play.
With the help of Matthew Kirby, a harp maker, and Eleanor Prout, a graphic designer, they created the rainbow harp to be more accessible.
And the invention has already started helping people.
Morwenna works with people who have special needs and one of them, who has autism, has been able to play the instrument thanks to the rainbow harp.
Craeg explained: ‘It was my wife’s idea.
‘When she was learning to play the harp she struggled reading the sheet music until she put coloured dots on her harp.
‘My wife and I also do a job where we look after people with special needs, and we had a lady with autism staying with us.
‘She couldn’t pick up musical instruments but with the rainbow harp she managed to play happy birthday to her mum.
‘The system makes it easier for people who are intimidated to play music on the harp, it makes it possible for them to do that.’
The rainbow harp has also helped young children play the instrument, including Creag and Morwenna’s son Django, four.
It has enabled people with special needs, as well as neurotypical people, to experience the joy of playing music that may have otherwise eluded them.
Craeg added: ‘It’s because of the colour coding. You don’t need to worry about which note is which because you just match the colours.
‘It means that anyone who can hum happy birthday then you can play it on the rainbow harp.
‘I’ve seen how much potential this has, we have lots of ideas about using it in a therapeutic setting.’
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