Creating an Adaptive Musical Instrument with a Performer with Disability: Development and Pedagogy

  • Ilsar, Alon (Primary Chief Investigator (PCI))
  • McCormack, Jon (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Trolland, Sam (Chief Investigator (CI))

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

The AirDancer is a wearable musical instrument designed to transform dance movements into music by triggering and manipulating sound in a 3D playing space, allowing the performer to create their own musical accompaniment, in real-time, while dancing. The AirDancer, developed from Alon Ilsar’s AirSticks technology at Monash University’s SensiLab, was conceived to support the dance practice of Melinda Smith, a professional dancer who lives with cerebral palsy. Smith has long wanted to contribute to making the music she dances to, but has never had access to an instrument that meets her access needs. We will develop AirDancer, focusing on the ways that the existing AirSticks technology can be adapted into an interface suitable for Smith’s movements. We will explore the ways that advanced manufacturing techniques can be utilised to create bespoke musical instruments to meet performers’ individual access and/or creative requirements.
Short titleAirDancer - Co-designing a new instrument for a dancer with cerebral palsy
Effective start/end date28/06/2230/09/22


  • assistive technology
  • gestural music
  • dance
  • music