DOI: 10.1177/1321103x231214113 ISSN: 1321-103X

A sensory-friendly adaptive concert model supported by caregiver perspectives

Jenna Richards, Erin Parkes
  • Music
  • Education

Attending a concert may prove difficult for individuals with exceptionalities or disabilities and those who support them. While traditional performance environments may not feel welcoming or amenable for individuals with exceptionalities and their families, arts organizations have recently made efforts to produce concerts that address barriers to accessibility. These adaptive concerts, most frequently labeled as Sensory-Friendly Concerts, attempt to create environments suitable for diverse communities, supporting individuals and groups who are frequently underrepresented as audience members in performance contexts. This article explores adaptive music performances, contributing a model for sensory-friendly adaptive concerts supported by caregivers’ perspectives through a post-concert survey. The model proposed includes four areas of adaptation: pre-show work, environment audit, extra-musical aids, and programming adjustments. The authors outline the various modifications with data points from a sample of adaptive concert caregiver attendees ( n = 15), aligning the theoretical model with practice to provide practical examples and tangible outputs for researchers, presenters, musicians, educators, and policymakers.

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