Munster Technological University

By Orlaith McGowan, Laura Riordan, Henry Conroy
€ 132700





Ended on 04-04-2021


Playing an instrument has some huge emotional and wellbeing benefits and this is the reason music therapy is so widely used today. Music therapy has been shown to increase the skills and abilities of people who have special needs in the areas of; social and emotional behaviours, motor skills, communication skills and language and vocal production. However, finding an instrument to play can be a challenge. People with reduced motor skills and dexterity can often be excluded from the joys of playing music due to physical or intellectual difficulties. We are solving the problem of diversity and inclusion when it comes to playing music, allowing everyone to experience the wonderful joys and benefits of playing an instrument. There is a large gap in the market for our product. Based on feedback from certified music therapists and patent research, there is no other product as unique as ours currently available. According to Fender – 90% of Guitar beginners give up playing the guitar in the first year. With the introduction of Strum, we aim to reduce this figure substantially by providing individuals with an aid which will enhance confidence in their learning abilities and therefore they will continue to play the guitar for years to come. Strum is a new retrofittable, portable device that attaches to the neck of any guitar. It is intended to aid the user in playing the guitar, allowing them to play chords by simply touching the correct strings, with very little pressure needed, taking away the pain or excessive difficulty some people experience while playing the guitar. The device can also help the user to learn the chords, using a digital touch pad which will display the desired finger positions in a different colour for each chord. The device is adaptable to different abilities, and can be coded to play a chord even if not all fingers are positioned correctly. Similarly, if the user were to only have the use of one or two fingers, or if they suffered from arthritis, the device could adapt. The testimonial below from a certified music therapist in the US, Michelle Muth, described the gap in the market for Strum. ​ ‘I am very excited about the potential for this assistive guitar playing device the engineering students are creating. As a board-certified music therapist, with clients who may not have the coordination, finger strength or cognitive ability to learn and finger guitar chords this device shows great promise. Plus, I believe, is the first of its kind, making it more satisfying for the player and allowing for easy learning. I look forward to watching the progress of this device.’ – Michelle Muth, MT-BC Strum is the first of its kind assistive guitar playing device, with patentable technology and a large target market, with the potential to make a beneficial contribution to users’ lives. From suffers of physical and intellectual limitations to those looking to learn the guitar, Strum caters to all to enable them to experience the wonderful benefits of playing music.