Linda is an accomplished singer and pianist and teaches both, so she was deeply affected when treatment for breast cancer left her unable to support her left arm or move it sufficiently to play, even though her fingers were unaffected. She wasn’t able to work any more or enjoy her piano, so felt very frustrated. Linda needed a device of some sort to support her left wrist while playing the piano.
Occupational therapist Heidi Grant contacted Remap Bournemouth and a local volunteer Alan Blundell came to meet Heidi and Linda.
Together they came up with the idea of fitting a rail to the front edge of the piano, then adding a wheeled wrist support like a truck that would run silently up and down the rail. The rail would need to run from the centre of the piano – middle C – to just beyond the end of the left hand keys, so that the wrist support could be parked out of the way when not needed.
Alan set to work, fitting the supporting rail from underneath so as to have the minimum impact on the appearance of the piano. The truck which runs along the support rail was shaped so that the Linda’s wrist is comfortably supported with expanded foam and chamois leather. On trying out the aid Linda was immediately able to play without any trouble. She was delighted and was able to resume giving music lessons and playing for her own pleasure.
Heidi commented “As a Community Occupational Therapist I’m looking out for opportunities for people to enjoy meaningful activity so when Linda mentioned that she was a piano/singing teacher and was struggling to play the piano anymore, I jumped at the chance to help her. Remap was able to take an idea and make it a reality – just brilliant!”