Resource List

Updated 2/24/2020

This list provides links and contact information for the organizations and services which have been found useful when people of any age are working on their musical development. We have divided it up into several categories, which thos using screen readers can find by searching for headings, or moving to items at the same level by using the heading level number, mostly levels 2 and 3.

In the following list, Several organizations will be mentioned more than once, due to the wide variety of services they offer. We have put an asterisk (*) before items we know have been repeated.

The sponsors of this web site have asked us to emphasize that this is not meant to be solely "self-service." If you cannot find what you are looking for, or would like to talk with someone who knows about your particular interest, please feel free to contact us-Phone 203 366-3300, We may not know the answers ourselves, but will try or best to connect you with someone who does.

Our thanks to all of those we have consulted, listserv members, and the authors of the Resources pages of the Dancing Dots and NFB web site, which provided many ideas. We welcome yours.

Braille Music and Music In Other Formats, Resources for Learning and Participation

Braille Music in the United States, and Straightforward download Sites

Music Section, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress

Main home page for NLS, from which you can use the online catalog:
For the web page of the Music Section itself:

The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped provides braille and recorded books on loan through a national network of cooperating libraries. Materials are made available only to U.S. citizens within the country and U.S. citizens living abroad, who meet NLS eligibility requirements. The music section is the country's Largest source of braille, Large print and recorded scores and instructional materials. Library patrons wishing to order music must register with the Music Section at the Library of congress itself and order directly from there. Registration forms are available from cooperating network libraries, or you may call the Music section at the toll-free number for NLS, 800 424-8567. Several thousand of its music holdings are now available for download through the NLS BARD site, for patrons registrered for the service. Braille readers must have access to an embosser or braille-aware device, such as a braille display or notetaker. Those interested in signing up for BARD should contact their cooperating network library.

One of the easiest ways to locate music is to use the catalog. From the main NLS home page, search for the link, "Quick Search for the Online Catalog. you can bookmark that page for future reference.

Additional Contact Information for Library of Congress:

Music Section
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20542
Phone: 800 424-8567

American Printing House for the Blind

Home page:
Louis catalog: http//
Go directly to the online store:

APH transcribes music primarily on contract, but several scores and lesson books are available for purchase. One of the most popular is the Primer of Braille Music by Jenkins. APH also produces the music transcribing manuals and official braille bcodes for the Braille Authority of North America. APH houses a Union Catalog called Louis, listing books transcribed by agencies around the country, and this should be consulted in any search for music.

Additional Contact Information for APH:
P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, KY 40206-0085
(800) 223-1839
(502) 895-2405

CTD Creations

Braille Music for Guitar
Tina Davidson,
Direct link to braille music page:

This web site of certified transcriber Tina Davidson offers resources for fellow transcribers, educators, and blind guitarists who read braille music or who would like to learn braille music. Topics include classical guitar music, guitar chords & strumming,
and voice & guitar arrangements, public domain music which may be freely downloaded or distributed.

Royal National Institute of Blind People, RNIB Music and Services

We refer people to the music services of the Royal National Institute of Blind People quite often. Its library has many scores and music books not available in the United States, and it is the distributor of graded and preparation materials for the Royal Conservatory Examinations. With certain restrictions, it loans materials throughout the world to libraries and individuals and may be one source of music in countries where braille music is otherwise hard to obtain. Some 2500 of its more than 14,000 scores are available for purchase internationally. Its Music Advisory Service is a resource for blind and visually impaired people within and outside the UK, helping those interested in music for leisure or evaluation for education and examinations. We have found its articles on many topics extremely helpful.

Another organization that works alongside the RNIB, The UK Association of Accessible Formats, researches and is the information source for such projects as Accessible Staff Notation and Talking Scores. It also maintains "A worldwide listing of organisations producing and loaning Braille music,"

Here are some useful links:

RNIB Home page:

RNIB Music Advisory Service:">

Email to Music Advisory Service:

RNIB information page about braille music and factsheet to download:

Searchable library catalogue:

For questions to a music librarian:

Purchasing: RNIB Exports department

The UK Association For Accessible Formats

Other sources of braille music in the UK and other countries are found in the UKAAF's comprehensive "A worldwide listing of organisations producing and loaning Braille music," mentioned earlier.

Transcribers, lists and Agencies

The following lists may be helpful if you are looking for someone to transcribe music. Finding a transcriber is still mvery often a matter of "shopping", calling ones that seem likely, finding out whether they can handle the particular type of work you need done, whether they have time for an additional assignment and how much time it would take to complete, , and a price quote. Often material can be mailed or faxed to a transcriber, with the transcriber either mailing hardcopy or the file in a format, such as .brf, that can be embossed at school or at home.

*NLS Music Section, list of music transcribers<

Go to the Music Section's home page link and search for Circular 4, Braille Music Transcribers, available in HTML and braille formats.

National Braille Association

The NBA works directly with music transcribers, provides support and workshops, and may be able to connect you with someone.

Additional Contact Information for National Braille Association:

95 Allens Creek Road
Bldg. 1, Suite 202
Rochester, NY 14618
Phone 585-427-8260
Fax 585-427-0263

National Braille Press

Individual Braille Transcription Services List 2009
This lists agencies and individuals and what types of braille transcribing they can do. Some handle braille music.
Home page for National Braille Press:
Or try this direct link for downloading the Transcription List in a variety of file formats

Additional Contact Information for National Braille Press:<

88 Saint Stephen Street
Boston, MA 02115-4302
Phone: (617) 266-6160
Toll-free: (888) 965-8965
Fax: (617) 437-0456

*Dancing Dots Braille Music Technology

Among its many products and services, Dancing Dots will transcribe music using its GOODFEEL Braille Music Translator.

Additional Contact Information for Dancing Dots:

1754 Quarry Lane
P.O. Box 927
Valley Forge, PA 19482-0927
Phone : 610 783-6692
Fax: 610 783-6732

Alternate Text Production Center (California only)

From existing print or electronic documents, the ATPC creates alternate media products for use by California Community College students with print-related disabilities.

Additional Contact Information for Alternate Text Production Center:

71-A Day Road
Ventura, California 93003
Phone: (805) 648-8927 . . Fax: (805) 648-8982
Toll Free Numbers
Voice: (800) 858-9984 TTY: (800) 858-9982

Books and Aids for Learning Braille Music

Most of the following are available on loan through the NLS Music Section. Books may be borrowed in both braille and in print, so that a teacher or parent can work along with the student. Books must be borrowed in the studenet's name, and the student must be registered with the Music section.

Primer of Braille Music by Edward W. Jenkins

American Printing House for the Blind

A concise pamphlet from which hundreds of students have learned. It has good exercises, but needs the aid of a knowledgeable teacher to explain the braille and music concepts.

How To Read Braille Music, by Bettye Krolick

Available from
National Braille Press.

Very good and concise explanations, written at a fifth grade vocabulary level, of how the braille music code works, as it would be used especially by students in elementary school. Must be supplemented with exercises or actual music, such as band material, since the book does not contain exercises.

Who's Afraid of Braille Music, by Richard Taesch and William McCann, other braille music courses published by Dancing Dots

"Who's Afraid", which is Also available from National Braille Press is an excellent introduction for students of all ages and parents and educators, which demystifies the braille music code and teaches basic concepts for forming good foundations. The other courses are excellent for those who want to learn and have thorough practice using braille music and music concepts over time. The teacher does not need to have knowledge of braille.

Dictionary of Braille Music Signs

Available by contacting the NLS Music Section,
phone call 800 424-8567.

This is for use by people who already know the music code. It provides definitions and instances in the many ways the signs may be used.

Braille Music Charts

From the Braillem web site:

Charts in braille and .pdf formats compiled by Jennifer Dunnam at the National Federation of the Blind's site:
From the link below, search for "Braille Literacy Resources" and then "music."

Also available from Dancing Dots
This is a set of braille music symbols on Lego® style blocks, that may be fitted onto a board. Note that this learning aid costs $695.

Distance Learning and Support

This is another area in which the prospective student will need to shop for a program customized to individual needs. Some possibilities are

Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Correspondence courses for Blind Students and Sighted Teachers

We are looking forward to reinstitution of braille music courses soon.

MENVI, Music Education Network for the Visually Impaired

With a web site and listserv for those who sign up for free membership, MENVI does not itself offer distance learning but its members are happy to answer questions from teachers, parents and stduents and provide suggestions and support for getting the learning process started.

*Dancing Dots,
phone 610 783-6692

*The Music Suite, managed by Stephanie Pieck
phone (518) 464-0484

National Resource Center for blind Musicians (This link takes you to the home page)
Phone 203 366-3300, extension229

We do not have the ability to go much beyond explaining the basics to students and their teachers, but we may be able to help find someone as a contact.

Braille Through Remote Learning

Course for teachers of Braille music at the University of Massachusetts, Boston

Braille Transcribing Manuals and Support for Transcribers

Introduction to Braille Music Transcription, Second Edition 2005, by Mary Turner De Garmo, revised and edited by Lawrence R. Smith, Music Braille Transcriber

This is the textbook for the Library of Congress' music braille transcription course.
Print and braille editions available for download from the Music Section, hardcopies may be purchased from the American Printing House
And Opus Technologies.

Music Braille Code 1997, Braille Authority of North America

Available for download in print or braille from the Braille Authority of North America,
Or for purchase from the American Printing House
And Opus Technologies.

New International Manual of Braille Music Notation.

Available for purchase from
Opus Technologies.

*National Braille Association

Supports braille transcribers through a committee of experts, publications and articles about braille music, and workshops at national development conferences.

Additional Contact Information for National Braille Association:

95 Allens Creek Road
Bldg. 1, Suite 202
Rochester, NY 14618
Phone 585-427-8260
Fax 585-427-0263

Large Print

LRS: Large Print Textbooks for Visually Impaired Students, Mainstreaming & Inclusion: Large Print books for Libraries

Has enlarged music in its collection and can produce music to order.

Audio Textbooks

Learning Ally

Has books on all aspects of music, including music history and theory, useful for all students, including braille readers, when braille is not available.

Additional Contact Information for Learning Alley:

20 Roszel Road
Princeton, NJ 08540
Phone: Student services: 800 221-4792
Main number: (609) 452-0606

Music As Audio Dictation, Audio Described Music Scores

No-CNotes (tm) is a method of describing a music score through a human interpreter, using a consistent order for dictating each musical element, and is saved as a digital audio file. Each described score also includes a file with the music itself played as MP3 files. Its developer, based in Duluth, Minnesota, is no longer producing or selling transcriptions but is available to provide instruction and training to people who want to transcribe music in this method. contact Christina at

Talking Scores, link to the Royal National Institute of Blind People's beta test site, where you can try out some examples

Low Vision

You will find some duplication between some of the resources on this page and those on our Low Vision page. We suggest you read the Low Vision page first, and consult this page for quick reference or for leads on new developments we don't have many details on as yet.

The Lime Lighter from Dancing Dots

Dancing Dots can also help in finding transcribers to produce music in Lime.
(See the Low Vision page for information on home-made systems.)

Modified Stave Notation, customizing Music for Individual Readers, Royal National Institute of Blind People

Musiczoomapp for iPad has an app that can be downloaded for the iPad. Not much is known about it.

Simply Piano Web Site This provides piano lessons. Not designed for low-vision users, but some have reported its use of scrolling notes useful to them. Perhaps it could inspire other developers.

Schools and Summer Programs

(Note: The National Resource Center no longer holds its Summer Institute for Blind College-bound Musicians. We stand ready to help students as we can and connect them with services and teachers who can help them prepare for college study.)

Braille Beats
Summer residential intensive program in Michigan, for children age nine through high school. It teaches Braille music, art, yoga, and independent living.

Enchanted Hills Camp Music Academy

This program for musicians ages 14-24 is directed by Bill McCann and a team of teachers and musicians. The 2016 program takes place August 1-10, ten days of applying music literacy and performance skills designed for musicians who are blind or have low vision. The students will spend the first seven days at the Enchanted Hilles camp in the mountains just west of Nappa, California, and the final three at the new headquarters of the Sanfransisco Lighthouse. The first week will include opportunities to read, write, record and perform music, Learn to produce scores in braille music, magnified or standard print notation, create multi-track audio productions Sing in the EHC Summer Music Academy chorus, and sing or play solo or in a small group in performances at camp and in the community. There will be time to swim, hike, and hang out with others who are serious about their musicm too. During the final three days in San Francisco they will attend concerts and guest lecture presentations. See the link above, under the heading "Music Academy: August 1-10, 2016", for additional information, videos from previous years, and an application.

Music Production & Engineering Program, I See Music, LLC

Approved by the state of Illinois as a vocational training school, the program provides blind and visually impaired adults solid foundations in sound engineering, to prepare for advanced training to become music producers, engineers, and DJ’s. The curriculum of training modules is offered during over seven-week periods several times a year. training uses state-of-the=-art equipment for the Macintosh platform. I See Music has studio space and equipment for rent and works with organizations nationally to promote training for blind people in the growing field of sound editing.

Contact Byron Harden, Founder & Managing Partner
I See Music, LLC
605 Reed Street
P.O. Box 219
Beecher, IL 60401
Phone 312-810-1001

The Filomen M. D'Agostino Greenberg Music School
Phone (315) 842-4489

The Fill Music School, as it has come to be called, has been a New York City staple since 1913. It is committed to helping people pursue their study of music while addressing the challenges posed by vision loss. It Teaches braille music and other learning techniques; its classes in all aspects of music, choirs and performing groups employ material in braille and large print. The Music School has garnered high regard throughout the nation for its instruction, performances, and teacher training. It also offers braille and large-print music transcription. Most of its classes are held at the 92nd Street Y. For more information, contact its Executive Director, Dr. Leslie Jones, or its Director of Music Studies, Dr. Dalia Sakas.

Academy of Music for the Blind
The Academy of Music for the Blind, working primarily in the Los Angeles area, is dedicated to providing music education to blind students and professionals of all ages. Executive director David Pinto and faculty provide classes in all aspects of music, braille music, use of technology, dance, and other art forms, all geared to the needs of people with vision loss and those with additional disabilities. For information on David Pinto's company, YesAccessible!, including the TypeAbility program of instruction for children and CakeTalking, see

The Music Suite

A music School and services from Stephanie Pieck
Stephanie Pieck
1371 Kings Rd.
Schenectady NY 12303
phone: (518) 464-0484>

Course for teachers of Braille music at the University of Massachusetts, Boston

College Preparation, Mentoring, Financial Aid, and Funding Sources

Learning Ally's College Success Program for Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired

This site has resources, tips, videos, and suggestions for preparation, based on extensive research confirmed by students making their way through higher education. The program can link a student with a mentor who can provide support and ideas on handling situations that come up while in high school through the college years.


Information for professors, administrators and others on methods of assuring course materials are accessible to students with all diabilities. Webinars both free and to members only feature speakers who present on on timely access topics, suc as how to make .pdf and PowerPoint files accessible.

Afb's CareercConnect

Information, resources, employment listings, guides, and mentoring for people of all ages, from the young person beginning to think about jobs or college to older adults updating their job-seeking skills for a new job.

A Blind Music Student’s College Survival Guide, by Richard Taesch

The two parts of this handbook are on the Documents page of the Menvi web site. Search for the word "survival."

Recorded Learning Materials and Lessons

Music for the Blind, Bill Brown

Lesson Tapes, CD's, and downloads for purchase for Learning Guitar, piano, and Other Instruments. Many of Mr. Brown's courses are available from the NLS Music Section, and may be downloaded by registered borrowers from the NLS BARD site.

Let's Play, Classical Guitar Course


A collaboration between Austin Classical Guitar and the Texas School for the blind, this course teaches the essentials of playing guitar in the classical style, starting with audio lessons and tips for tuning and transitioning students to braille music, which is taught as part of the program.

Accessible Guitar Chords and Scales A work in progress by its developer Ben Steinbuhler, This special outgrowth of the Standard Guitar web site provides verbal descriptions of fingering, with string and fret numbers for thousands of guitar chords and scales for every key and mode. Users may hear audio using all Java-equipped browsers except Internet Explorer.

Recorded Instructional Materials From NLS

Recorded Instructional materials and courses for a variety of instruments and at all levels are available from the NLS Music Section, Music Section

10 Basic Recommended Rudiments

a CD by percussionist Ike Alexander, available from Dancing Dots.

International Phonetic Alphabet

This IPA Braille web site, and the work behind it, was undertaken by Dr. Robert Englebretson of Rice University, in conjunction with the International Council on English Braille. There is a braille IPA code, recognized by the Braille Authority of North America. If the phonetic symbols are written in Unicode, the Dusbury Braille Translator (starting with version 11.1) can translate the Unicode into the equivalent braille symbols. The site contains links to the IPA Braille Code, JAWS scripts that allow for the unicode symbols to be spoken, and fonts and software tools that allow a student to enter IPA for submission in print. One of these tools configures a computer keyboard for entering phonetic characters. An article and links explain various ways phonetic symbols can be entered.

Internet Music Sites Students Have found Useful

Music support Organizations and Listservs

*MENVI, Music Education Network for the Visually Impaired

An international coalition of parents, educators and students. This is a membership organization, though its web site is available to all. Those who become members (membership is free) have access to each other through a roster, and can also get in touch with experts in a variety of different music issues for blind people. its listserv allows musicians and others to share information and their experience on such topics as getting through school, performance, and learning braille music. The web site includes articles and other useful tips.

BrailleM, the braille music email list

BrailleM is a place for discussing and learning about all aspects of braille music code. The list is designed to help beginners in Braille music and give
them a place where they can ask questions of more experienced braille music users. The list will also be useful to more experienced users, who can discuss about more difficult passages and formats. The list also covers any and all subjects related to braille music, such as where to find teaching materials, where to order braille music material, how to transcribe music into braille music code, and so on. Directions for subscribing to the list are provided on the home page.

Braille Music Chat

This list, moderated by Angela Purll, is inspired by the memory and work of the late Jill Smith, a skilled teacher of braille music. "Together we can promote the use of Braille music much further, and provide support for those already involved, and those who wish to be in whatever regard, sighted or not!" To join, send a blank message to: With the word “subscribe” in the subject line.

Friends in Art

A national organization for Blind, Visually Impaired, and Deaf-Blind artists, musicians and writers, sculptors, painters, raconteurs,
dancers, actors, musicians, and art enthusiasts."An affiliate of the American council of the Blind.

Midimag, The MIDI Magazine Users Group

A listserv of blind musicians sharing their experience and supporting each other in the use and access to electronic music devices. interested
The web site, still under construction, has instructions for subscribing to the list.

National Federation of the Blind Musicians Listserv

National Federation of the Blind Performing Arts Division listserv

General Blindness Organizations

Association of Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired

Resource for educators, support, publications and conferences

Additional contact Information for AER

1703 N. Beauregard Street, Suite 440
Alexandria, VA 22311

American Foundation for the Blind

The extensive web site has many areas for exploration, including Career Connect, AccessWorld, information for families and elders, and directories of agencies and services.

American council of the Blind

National Federation of the Blind
200 East Wells Street
at Jernigan Place
Baltimore, MD 21230
Phone: 410-659-9314
Fax: 410-685-5653

Publishes Dialogue Magazine, which contains articles for people of all ages including students and those experiencing vision loss later in life. Interviews
of people in careers often feature musicians. Each issue has an excellent listing of resources and services. Blindskills compiles information packages
and can be called for information on just about any subject related to services and vision loss. Its web site lists many resources and has links to more.

Additional Contact Information for Blindskills

Blindskills, Inc.
P.O. Box 5181
Salem,OR 97304-0181
Phone (800) 860-4224
(503) 581-4224
Fax: (503) 581-0178

Council of Schools for the Blind

Administrators of the schools communicate with each other through this organization and web site. Contains a directory of schools.

Council of State Agencies for the Blind

Music Technology and Miscellaneous

Music Notation and Sound Editing Software, Scripts for Screen Readers, and Research Projects

The following entries represent either resources that students and educators would want to check at the very start of their quest, or the less obvious ones that we often find ourselves directing people to when they call us. We caution those doing independent searches to remember that many of the most attractive offerings may not be practical or accessible without vision. Do not try to reinvent the wheel. It is often best to seek advice from those who are cognizant of the issues or have direct experience in the field, including vendors of specialized music technology. Our experience is that their suggestions will be honest, even among vendors of competing products--all have the interests of musicians and students at heart.

*Dancing Dots Braille Music Technology

GOODFEEL suite of products for translating music into braille, with components to be used by blind and sighted people in a variety of situations: Sharp-Eye, Lime, and the GOODFEEL Braille Music Translator convert print music into braille; Lime with the Lime Aloud scripts allow a blind student to enter print notation for theory and composition, for reading by teachers and colleagues. The Lime Lighter reading system magnifies music on a screen for low-vision readers.
Cakewalk Sonar is used by professional musicians and people of all ages to make professional quality recordings. Dancing dots is a source for all necessary aspects of a music system, from sound cards and keyboards to embossers and braille devices. Also braille music courses and training materials as listed above.

Additional Contact Information for Dancing Dots

1754 Quarry Lane
P.O. Box 927
Valley Forge, PA 19482-0927
Phone : 610 783-6692
Fax: 610 783-6732

IBOS MusicXML Reader The IBOS MusicXML Reader, under continuing development by the Danish Institute for The Blind and Visually impaired, is free downloadable software that lets blind musicians read music that is in the Music XML file format. Designed especially for screen reader users, it provides ways to step through a score and have the nnotes played or spoken, and appear as plain text or as braille music on a braille display. Currently, readers will see only a few notes at a time, but can specify how to navigate, such as through single instrument parts or to read the notes of chords. More information and a link for downloading the software and documentation is at the web site given above.

Braille Music Kit

A plug-in for Finale for Windows that allows the creation of Braille music scores

QWS, Quick Windows Sequencer

free download from This software allows for multi-track recording using a MIDI keyboard and/or sound card and maybe be installed easily. It has many of the features of professional sequencing software and requires no screen reader scripts. It cannot record audio. cIt can be a solution for a student or musician who wants something comparatively simple. A good support list is available from the web site.

Reaper, Multi-track MIDI Sequencer and Audio Editor, and JAWS Scripts

Demo and low-cost versions from JAWS scripts called Reaacess at

Audacity Audio Recording Software

Free download from

Scripts for JAWS are available at

Goldwave Audio Editor, and JAWS Scripts
Scripts for JAWS are available at

Sound Forge Scripts and Information for JAWS Users

CAVI Audio Editing Course from Sisco Vision

Information is at CAVI's Wiki site.

Music Technology Access with Macintosh Platform
Blind Mac Users Group, BMUG:

*Music Production & Engineering Program, I See Music, LLC

Contact Byron Harden, Founder & Managing Partner
I See Music, LLC
Phone 312-810-1001

Scripts for Sibelius Version 5, called Sibelius Access

(Sibelius is up to at least version 7. The latest scripts for JAWS work with Sibelius 5.
Work is underway to make Sibelius 7 accessible with NVDA.)

The Accessible Music Notation Project

Blog and resources maintained by Marc Sabatella, covering developments in access to MuseScore and other projects and ideas for music notation tools specifically designed for the blind and visually impaired.

Braille Music Reader

Project of a European partnership to work with braille music scores. It allows readers to study music more efficiently by having the ability to choose which details of a score they need at a given time. The utility is free for download.

FreeDots -- MusicXML to Braille Music translation

Main site:
Web interface, no installation required:

Mario Langs Freedots project translates print music in MusicXML into braille. The software can be used from the Web. Another project, the Braille Music Compiler is underway to make it possible to input and edit braille music and have it translated into print. A live video of its potential may be found on Youtube.

Braille Music Notator by Toby W. Rush

Professor Toby Rush of the University of Dayton developed this solution to produce braille music for blind students. Rather than translating music into braille, the process is done by entering the braille directly using a choice of keyboard templates that display the palette of music symbols for the teacher to input.

Symphony Pro 4

A notation editor for the iPad (not iPhone) which has given attention to being accessible using Voiceover.

Metronomes and Tuners

Cell Phone Apps


Stand-alone Units

Braille Music from Other Countries

Following is a link to "A worldwide listing of organisations producing and loaning Braille music," produced by the UK Association for Accessible Formats: This is just a part of the UKAAF's section on music, which can be found from the home page, which has guides and standards for other music formats, such as large and modified print and talking scores.

End of text on this page, navigation links follow

Bottom Navigation Links

Return to Home page Main Table of Contents