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Services for Musicians with Special Needs   


Project Description

Services for Musicians with Special Needs resulted from the merging and expansion of two former SAI Philanthropies projects which served blind and low-vision musicians: the Braille and Tape Services Project, and the BoldNotes Project. Currently, this project serves visually impaired musicians within and outside of the fraternity by providing information about available resources for blind and low-vision musicians. Parents, teachers, and students may contact the project director for information or see the below information for  SAI's list of information about organizations, publishers, and other resources for brailled, taped, and large print music and other needed materials and services. Additionally, selected fraternity materials are available in alternate format for use by musicians with special needs. There is also a scholarship that is awarded every year to a member enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program in music with a qualifying disability or to someone pursuing studies to become a teacher or therapist in this field.

The Bold Notes Project is a special interest area of the Services for Musicians with Special Needs which evolved from the Services for the Visually Impaired.

Opportunities for Chapter or Individual Participation

An exciting development is the opportunity to produce computerized Bold Note scores for the national large-print collection of the Library of Congress.  We shall be using computer software (such as Finale, Sibelius, and Notion), to create the new Bold Note Scores for their collection.  The process of Bold Note production will be infinitely easier and faster and we need your help to achieve it!  Contact the project director for details on how to get involved as an individual or a chapter! Further, chapters often carry out special projects which raise money to support Services for Musicians with Special Needs.

Alternate format fraternity materials offered

  • PAN PIPES is available in large print to any college member or fully paid life member, or current member of the national SAI Alumnae Association, who has a visual or reading impairment and who is in good standing with the fraternity. For more information, contact National Headquarters.


  • The Master Copy of our ritual ceremonies and accompanying music in Braille and large print is available for use by any visually impaired member holding a chapter office. Anyone needing these ritual materials in Braille should contact the National Vice President, Ritual and Fraternity Education, Tracey Wygal Withrow. For the large print format, contact National Headquarters. Contact information can be found in the Fall issue of Tempo! or from

  • Braille copies of our Manual for Members may be obtained for Members-in-Training and other interested members, who have a visual or reading impairment and who are in good standing with the fraternity. Contact the project director or National Headquarters.

  • Members of Beta Chapter at Northwestern University have compiled an audio cassette recording of many of the songs in our song book, which is available for loan to interested members who have a visual or reading impairment. Contact the project director.

  • The 2003 edition of SONGS OF SIGMA ALPHA IOTA is available in a four-volume braille transcription which includes all words and music.  Contact the Arlene Jospe Veron, Project Director.

For Future Consideration

Provide additional fraternity materials in alternate formats, including Braille, large print, and CD, to members who have diminished visual acuity.

Services for Musicians with Special Needs Project Director

For further information, contact Terry-Ann M. Saurmann, Project Director. Further contact information can be obtained from

Bold Notes Project

Large-Print Music: A Guide to its Production is offered by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. It includes a template for chapters to follow when packaging music in this format. For more information, contact Arlene Jospe Veron, Project Director.


Resources for Musicians with Special Needs   


The following list, though not complete, includes major producers of musical materials and sources of pertinent information.

If you need earplugs or other specialized protective devices to safeguard your hearing during musical performance, please consult a knowledgeable specialist such as an audiologist or a sound engineer. A Google search will take you to a multitude of pertinent web sites. One of the recommended brands is Peltor, a Swedish company with American distributors.

IAMA | People-To-People | Special Needs Services | Music Therapy

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