DJing and disability – A qualitative and participatory research study - Music Research Colloquia

A presentation by Maria Witek, University of Birmingham.


This talk will present a recent study using the social model of disability and participatory approaches to explore the experiences of disabled DJs.

Together with co-researchers and in collaboration with Drake Music and Native Instruments, we used media diaries, follow-up interviews and workshops to understand the experiences of both physical and mental barriers to DJing as a disabled person. In addition to these barriers, the research highlights the socially and emotionally empowering experiences that DJing can offer.

The talk will also discuss how the social model of disability aligns with Enactivist approaches to mind and behaviour, casting disability as a matter of blocked of frustrated coupling with the environment, which increased accessibility and accommodation can mitigate.

About Maria Witek

Maria A. G. Witek is Associate Professor at the Department of Music, University of Birmingham, UK. She previously worked at the Center for Music in the Brain, Aarhus University and the Royal Academy of Music, Denmark, where she remains an affiliated researcher.

She holds a DPhil in Music from the University of Oxford, an MA in Music Psychology from the University of Sheffield and a BA in Musicology from the University of Oslo.

Her research addresses the psychology, cognitive neuroscience and cognitive philosophy of musical rhythm, body-movement and affect, using methods such as brain imaging, motion-capture, physiological recording, participatory research methods, and phenomenological and music analysis.

She is currently PI on the AHRC funded project ‘Embodied Timing and Disability in DJ Practice’ and co-I on the ‘Augmented Reality Music Ensemble’ project, funded by the EPSRC.

Join the event

Join in person in Music LT2 or online via Zoom at the scheduled time.

This event is part of the 2023-24 School of Music Research Colloquia.