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Fakultät Rehabilitationswissenschaften
Music and inclusion

The Dortmund Model: Music

Project management: Prof. Dr. Irmgard Merkt

Funding: Ministry of Labour, Integration and Social Affairs NRW

Project duration: 2010 - 2013

The "Dortmund Model: Music" created inclusive music culture. People with disabilities received instrumental lessons, took part in compact phases and workshops, became members of various ensembles and performed publicly in concerts.  Broad-based education, talent promotion and professionalisation were the central concerns of DOMO:MUSIK.

The project was carried out by the Department of Music Education and Music Therapy in Rehabilitation and Pedagogy with Disabilities of the Faculty of Rehabilitation Science at the TU Dortmund University.

Cultural work and people with disabilities

The project, together with the parallel application for an art and graphics studio from AWO Dortmund to Stiftung Wohlfahrtspflege NRW, was part of the overall project "Dortmund Model - Cultural Work and People with Disabilities".

The project also aimed for continuity and sustainability in its music-related aspects. The focus was initially on three areas:

  • Everyday life and the competences and resources of people with disabilities: people with disabilities find and develop new aspects of shaping their lives as well as (perhaps unrecognised) aspects of their personality throughout their life span through artistic and musical activity. At the same time, new and independent positions open up for them in working life and in the cultural sector.
  • Cultural participation of people with disabilities: Active cultural participation in the sense of production subsequently means public participation in cultural life. Musical and cultural life as a whole gains new artistic and social impulses through cooperation between people with and without disabilities.
  • The political goal of integration and inclusion: The prerequisite for a social change towards integration and inclusion of people with disabilities is encounter. Public places of encounter and production allow a new view of people with disabilities and enable a gradual reduction of fears, insecurity and prejudices.

Project description Music

  1. The broad promotion phase: In courses of elementary music education, work was done with people with disabilities to arouse interest in different styles of music and to develop adequate forms of music making with the voice and on different instruments that are appropriate to their abilities. This phase lasted from April 2010 to March 2011.
  2. Talent development phase: From the courses and workshops, participants who had special musical abilities were grouped into talent courses. In these talent courses, several hours of work were done per week to train the participants' musical and instrumental expression. This phase lasted from April 2011 to March 2012.
  3. Continuation of the musical work: Regular offers of special training phases (workshop phases) for the people with disabilities already involved served the creative further development. At the same time, the new beginning of the broad promotion phase took place. The aim was to bring the music processes and music productions into the public consciousness and to advance their marketing to such an extent that the musicians could earn an ever greater share of their income themselves. This phase lasted from April 2012 to March 2013.

More information can be found on the Homepage of Musik inklusiv.

Location & approach

The campus of the technical university Dortmund is located near the Dortmund West motorway junction, where the A45 Sauerland line crosses the B1/A40 Ruhr expressway. The Dortmund-Eichlinghofen exit on the A45 leads to the South Campus, the Dortmund-Dorstfeld exit on the A40 leads to the North Campus. The university is signposted at both exits.

The "Dortmund Universität" S-Bahn station is located directly on the North Campus. From there, the S-Bahn line S1 runs every 20 or 30 minutes to Dortmund main station and in the opposite direction to Düsseldorf main station via Bochum, Essen and Duisburg. The university can also be reached by bus lines 445, 447 and 462. Timetable information can be found on the homepage of the Rhine-Ruhr Transport Association, and DSW21 also offer an interactive route network map.


The H-Bahn is one of the landmarks of the TU Dortmund. Line 1 runs every 10 minutes between Dortmund Eichlinghofen and the Technology Centre via Campus South and Dortmund University S, while Line 2 commutes every 5 minutes between Campus North and Campus South. It covers this distance in two minutes.

From Dortmund Airport, it takes just over 20 minutes to get to Dortmund Central Station with the AirportExpress and from there to the university with the S-Bahn. Düsseldorf Airport, about 60 kilometres away, offers a wider range of international flight connections and can be reached directly by S-Bahn from the university station.