The Otoasobi Project: Improvising with Disability


  • Rii Numata Osaka City University


This paper discusses a community-oriented, improvisation-focused initiative known as The Otoasobi Project. First, I situate the project in relation to the felds of free improvisation, “outsider music,” and music therapy. Then, in reference to several video excerpts, I discuss The Otoasobi Project, examining the ways in which individuals with learning disabilities, musicians, and music therapists have been able to make improvised music with one another, forging an inclusive space for musical and social interaction that has had both aesthetic and therapeutic benefts. 


Community music therapy; free improvisation; outsider art; outsider music

Author Biography

Rii Numata, Osaka City University

Rii Numata, PhD is a lecturer at Kawasaki University of Medical Welfare as well as a research fellow at Urban Research Plaza, Osaka City University. In addition, she is a JMTA Board-Certified Music Therapist and leads the improvisational music project The Otoasobi Project for people with learning disabilities and various musicians and artists.