Tom brings special message of music to Sheffield

Tom's workshopTom's workshop
Tom's workshop
Musician Tom Doughty brought his own brand of inspiration to patients in Sheffield’s Princess Royal Spinal Unit.

The internationally acclaimed musician, who has a permanent spinal injury himself, has a a strong ‘If I can do it, you can do it’ philosophy, linked to the value of creating and listening to music.

He was at the spinal injuries centre as part of a tour around all the UK’s spinal units.

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A road accident in 1974 changed Tom’s life, when he was 17. His paralysis affects all four limbs and his balance. He has a very limited claw-like movement in his right hand and no movement in his left.

Through years of persistence and hard work, Tom has developed a unique way of approaching and playing his instrument to make music accessible to all.

He is an acclaimed acoustic lap slide guitarist, performer, songwriter, recording artist and teacher who tours both nationally and internationally.

He holds a firm belief that the skills, fitness and strength required to play a slide guitar can offer a stimulating and motivating rehab tool to people with spinal injuries.

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“When someone has a spinal Injury, it is a time of massive change and upheaval in life, yet it is also an opportunity to learn new ways to be creative,” said Tom.

He first toured the 12 UK spinal injury centres in 2012, when rehab staff and people with similar disabilities to Tom took part in teaching workshops.

Tom also gave concerts, and a guitar with equipment was left at each hospital to allow for progression of the idea. Tom provided lessons through Skype to those who were keen to develop their skills.

On this year’s tour, Tom spends a day at each centre, bringing guitars and equipment for up to 10 participants.

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A second guitar and adaptive equipment is donated to centres, and Tom has recorded several instructional videos which remain permanently accessible to anyone through the internet.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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