4 November 2022

Access to the NDIS and support from Life Without Barriers has enabled a group of local musicians in Tasmania to rock on.

Band members of Sound Barriers standing together with their instruments.

Supporting people to participate in the community is one of the main goals of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). A group of local musicians in Tasmania are a great example of how access to the NDIS and support from Life Without Barriers has enabled them to do the thing they love.

Sound Barriers, a Hobart-based rock band, formed in 2015 at a Life Without Barriers Community Program in Hobart for people with disabilities. Sound Barriers features Matt “Hoori” Houri, Geoff Forsyth, Jenny Derrick and Matt Brady along with Life Without Barriers day program support worker Andy Whitaker and local musician David Steel. The six-member band got their name from being too loud. Before they converted an unused tool shed into their sound-proof studio, they had to put sound barriers on the drums when they practised at the shared community program centre.

Sound Barriers band mates performing on stage.

“We got our first gig after I convinced our local pub, the Longley Pub, to give us a shot and we have grown from there,” said Hoori, one of the band members.

Since then, the band has performed various gigs in Hobart, including playing at Hobart’s International Day of People with Disability events for the last four years and as part of the Ability to Create Exhibition.

They play crowd favourites, including music from The Beastie Boys, Troy Cassar-Daley, Ronan Keating, Twisted Sister, ACDC … and the Wiggles. The band have also written five original songs, including their Sound Barriers Anthem.

“We love being rock stars – we just want to have fun and encourage the crowd to get involved and have fun with us,” said Hoori.

Image: Sound barriers opened the Music Extravaganza in Hobart City Mall for #IDPWD.

Andy Whitaker said Sound Barriers is about keeping active and being mentally stimulated.

“Being a part of the band goes beyond just having fun and hanging out with mates,” he said.

“The band is really rewarding for the players – it keeps them stimulated and engaged.”

What would they like to happen next for Sound Barriers?

“We want to do more gigs and make an album!” Hoori.

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