A project to develop Ireland's first national youth orchestra for musicians with disabilities has been launched in Dublin.

The Le Chéile initiative is funded by the Creative Ireland Programme and will develop ensembles for young musicians in each of the four provinces.

They will meet regularly in regional centres before coming together in September for the foundation of the Open Youth Orchestra of Ireland, the first of its kind in Europe.

The four ensembles are each made up of about ten participants of different abilities, disabilities and musical experience.

They will have the choice to use conventional instruments or adaptive music technology using equipment such as iPads and sensors to make music.

They will also utilise a groundbreaking methodology for directing musical performance for artists with disabilities developed by Dr Denise White of the University of Ulster.

The method is called 'Conductology', which will rely on the use of 18 gestures agreed upon by the musicians.

This specialised body language will be used by the ensemble conductors to facilitate the performance.

It is hoped that if it works for the Open Orchestra of Ireland, it could be adopted by other ensembles.

The plan is for the work of Le Chéile to be used to develop a national framework for bringing musical composition and performance to young artists with disabilities.

The project could produce a handbook and resource hub to support facilitators working with inclusive ensembles across Ireland.