Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Music to My Ears

     My musical history started well before I was talking, before anyone knew I was deaf.  Music is how I told my parents I could not hear.
     While I cannot hear high frequency sounds at all, even with hearing aids, I can hear low frequency tones fairly well.  Knowing this now, it's not surprising that when I was one and stumbled upon my grandparents' piano, I only played the very low end of the piano.  My family, who did not yet know I was deaf, thought it was quite odd that I never played anything above Middle "C."
      Despite not being able to hear all the notes of music, I appreciate the sounds I do hear, both with and without hearing aids.  I look up lyrics to sing along, albeit off-key, and I like making up my own music, listening to music, and playing a variety of instruments.
     I loved music classes in grade school, and I was excited to start orchestra in fourth grade.  Playing my mom's vintage (sorry mom!) violin with the orchestra was fun and exciting, but practicing was not.  My orchestra teacher suggested taking some private lessons, which helped me a great deal.  I learned about rhythm, counting, reading notes, clefs, measures, and a wee bit of Italian.  Forte!!!  Staccato! (Loud!!!  Short!)
     Until middle school, I had a rocky, but stable working relationship with my hearing aids.  Once I received new hearing aids, the violin became an unintended casualty.  The E-string, so close to my ears, made my new hearing aids go cray-cray.  My music teachers then helped me transition to the viola, which has a lower pitch.  This worked until my hearing aids were tweaked so I could hear more high frequency sounds.  Great for speech--not so great for music.  Once again, the high notes became painful, so at last I transitioned to the cello.
     My middle school orchestra teacher then taught me cello, and my hearing aids gave no complaints.  Why would they?  The cello sounds beautiful and is nowhere near my ears.  After getting new hearing aids, I often joke, maybe I need to go to the double bass!  But why would I?  My hearing aids are happy with the cello, and the bass would not fit in the car!
     Music to my ears!

P. S.  In case you didn't know this about me already, my favorite color is orange.

1 comment:

  1. What an inspiring story. I am in awe that you have come so far on your musical journey and never once thought about giving up. Kudos to you. I am going to share your post with my music class so that they may see what true inner strength looks like.

    Ruby Goodman @ Centre Audiology

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