Making Music, Living with Hearing Impairment

Music restores the soul, especially when you are listening to your favorite songs. Whether you’re hearing them on Spotify or old transmitter radio, you’re lost in the world of melody and instrumentation. You might listen to Motorhead and other rock bands or enjoy the music of Beethoven or Vivaldi, but you know the transformational effect of music on the spirit and the body.

But what about the people who are deaf? Most of us enjoy music and often take our hearing for granted, but many others suffer from impaired hearing and cannot live a normal life, and might even endanger themselves and their families. But there is a way that people who suffer from impaired hearing, noise sensitivity, or even deafness to enjoy their love of music.

How the Deaf Enjoy Music

One thing you have to bear in mind is that the deaf has one of their senses not functioning. Their other senses are very active. In fact, it is said that the other senses compensate for the lack of the sense of hearing. And with this, it is possible for them to enjoy music even without hearing it.

Sound travels through airwaves, and these waves can be felt by anyone. If you are suffering from a disability such as deafness, your other senses become more acute and sensitive to light and touch. Most people with some form of hearing impairment can still feel sound vibrations.

Another important thing to take note of is the levels of deafness. When it comes to hearing loss, there are different degrees. For so many people, it’s just mild or moderate. People with mild or moderate hearing loss find it very hard to hear. In such cases, they can hear tiny bits of the melody and words. But then there is the severe and profound. These people can’t hear anything at all.

When it comes to people with serious hearing impairments, it is more about perception. The brain has different parts that perceive music. Normally, the sound is transmitted to the ear through vibration or waves. After being transmitted, the ear catches the signal. In people that can hear, the processing of music is done in different parts of the brain. Interestingly, in deaf people, the different music parts are processed in the same place.

For deaf people, it’s more about vibration and perception. There are hacks that help improve perception and vibration, such as holding a balloon, not wearing shoes, and standing closer to the radio or media system. This way, you can feel the beat of the song. Many deaf people have a heightened sense of touch. So even when they can’t hear the music, they can feel it.

Using Hearing Aids

Close-up Of Doctor Inserting Hearing Aid In The Ear Of A Girl

People with hearing problems can use hearing aids to enhance their musical experience. But even with these tools, they need to turn up the volume to feel the music and understand the lyrics. For many deaf people, a hearing aid can help but discover that they cannot cite the difference between tone and pitch, and often cannot differentiate or recognize songs that are in sung in a higher pitch.

Learning the Lyrics

Another way they could enjoy music is when they learn the lyrics of a song. They need this because it helps them understand the words. Music comes off as a babble of sounds to many of them, and so when they read the lyrics, it becomes much easier for them to identify which hare the lyrics and which are the musical parts of a song.

Sometimes, they can read the lyrics when they watch a video. But what if they are only listening to music from a radio or a live concert? Some musicians are trying to include sign language interpreters during concerts or even music videos. These can help their hearing-impaired fans enjoy the songs.

Other Devices That Can Help

There are now other devices that people with this disability can use to enhance their hearing. One of them is Direct Input Leads. You can attach this to a hearing aid or even smartphone. These can help people listen to music.

There are also downloadable apps which provide streaming music to deaf people. These apps use wireless technology like Bluetooth to stream music through any hearing device. But there are other apps that help them identify songs whether they are being played on the radio, television, or concert. Some of these apps are Sounhound and Musixmatch.

People with hearing disabilities can still enjoy music. They can feel it, and sometimes they can make a career out of it too!

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