July 24, 2017
Article

How The Hearing Impaired Experience Music

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One of the most beautiful things in this world is listening to music. Music is everywhere we go and a big important part of our lives. Most of us cannot go an entire day without hearing some form of music. However, for people who are born or become deaf, it is very different experience altogether.

Music teachers often tell their students “to feel the music”. For those who are deaf, feeling the music is an actual reality. One of the greatest examples of this comes from Beethoven. He was a renowned composer and one of the greatest of all time. However, towards the end of his life, Beethoven actually became deaf. Although he did have the advantage of once being able to hear music early on his life, he still ended up having to use vibrations at the end. It was through those vibrations that he played the piano and was able to continue to compose music.

Deafness does not mean that someone does not hear anything at all – there are varying levels of deafness. Deaf people can feel the vibrations produced by the music being played and consume those vibrations through their body. The lyrics evoke different types of feelings, and the combination of vibrations and lyrics is how deaf people enjoy music. Someone who wears a hearing aid may have some enhanced levels of hearing but for those whom don’t, they turn up the volume so they can feel the vibrations from beats and bass more strongly as they read the lyrics.

Concerts for deaf people are a different experience. Typically the music at concerts is very loud, and that can damage hearing aids and someone’s hearing. In such a situation, deaf people turn off their hearing aids, which may make them hear music even less but then they enjoy the music through amplified vibrations being produced by large speakers around them.

Next time you listen to music, don’t just pay attention to what you hear, but what you feel.

What songs make you feel your feelings? Let us know in the discussion.