A community of audiologists and performers details approaches to music for those with a loss of hearing.
This book offers stories by those who’ve faced the remarkable challenge of playing music while experiencing varying degrees of hearing loss. The first five chapters, written by audiologists, give solid summaries of technical and medical information that will be useful to the hearing-challenged musician. Specifically, they offer a clear overview of the ear’s physiology and function and how current assistive devices work, including specific technical information about cochlear implants. This guidebook also talks about the difficult transition that one faces when losing one’s hearing. “By focusing on how music makes you feel rather than what it sounds like,” writes audiologist Brad Ingrao, “you have the opportunity to build new musical friendships.” But this small volume isn’t just concerned with the affective dimension of music; it also presents real strategies and advice that performers can apply as they follow their own paths to excellence. The 23 personal accounts by musicians with hearing loss, including several by members of the Association of Adult Musicians with Hearing Loss, are the real emotional core of this anthology, effectively relating their bravery and determination. A couple of these essays begin with little jokes that slightly detract from the intensity of the material—and intense it often is. But overall, these accomplished players, singers, and composers can’t help but produce in the reader a sense of admiration and enthusiasm as they tell of overcoming obstacles with technological solutions, amazing determination, and passionate courage.
An exceptionally valuable resource for musicians and other music lovers with hearing challenges.