Beyond the Ear: Music

Music is universal; one does not need to hear to appreciate music. Not everyone likes music, so the concept that deaf people do not like music is stereotypical. Music is not just sound, as evidenced by Glennie’s presentation at TED: http://www.ted.com/talks/evelyn_glennie_shows_how_to_listen.htm

Music is like language; more creative than language and can encompass a range of musical notes as well as vocals including octaves, percussion instruments and many more. You have classics to contemporary or religion to rapping.

Sound includes vibrations. Practice shutting your ears off before going to feeling the music. Often deaf people feel the music, especially if there is bass or if their hands are on the piano, for example.  I like the classics, hip hop, operatic pop and even instrumental music. Not everyone will like what I like, there are even some people who don’t even like music and they are not deaf.

Just because we can’t hear does not mean we are unable to appreciate music. Note for teachers of the deaf and parents with deaf and hard of hearing children – keep music in their lives.  Let them experience what all children of various languages and cultures experience.  Music is a human quality regardless.

Here are a few more links:

Sean Forbes: http://www.deafandloud.com/

Rosa Lee and Russell’s video with Black Eyed Peas: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSVdZtWaSOg

Keep the music alive with sound, sight and touch!

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