Midweeks on Mute: To the Musicians

Beethoven, Mandy Harvey, Janine Roebuck, Dame Evelyn Glennie, The Hi-Notes, Angie Miller, Pete Townshend. What do they all have in common?

They’re musicians!

And…?

And they’re all deaf.

I play the violin. And the cello. And I like to think I can play the ukulele. I also wish I could play the piano. One of my major concerns when I realised I had problems was whether it would affect these musical pursuits. Sure, I’m no professional musician, not by a long shot, but the prospect of not being able to saw away at my fiddle like I used to didn’t bear thinking about.

Sometimes I play my violin for church and due to spacial constrictions, I stand with my left side to the piano, making it more challenging to follow when combined with enthusiastic singing. It’s not impossible, it just takes more concentration. The cello is a little more difficult because sometimes the sound goes right through me but it’s the kind of instrument that is loud enough that I can take my hearing aid out when I’m playing at home and it doesn’t really matter. It just takes more concentration and the dynamics are harder to judge.

The answer to whether having a hearing aid will affect your musical pursuits is yes, but to what degree, I don’t know. Everyone’s hearing loss is different and like with many things, you’ve just got to try it and see and learn to adapt where you need to.

Just don’t give up. Giving up on music is unthinkable.

Everyone is different so we’ll all have various things that we need to learn to work with or work around but you know what? If Beethoven can do it, don’t worry, you’ll be just fine.

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