When chatting to or reading stories by other mums of CI kids , I take specific interest in anecdotal stories about their love of music.
These stories never stop amazing me with the ability of hearing impaired or profoundly deaf children who learn to play musical instruments or like Sophie Li , become high level dancers.
I came across this YouTube video recently and thought I’d share it with you as another example of how CI’s can give kids completely normal lives.
So what about Harry’s musical talent ?
I am not sure . He doesn’t seem to get the beat when we play music to him.
What he does do though is mimic the tune quite accurately after the song has stopped playing. He also picks up nursery rhyme words through song- I just don’t see him bopping or tapping in time to the beat .
Our Auslan tutor suggested to me when I asked her of her own interpretation of music, that she found sitting on or close to a speaker really helpful to ” hear ” the beat. She hears music through vibration as many deaf people do. It is not a given that the CI ‘s would give Harry a quality of music that he found enjoyable. You read varying reports from CI users as to whether music is enjoyable through their CI. Musical sound definition is certainly a high priority on the list of new developments for the cochlear implant.
I am getting the impression it may not sound that great to Harry.
It could of course also have something to do with the fact we now all use iPods or iPhones to play our music housed on compact speakers. In an acoustically controlled environment this sound quality can be awesome, but in your local church hall it is practically in audible . Here begins the challenge of music classes for toddlers.
I have been on the hunt for a music class that will assist Harry in a love for music and that will also allow him to learn new words through someone singing in tune ( as opposed to my monotone singing voice) . Each one I have trialled is in a massive empty church hall with 4 or 5 kids with their mum and a lonesome teacher. The tunes are played on an iPod on a portable system and the words disappear into the vacuum of space that houses us. He doesn’t mind the part where we play instruments as any boy loves to hit and bang or shake some bells . But without acknowledgement from his brain that there is a beat to follow it seems just a pointless exercise.
In the early days our lovely friend Beata opened up her music studio for Harry and with a voice like an angel in a small studio she used to sing to him. He was only wearing hearing aids then so the high pitch of her voice somehow permeated through to his brain and we delighted to see him turn to her voice.
So I think that is more evidence the sound he hears from recorded music is translated very differently to his brain than the way our brains hear it. I would love to know from other CI users what they think… As perhaps it might be a matter of his age and in the future plasticity of his brain at such a young age will allow him to learn to appreciate music in whatever form it is presented to him.