February 17, 2007 at 11:49 PMViolin Practice
Music for the Deaf
I have met a new friend lately. He is deaf. I was very eager to learn Australian sign language (AUSLAN) that after 2 days I have learned all the alphabets, numbers from 1 - 1 billion, and some "vocabularies". I can now communicate without writing in pieces of paper, but still slow and have to spell many words. The good thing about sign language is people around don't know what you are talking about (most of the time they look at you with interest), plus you get to listen to Beethoven even when you are communicating! Sometimes, I do have problems switching to "talking mode", like when suddenly the waitress came and asked to take the order. I never realise how much I take hearing for granted and thankful for all the music I'm able to enjoy.
I learned a little about deaf people and how they could hear music through feeling the sound vibration. The part of the brain the is used for hearing receives these vibration and process it as an "alternate sound". There are music schools for deaf and some even become professional musicians. "Music for the Deaf" is what it's called. It is amazing how well human adapt! I feel fortunate to experience the way he lives, the difficulties he has to go through, and sometimes discrimination. I thank him for welcoming me into his life.
Having a deaf friend made me think about communication, like art (music, paintings, dance). In a good piece of music, you could see the pictures or feel the mood of the composer. In a good painting, you can hear the sound of the wind or sound of the sea in a landscape or feel the sorrow though the eyes of a potrait. In a good dance, you can feel the joy of the dancer etc. Intentionally or not, music, paintings and dance is not just a way for the artist to express him/herself, but it is also a form of communication.
Chinese New Year
It's Chinese New Year (CNY) today. I'll call my parents and do my dutiful CNY greetings, then go to China Town and find some tasty CNY food and watch some lion dance. I have a job up in Wangaratta (country town) for the next 3 days or so. So I'll be driving up there later this afternoon. Not the best way to spend the new year but hey, it put food on the table!
Gong Xi Fa Chai to all Chinese violinist.com members.
Happy Chinese New Year to everyone (Chinese or not).
I hope in time, recording and listening to myself will be a comfortable habbit for me.
When I find out more about Music for the Deaf I will share it here. Hope everyone will do the same if they find out. I think I will start to be aware of vibrations too. I wonder how it works for the deaf.
My mistake, happy Chinese new year to all readers!
Many deaf people have some hearing ability (can hear music if it's loud enough or in the right range), but not enough to function as a 'hearing' person would.
Others (like my brother-in-law) are totally deaf, with no ability to hear whatsoever. Vibrations can be felt by the rest of the body even when the ears don't work, though.
The term 'deaf' also often includes how deeply the individual in question is involved in deaf culture and the deaf community (some parents want their children to be more mainstreamed and less involved with the deaf community).
It's very cool to hear about the broader music community being interested in music for the deaf.
This entry has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.
Violinist.com is made possible by...
Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.