June 2009

Hearing Loss and String Playing

June 28, 2009 05:08

I'm not sure how many readers here have a bit of hearing loss but I guessing I'm in a minority as having some.

As a child of the 60's, I went to many a concert and learned to play (electric) guitar as an extension for my love of the blues. Add to that a hobby of flying Piper Cubs and being around unmuffled engines and I now own a self-inflicted case of hearing loss and some persistent tinnitus.

While my hearing loss isn't severe enough yet for aides of any sort,  I'm finding that my reduced hearing has put a crimp in my confidence to intonate correctly though it appear to have affected my intonation (yet).
As many of you may know, I'm a "newbie" and an adult learner of violin.  As such, I'm forever asking my teacher if I'm voicing notes correctly as I've learned not to trust my hearing completely.

Coincidentally, an article appearing in last months Strad spoke of the success hearing impaired individuals have playing stringed instruments. Some actually taking their hearing aids out and playing BETTER!   There have been many articles written on the plasticity of the brain and it's ability to "rewire" if you will to counter a deficiency such as hearing loss, I try to read them all.

Does anyone else suffer from hearing loss and how do you find your playing to be in this situation?

Any thoughts or comments on hearing loss and playing strings? 
If you have hearing loss, I'd be interested in reading of your experiences while playing.

Best,
-Jim

 

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