We all rely on our hearing on a daily basis, but a musician is almost entirely dependent on theirs for their livelihood. This is why hearing loss severely impacts musicians on a negative level, more than many other professions.
Most of us love listening to music on a daily basis. Be it listening to the radio on our ride to work, a lunch meeting at a restaurant, or a night out with friends, we are constantly surrounded with music whether we realize it or not. Imagine a world that had no music in the background. What a dull and silent world that would be.
Music has an immense amount of power over our lives. We attribute certain memories to certain songs, be it heartbreaks, first love, or a happy childhood moment. Music can even change our mood and bring us out of a funk. Research even shows that music has the ability to reduce the amount of stress and increase the amount of oxytocin which can elevate our mood. Calming music can put us to sleep, while energetic music can get our feet moving faster at the gym.
We unconsciously subject ourselves to music in almost every aspect of our lives. Be it the tune as the bride walks down the aisle, the power yoga music at the gym, or the marching band playing at a graduation ceremony. Life is filled with music and musicians that made that music. For those musicians who have hearing loss, it can be devastating not to be able to hear the music they produce.
Beethoven was one such musician who lost his hearing towards the end of his life. Even so, he managed to produce so many beautiful pieces of work that we still love to listen to today. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology explored at hearing loss and how it affected a musician’s capability.
Musicians who have hearing loss reported having a challenging time listening to conductors, synchronizing with others during rehearsals, and performing to the best of their ability. Over time, they also reported feeling inadequately able to appreciate all the music they played, and felt as though their passion towards music had been gone astray.
Thankfully, hearing loss does not need to rob musicians of their abilities or their passion towards music. There are hearing aids developed especially for musicians that can help them hear a fuller range of sound, be it the soft thrum of a violin or the loud bang of a bass drum.
The quality of sound that musicians get from hearing aids is far superior, richer, and more vibrant than they had been able to hear previously. Musicians report having significantly positive experiences with hearing aids during rehearsals and performances. Hearing aids can be programmed to tune out background noise while focusing on the sounds of music, giving musicians the space to create and play beautiful masterpieces.
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