Introducing the Magic of Music to a Deaf Child
Learning music is something every single person should do. Music is a really important part of our lives. So children with a hearing disability shouldn’t be excluded from this wonderful gift. We all know that some of the most influential musicians of all times had hearing disabilities but it never stopped them from composing and performing. You have probably heard about Ludwig Van Beethoven who in his twenties composed one of the most famous piano works even though he had lost his hearing. While playing he would lie next to his piano so he can feel the vibrations. A lot of musicians nowadays including Coldplay’s lead singer have a condition named tinnitus, but still, keep on working with music.
There are a lot of different hearing impairments
There is a wide variety of hearing impairments and disabilities. Some people just need a sign language interpreter and some can’t hear anything. There are others who only slightly lost their hearing and use hearing aids and ear implants. You first have to understand the need of your child with a hearing impairment and figure out the best way to go about and teach them music. Kids with hearing disabilities want you to understand them just like other children. They also are interested in learning about music. It is your job as a parent to introduce them to music and if they want to, teach them to play an instrument.
Different ways of teaching
Rhythm is something all people are capable of, even the children with hearing impairments. They can learn the rhythm with the use of popular songs and body percussion. You can teach them to clap, stomp, snap and pat to different songs by using their echo learning techniques. Like all other children, learning can be done with reading the score. This way you can teach them to play the piano or other instruments they find suitable. If we take the piano, for example, you can teach them to play by notes. They may not hear what they are playing but can feel the vibrations coming from the instrument.
Interactions with other children
A very useful exercise for music teachers in schools is learning sign language with the class. This can help the child feel included in the classroom, while all the other ones learn new things. Every day we listen to music from different countries and cultures. Learning the sign language is no different than that. Everyone will have a lot of fun, and the child that has a hearing impairment will be grateful that all the class made the effort to learn with him.
Inspirational role models
There are many inspirational role models you can find online and read about if you are interested in teaching your hearing impaired child to learn about music.
Learning to play an instrument
As a parent, you probably have not considered teaching your child with a hearing impairment to play an instrument. It’s hard enough for your child to keep up with their peers at school and learn to communicate with others. You might have played music all the time when your child was in the womb, only to find out that your child was born with a hearing impairment. That won’t stop your child, because if he or she shows an interest in playing an instrument, there is a chance they might have heard the vibrations through the womb.
Don’t stop now signs your child
Some hearing-impaired children are determined to learn about music and how to play an instrument because maybe they are watching you play an instrument for them. If your child asks you to play the piano, let your deaf child have a go at it because they might be smarter than you think. They might have a whole new passion for an instrument, just by watching you or your other half. Eventually, you can take your child to lessons and your child can sign and tell the instructor the best way that he or she learns. Your child is not blind and can still pass a written exam, and learn about a whole new world of chords, notes, rhythms, and melodies.
Challenges along the way
This won’t always be an easy task for you and your child, and this might be a trial and error at first to find the right instrument. There are always going to be highs and lows for everyone and anyone who wants to learn something new but in the end, you and your child will find pleasure and gain confidence in their ability to succeed. There are going to be times when your child will have problems distinguishing a C from a C sharp but don’t give up, it’s all in the fun of your child learning to play an instrument. The same thing happens to a child without a hearing impairment!
Music for all
Music impacts all of our lives in so many different ways. There is no reason why it should not be the same for deaf children. Even the most profoundly deaf children, gain rhythm through touch and sensation which can be stimulating, accessible, therapeutic and meaningful. It is so amazing that a few dots on a page can be translated and transformed into a beautiful tune. How different musicians, songwriters, composers and songwriters continually invent, create and bring life to silent instruments and pages of notes. They can transform this into beautiful, memorable and uplifting melodies. Music is so powerful and uplifting, can trigger off memories and tell a story. Why shouldn’t deaf children join in, benefit and join in the delight of creating beauty from their sound.