School music teacher with a few questions...


New Member
I'm profoundly deaf...and I LOVE music. I cannot live without it. Some deaf people have been stupid enough to ridicule me over it (and surprising enough they lived).

I'm willing to bet that if he has an IEP, there are some goals in there you can address in your class. Speak with the special education teacher to see how you can modify your instruction to appropriately meet his needs.


New Member
As a hearing-impaired musician (guitars and bass) who wears hearing aids, I cannot begin to imagine what it's like to wear CI's. I applaud you for encourging the young man in your class to try a musical instrument and I hope he finds something that will keep him interested. Please find out WHAT he can hear as far as musical notes/chords and frequencies are concerned and then try to match him to an instrument that he will not only enjoy playing, but one that is also suited to his hearing ability. Good luck and I take my hat off to you and the young man in your class. BRAVO!

I think this is the appropriate step to take, because you never know what people are capable of. I am a singer, and most people wouldn't think I could carry a tune in a bucket because my hearing loss is so severe, but I can, and so I would have hated if my choir teacher had put me somewhere I didn't belong. I'm also afraid of CI's.... I can't imagine what music would sound like with them, since I've heard everything sounds screwed up. I really hope that things work out for that new boy you have in your class. Please, keep us up to date!
To the OP, are u aware that there is music in American Sign Language? When I see songs sung in ASL, I feel the emotions from the song as opposed to hearing it with my limited residual hearing. Yes, I love to listen to music but only for the beat and the rhymth (geez I spelled it wrong, didnt I?). In some cases, I can identify the song or the artist playing.

However, for me to sing..forget it. I was forced to sing in choruses and I always had someone standing by pointing the lines out but as a deaf person, how the heck was I supposed to know which notes to hit and all that? So I just lip-synched..even at a very young age like 7 or 8, I developed survival tools to get thru anything that made me perform musically and fooled so many people. The point was that my anxiety levels always shot up several notches and looking back, I dont think that was right to do that to a child especially when it was at no fault of mine.

When I learned ASL, I finally got to feel and understand music in a way I never did before. Finally got to cry during songs and all that.
When I lost 100% of my hearing in one ear to a TBI, the volume in the other ear went up 100%, and I could no longer 'Localize sounds, to the point of total distraction. All verbal sounds were now confusing unless I got myself in front of a person, with eye contact, and concentrated on their one voice.

ASL music is so beautiful and I'm drawn to it even though I don't know ASL. I have been using a wireless conduction phone, and a Kindle Fire 7, to put things on my ear that my brain can latch on to and understand, mainly music. As I am reading about ASL and Kids, even hearing kids, and I get the feeling that music ASL with Lyrics , are not provided to them in their early education. It should be. I was watching, Brandon Kazen-Maddox ASL 'Dear Theodosia', on my laptop, with an ear phone. I played it over and over, and wondered how Deaf people related to it. Then I turned the sound off on the laptop and watched it, Wow, tears, and that one song, showed me how powerful ASL music videos are. Brandon's facial expressions and mouthing the words, is magnetic. I then did an experiment that blew my mind. I brought up, a music video on my Kindle, called , Alan Parsons - Sirius / Eye in The Sky (live), and put that music on my ear while I was watching Brandon's video, with the sound off. I wanted to see how rhythm played into ASL. I started Alan Parsons video at 2:42, (where the lyrics start) and Brandon's video from the start. Although of course Brandon was not signing "Eye in The Sky", but I didn't know it. I wonder if any one is ASL "eye in the sky", or other 70's old style stuff.
I think Deaf children could get so much out of Musical ASL with lyrics, and if you could tie the Bass notes to the floor, there's dancing.

Music does make the parts of us move, It is a feeling that resonates to others.


Active Member
Hello! This is my first post here and I sincerely hope that it is OK. I am an instrumental music teacher in public schools, and I will have a 4th grade boy with cochlear implants this coming school year. From what I know he signs a bit, lipreads a bit, and has only had implants for a year or so. After lurking here for awhile, I know there is at least one French Horn player here, and many music lovers. Does anyone else play an instrument or has anyone tried an instrument? I am not sure quite what to do. Putting him on a percussion instrument feels like the "easy" way out for me if that is not what he wants, and I want to put him where he feels best. His brother and sisters are hearing and play the saxophone and clarinet, respectively.

Outside of that (long) question, what way do YOU listen to/feel music? I have read here that a lot of people don't like the bass to be way up and I am not sure I understand why.

Please any tips you might have for me in the coming school year are welcome! I want to be sure he has a positive musical experience.
I do a bit of keyboard.

Grandmother plunked me in front of a piano, a giant old 2 tonner and put up America in traditional music with the notes penciled in. Taught me the keyboard and off we go. I was like maybe 6. Another grandparent had a old 60's era reed air fed organ and I learned simple western tunes on that one. I eventually kept picking at a new computer keyboard through high school such as it is. In a dorm full of deaf and every room with a powerful boom box in those days with all kinds of music ranging from Indian (India) tunes across to the Rapping (Hip Hop) and rock and so on in the place. What a zoo.

I eventually bought a yamaha that is of quality and it does well with general hymns and christmas, patriotic, christian and other tunes where possible. I dont consider myself a musician and do not consider myself that good. But the tunes that come out of the organ is recognizable as such its good enough. What I am working on is a old style solid state system from the late 70's. I have one set at my old home and it would have to be transported at some point in the future. (Not shipped) but once its tied into the machine then we will really get some music going instead of just tapping at the thing.

I tend to be into the lower side of the pitch towards the bass and deeper. Thats where my residual natural hearing still stands without the need for hearing aids. A little better than some hearing at certain frequencies below 400 hertz all the way down to about 8. Anything lower than that its a earthquake. I have lost high range for good and continue to erode at about the 4000 hertz range. I don't worry about it because the organ I am using is a full keyboard but only good for one or two or at most three octaves separation. The only limitation is that it does not possess the foot boards yet. (I am working on that, its about a thousand dollars for one set) hence the term tapping at it.

I have done a little tiny bit of fiddle and a little bit of a range of other instruments, just enough to learn that its better that someone else does it. I just stick to what i know. I am also working on the audio stuff that goes with it. HEadphones that can stand up to my requirements are getting pretty pricey. Cheap ones just burn out. So the more I go up in quality and beef so to speak the easier it is to do the music.

Whats really interesting is my audiologist demonstrated to me a set of hearing aids able to take music from wireless smartphone or bluetooth straight to the aides. If thats the case I might just dispose of the headphones on the next purchase of them. But I tend to push back against the 7000 dollar whiz bang fancy hearing aids and stick to headphones and plain old digital and telcoil. I dont even need that once I turn the volume to 11 and rock the place. Which I have been known to do now and then.

But a musician? Thats not me. Im just tapping along... with what the music book says. You would think 50 plus years of learning music would make me a expert. But no. Thats not the case.

Pot Spring Elementry had a music class and in 5th grade I think around 1977 or so in Timonium Maryland, they stuck me into it. Plopped a angels harp on my desk and have at it following the teacher on his piano. The rest of the kids looked at me like I would seriously screw it up. But I tell you I managed to run with them. Learned what I had to in order not to screw up. One day the teacher had requests from the songbook and the 30 of us did the National Anthem when the teacher completed the first verse intro and what came out of that classroom silenced most of the school for a few minutes as they listened to all of us. Magical. Deaf or not. If you are going to learn it that would be the time to learn it. Not late in life like me.