I'm very excited about my cochlear processor!
I slowly lost my hearing over a span of 20 years and became a candidate for one.
It was a life changer for me because I can hear the spoken word again. I can hear what my family and friends are saying without having to stand directly in front of them and stare at their lips. I don't even need to be in the same room and I can hear them. I can speak on the phone again. I mean, it really changed everything.
Before the switch to the processor, I was having trouble hearing music with my two big hearing aids. Music was all noise.
Music is quite a bit better for me with the processor but I still have trouble!
You may have a moderate to severe hearing loss and use either hearing aids or a cochlear processors. And you may ask...."Why is music so hard to hear clearly? What makes it so noisy, stressful and mushy?"
Let me try to explain this in my own words based on my own experience as a person with severe hearing loss.
The way I see it, we don't have the ability to hear the frequencies present in the song.
If the average song ranges from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz (frequencies) and we have a limited capacity through the processor with the possibility of hearing up to only 8000 frequencies and a very limited amount of bass frequencies, we are missing a lot of the song!
Cochlear implants transmit sounds within the frequency range most important to speech perception. Not music.
Hearing aids can only give you the frequencies YOU have the capacity to hear!
Let's begin presenting music to people with hearing loss so that they can relax and enjoy.
And, I'm loaded with ideas!
And we do it by presenting music with fewer frequencies! It's a very simple solution and it surprises me that people don't think about the fact that we even need it!
A few years ago I attended a lovely gathering of musicians in Washington, DC. It was presented by AAMHL, Adult Musicians with hearing loss Association. There were lots of great musicians attending, all with hearing loss, and also good information was given in the classes.
As I sat there listening to them play and also speak of their struggles with presenting music while dealing with hearing loss, I began realizing that we are all trying desperately
to make our musical presentation the same old way for the same old people........people with good hearing! Who cares! They've got a ton! What about US?
I've been paying attention to what instruments are much more easy to hear through a cochlear processor or hearing aid.
I've paid attention to which instruments we can combine for clear hearing.
I now know how the instruments should interact together for our enjoyment.
And most importantly, ones that DON'T!
And now about "Sophie the cat!"
This is not Sophie. Sophie is a sweet little white cat with a cochlear processor. This cat is certainly a very "cool" cat, though!
The story of Sophie the cat intrigued me a number of years back. She was featured on a podcast I came across by Charles Limb who is an Otologic Surgeon for the University of California. He's also a musician and researches the difficulties people with cochlear processors have with music. Along with lots of other interesting information, Charles presented in his podcast about music and Cochlear Implants, he added an interesting film featuring Sophie.
You should watch the film, but in a nutshell, Sophie's reaction to the sounds of music parallels with MINE! She and I became one! The whole film by Charles is interesting and Sophie comes on about 3/4 in.
Please check the podcast and I will continue to expound on presenting music to people with hearing loss in my next posts.
https://youtu.be/W5lIO3F_YSo Choose the TedMed podcast with Charles Limb