Bringing the sound of music to deaf children

Published Tuesday, 25th July 2017
Georgia Brown enjoying music session

Music is something we all take for granted, to be able to listen to and enjoy. However, for some children, the love of music may be something they are never able to enjoy - because they are deaf.

But a music charity is hoping to change all this and last week they came to Rotherham to highlight their work to school children in Wickersley.

National charity Music and the Deaf, working with Rotherham Council’s Hearing Impairment Team, Rotherham Music and Wickersley School’s music department, staged a series of workshops for deaf and hearing impaired children, to explore how it is possible to experience music without being able to fully hear it.

The children and young people were able to both feel the music – as well as make the music by using senses other than hearing, like touch.

Martyn Howells from Rotherham Music said: “Music is a wonderful thing as there is often an emotional connection to it. Not only can it lift us up, or give us energy, it can also soothe and calm us as well as evoke sad and happy memories.

“But for some people who are hearing impaired or deaf, listening to music can be seen as impossible. 

“That is why it has been great for us to be able to work with Music and the Deaf to help Rotherham’s children who have hearing loss to really experience music and enjoy its power.

“You don’t have to just hear music to purely appreciate it, and that is what we wanted to show the children last week. Music should not be out of your reach just because you can’t hear it.”

Approximately 30 deaf children and children with a hearing impairment, aged five to 15-years-old from across Rotherham, attended the event at Wickersley School and Sports College.

Not only were they able to make new friends (some children are the only deaf child in their school) they also produced Samba music; composed their own music and learned how to perform music in a group.

Sarah Watt from Music and the Deaf added: “We are the only UK organisation entirely dedicated to providing music opportunities for deaf people.

“We are now expanding our work to be able to work directly with school children so that people can experience the joy of music from as early an age as possible, in order to instil a lifelong love of music. It was a great to see so many deaf and hearing impaired Rotherham children getting so much pleasure from the instruments when we worked with them last week.”