Heinz and Walter are two amateur musicians from Austria. The two of them don’t only share a love for music. They also both use cochlear implants, and thanks to their hearing devices, can enjoy the world of music again. Both Walter and Heinz lost their hearing over the course of their lives. Both of them also struggled with the fact that they were no longer as independent, and found having conversations very difficult. At social gatherings they felt isolated. But it was the loss of music appreciation that hit them both the hardest. Not being able to play music and not being able to entertain people as part of their music groups was hard for the both of them.
And that’s not all that Walter and Heinz have in common: Both of them also decided to get cochlear implants. And both were desperately waiting to discover their new way of enjoying music with CIs. At first, there was a feeling of disappointment. “After my first fitting I really didn’t like listening to music, it didn’t sound right”, Walter recalls. His friend Heinz, who was implanted a couple of years later, agrees: “In the beginning my harmonica sounded terrible to me!”
Technology, Dedication And Hard Work For More Music Enjoyment
Heinz also put in a lot of effort to be able to enjoy music again. Together with a music therapist at his clinic in Austria, at home on his own, and even with a group during a three-week-long rehabilitation in Germany, he practiced regularly with his beloved harmonica. Step by step and after some time he could finally say: “It sounds good again!” The happiness he feels when he plays at social gatherings and spreads good spirits with his music is written all over Heinz’s face.
But Why Does Music Matter To Cochlear Implant Users?
But recognising speech melodies, emotions and the meaning of a sentence, as well as better understanding in background noise, are only two of the many benefits regular music training might bring to all cochlear implant users.
Music Brings People Together
Someone who also knows how users of hearing implants can achieve more music enjoyment is Johanna Boyer, a musicologist at MED-EL and a CI user herself.在这个博客文章中she shares her favorite training material, apps and tips and tricks for music rehabilitation.
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