Research paves the way for hearing impaired to enjoy music
Posted on Sep 6, 2015
"Music is an important part of people's lives and can have powerful physical, social, and emotional effects on individuals, including those with all levels of hearing impairment." So said music psychologist Dr Alinka Greasley.
A unique aspect of the human experience, each of us will enjoy and respond to music in different ways. However, for those with a hearing impairment, it isn't quite so simple, even with the help of a hearing solution.
According to the Australian Network on Disability, one in six of us are estimated to have some form of hearing loss1. Fortunately, new research from the University of Leeds will hopefully pave the way towards enabling people with a hearing impairment to enjoy a full musical experience.
Opening up music to the hearing impaired
The University of Leeds in the U.K. is exploring how people with hearing loss experience music in the 'Hearing Aids for Music' research project.
"People tell us that modern digital hearing aids have proved a revelation because they reveal hitherto 'lost' sounds such as a humming fridge or boiling kettle, yet listening to music is still problematic."
The information gathered through the Hearing Aids for Music project is hoped to be useful to audiologists and hearing aid manufacturers in improving music listening for the hearing impaired2.
"Improved access to music using hearing aids will benefit people of all ages, facilitating music education for deaf children and young people, music listening and performance in adulthood, and continued musical engagement into old age," said Dr Harriet Crook, a specialist in the neuroscience of music perception at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.2
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1Australian Network on Disability, Stats and Facts. Accessed August 7, 2015. Available here.
2University of Leeds, Research aims to improve access to music for people using hearing aids. Accessed August 7, 2015. Available here.