Friday, 30 June 2017

The deaf piano teacher #WATWB

It's the end of yet another month and time for We Are The World Blogfest which is happening on the last Friday of every month this year and encourages us to share a positive news story of human interest. 

It is co-hosted by a group of bloggers and this month the task is shared by Belinda Witzenhausen,  Lynn Hallbrooks,  Michelle WallaceSylvia McGrath, Sylvia Stein.
Please go and visit them and read the stories they're sharing.  



So my story this month has a musical theme.  

Orla O’Sullivan is a deaf and visually impaired piano and keyboard teacher to deaf and hearing students. 

I've long loved and admired Evelyn Glennie, the deaf percussionist who has found worldwide fame, and of course it is widely known that Beethoven was profoundly deaf, but I had never thought of it beyond that.   In fact as we get older and I, like many of my colleagues, am starting to experience the deterioration of my hearing, I'm finding that I have to pay particular attention to things that previously had just been instinctive, like tuning.  
But, While Beethoven became deaf in adulthood, Orla was only six-weeks-old when she became profoundly deaf as a result of receiving life-saving medication given to her for pneumonia. This makes Orla’s achievements even more extraordinary. 
With her partner, Dan, she has devoted many years to developing and continues to refine a unique music teaching tool for the deaf called Sound Senses.  
"MY LOVE OF music began when I was 3-years-old, on the day my mother put my fingertips on the piano keys, as she was playing a nursery rhyme for me.
She saw my fascination as I felt the vibration from the piano keys. She watched in amazement herself as I began to bang on the keys. She also saw how happy it made me. I spent hours and hours every day as a child playing the piano. The piano was my playground. I loved the way it made me feel.  
Even if I can’t hear the higher notes, I can imagine them."  


15 comments:

  1. Hi Fil - Evelyn Glennie is inspiring ... but reading about Orla is fascinating isn't it ... and she is bringing wonder to so many, who need that extra help ... the bridge between their understanding and ours - where most of us reside (some hopelessly unmusical - but that's the way my life is ... I can hear and I am lucky).

    Thanks for sharing Orla's story - it's a great read and one which has made me think of other things ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi Hilary - I've always admired Evelyn Glennie too - the way she feels the music is definitely inspiring.. Aren't both her and Orla so much about 'where there's a will there's a way'... I'm sure they don't see themselves as that awe inspiring, just getting on with their lives, but they really give me a jolt to get on with your life and do what you love, regardless.

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  2. I love this story Fil - how inspiring!

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    1. Yes indeed Deborah - I think she's wonderful.

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  3. Such an amazing story! So brilliant that Orla is paving the way for people with disabilities, there are no limits! :) Thanks so much for sharing this! #WATWB

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    1. I think we need constant reminders that there are no limits Belinda. Thanks for being part of the organising team for this blog hop :)

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  4. The only limitation we face is the one we place on ourselves---thanks for sharing this inspiring story!

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    1. I agree totally Damyanti - thanks for coming by :)

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  5. Thanks Fil for this extraordinary story. As Orla O'Sullivan says, all sound is vibration. I read the link and am filled with admiration for her and her being able to others who are deaf or disabled.

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  6. Amazing that Orla can been able to develop her musical talent through feeling the vibrations.

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  7. That is a lovely story! When I worked at the Royal Academy of Music, we had contact with an organisation called Music of Life or Music For Life who worked with deaf or blind talented musicians from Russia and we met the most incredible people!

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  8. Reading Ms. Orla's story put me in mind of the movie, "Mr. Holland's Opus" the scene at his son's school. Thanks for sharing her story and for being a part of #WATWB

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    1. I loved that movie and have been trying to get a copy.

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  9. That is so wonderful, I did not know music can be learnt through the vibrations. I guess our senses are more advanced than what we think.

    Thank you so much! In Darkness, Be Light. Team #WATWB
    *Inderpreet/EloquentArticulation*

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  10. Oh joy! This story is literally touching. Thanks for sharing and I will share it with another friend of mine who lives with sight and hearing impairment, whom I shared about in WATWB
    March "Sunsets for Kate" Simon’s Still Stanza #WATWB

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