The Music, Makes and Musings of Irish folk singer/songwriter Fil Campbell on the road and at home
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.
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."