Richard Reed, a musician with a cochlear implant

I attended a music workshop for CI implantees yesterday at Beaumont Hospital given by a chap called Richard Reed. Reed, from the USA, is a professional musician who lost his hearing several years ago and subsequently got a cochlear implant, although not until about ten years later.

Since then, he has embarked on his own journey back to music appreciation, not to mention resuming a career as a musician. He is now touring around the world promoting a special DVD and CD resource entitled ‘Hope Notes’.

The impetus for producing the resource is that many implantees complain they find music much more difficult to tune into with a CI, and that’s certainly true with me too. But Reed, using his professional skills and experience as a musician, aims to help implantees appreciate music better with some practical tips, advice and theory.

Here is a verbatim interview he last year to Audiology Online, a US website, which tells you everything you need to know, (so I don’t have to!) but suffice to say, the workshop was really interesting. Two of the most interesting things he said yesterday were that it took him a full two years after getting an implant to feel ‘goosebumps’ from listening to a piece of music, and also that improving your music appreciation through a CI is said to help you hear better in noisy situations. A lot of implantees give up on music, sadly, but if you work at it, it can reap serious dividends.

Also, Hope Notes is great. Thanks to the visual and verbal clues, it’s like listening to music with subtitles.

Time to dust off my old guitar and get some new strings….

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  1. […] I wrote an article for the Irish Times Insight supplement, which appeared last week, based on a chat with Richard Reed, a musician with a cochlear implant, who I first talked about here. […]

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