As the title suggests, I’ve taken up playing the viola.
The old hands may remember I used to be somewhat musical. Before I went deaf I used to play sax, guitar, piano and I sang. Sax got too hard after the plurisy infection, guitar reminded me too strongly of my ex, and it’s hard to play piano without a piano to practise on! I sang right up until the deafness kicked in, and I still do at home, but I can’t properly as I’m not in damn tune any more!
Anywho, I’ve been doing my research and then coming up with excuses for months now, but I took the plunge last week. Violins and Violas are very popular in the musical deaf community because a) they’re loud, b) they’re loud right next to your ear, and c) they vibrate so much right under your chin.
I rented rather than bought one to give me a chance to see if I can get to grips with it but so far so good. It took a little while to find a teacher who would take me. I got told by several private tutors that they wouldn’t take me as I’m deaf and apparently it’s impossible to learn to play either one if you’re deaf.
Something the gentleman in the music shop who fitted me thought was hilarious, and something my teacher (who I was very excited to get) thought was stupid. She did admit in my first class that she was a little concerned about how to teach me, but that first class clearly proved I was up to the task. She quickly got excited that I was learning quickly. I tried to explain how I figure it out, that I do get most of the sound with my HAs music programme I just can’t differentiate between one sound and another, but the vibrations are very different. It was strange to explain how I can tell I play a bum note because the vibration is wrong!
Next week I’ll be working on my first finger (putting my fingers on the strings to play different notes) and we’ve decided to use a variety of tiny coloured sticky dots for all the notes until I’m confident I’ve learned the muscle memory for all of them. Normally she’d just do it for the first finger as a strip and then students would learn the rest themselves but seeing as how I can’t hear the difference and haven’t learned the vibration yet…
I’ll send pics as I go along
Do any of you play an instrument?