The World of Music as Told by a Hard of Hearing Woman
Culture is a huge part of what makes each country its own unique place. Many factors including food, mannerisms, and the arts help us establish a culture. One of the biggest defining things in culture for me is film, music, and live performance. Shocking, I know ;) As I've spent most of my life in these sectors, you'd think I'd be well-versed, and in some ways I am, some ways I'm not.
Recently, I started thinking more and more about the concept of music as it relates to my world, the hard of hearing world.
It's a weird thing to think that I can live in a world of complete silence, but that thanks to technology, I have the ability to hear the (mostly) beautiful sounds of music.
Music has the power to transcend us to another time and place. Many of my fondest memories growing up are attributed to music related events: summer concerts with friends, road-trips in the car with the fam, running my first half-marathon, The Nashville Rock 'n' Roll Half, the list goes on.
I grew up listening to and loving music. My parents introduced me to all kinds of music. I was obsessed with Elvis at the age of 5. I'll never forget sitting a foot from the TV soaking in all the documentaries and movies featuring the rockstar. Looking back, I realize I probably was doing that so I could read the lips of those on screen or get extra close to the speakers to hear as best as I could what was being said.
I was totally into the whole emo music scene in middle school, band tees, black eyeliner and all. But pretty early on, even before the emo phase, and to this day, after finding a song I like (d), I usually spend a good bit of time studying it. Certain songs are easier for me to understand than others. Country music, for instance, is fairly easy to understand because of the clearer enunciation. Some rock and hip hop are more difficult because of the bigger instrumentals that can cloud the lyrics. Rap is a whole other story. I quite literally cannot keep up.
Why study? I always saw people singing along to music, especially at concerts, so in order to keep up with them (and be part of the cool crowd), I would/will read and memorize the lyrics as I listen(ed) to the song over and over. In this, though, I've learned to really appreciate a song for its root context in the lyrics, as a story or poem. I know many people resonate with this concept, but I don't know that everyone respects it as a literary art form in addition to a musical art form, if that makes sense?
When it comes to music, I have literally no musical talent (kind of makes sense why), but the way I latched onto it growing up made me want to study it in school and even pursue a career in it. I didn't know what that would be, but I knew I appreciated it enough to do something in it. Many people would probably find that ironic, but the fact that there was this 'hearing' thing that I could somehow master (by reading the lyrics), made all the difference in my world.
As many of you know, I did end up studying music business in college, worked for a music agency in Athens, and have worked various other gigs in the industry. It's still something I'd love to continue to pursue in some capacity.
I give you this backstory because in looking back on all of this, I've come to realize that I may have a slightly different view on music than most. I think this is quite simply because I know the alternative of not being able to hear music. It's something I'm truly grateful to technology for giving me the ability to experience.
So next time you're around music, really listen and take in everything it can present.