The Bionic Sound Project

this girl’s journey to sound

Music Is Life Friday, September 15, 2006

I have never been able to recognize music – classic tunes that everybody can recognize just by the notes or by humming.

Today, Mandy started me on the Sound&Beyond program, to test me with the vowels and consonants to establish a baseline. After I finished that, I was allowed to play with the program, and did musical instruments first, which I did okay with, 61.1%.

She then suggested I try out the melody portion, which I didn’t know about/did not do with Megan. It had songs like Ode to Joy, Amazing Grace, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Wedding March, Alphabet Song, This Old Man, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Happy Birthday, Rock-A-Bye Baby, and Beethoven’s 5th.

I expected to do poorly, because the only songs I can recognize are my favorite songs by major artists that I listen to frequently. The ones I’ve been listening to over the years, on repeat, starting in 6th grade. There is no way I have ever been able to sit down and be able to tell you what classic tune was being played at the moment.

Then, after I got my digital hearing aid, I was able to start figuring out what band it was, but not the song, unless it was a favorite song of mine.

Now with the CI, after today’s test, I was proven wrong….

I got a SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT accuracy, out of 16 questions, on my first try, without any practice or training beforehand.

Some of the songs were played in different keys, and I think I picked up on it (need to verify with Mandy on Monday.) Mandy said that the sound was pretty quiet coming from the speakers, so that was another surprise for me. Then I surprised her/confused her when one song I was positive was the “ABC Song”, and started singing along with it. She had to listen to it closely, and it was actually “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, played in a different key.

I guess it goes to show that classical music training and playing the piano made a difference. I have a much better sense of timing and rhythm now. I also don’t have to bang the keys as hard in order to hear it, and my playing has improved (according to my mom). I learned to understand and appreciate the musical scale, chord progressions, style, tempo, harmony and melody.

Thank you Aunt Flossie, for giving me your old piano, and paying for my lessons, back in 1991. It really paid off. 15 years later, I’m still playing on that piano.

Thank you to my piano teacher, Deborah Preach, for being willing to teach a deaf kid how to play the piano, for 5 years of lessons, and having a lot of patience with me to learn and appreciate it.

Thank you to Mom and Dad, for taking me to piano lessons and waiting until I was done. For putting up with my playing, as terrible it was at times, and for my obsession with the chord combination of E-B and E-A, in middle C. Not to mention the times I tried to compose songs, and was obsessed with finding the perfect sound, just like Beethoven.

Thank you to my family, for all their encouragement and support, even when I played badly. For putting up with my constant love for music and indulging me, even when it was blasting throughout the house, often on repeat.

And look where I am today, first time ever listening to this, and I got 75%!

Maybe now I can finish teaching myself how to play the drums (thanks to Helen’s christmas present a few years ago, an electronic drum kit), then get started on learning how to play the saxophone, hammond b3 organ, harmonica, and experiment with vocoders/synthesizers. I’m not exceptionally skilled with guitar playing, and I didn’t like playing the violin when I was in 3rd grade.

More later about the last two days, as it’s Friday night, and I want time to myself to relax. I’ve been on the go all week with 7 am-1am days, and tomorrow’s my all-day photo shoot, plus there’s a picnic at the lake on Sunday with PHouse.

 

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