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Deaf yet hearing – Musicians with hearing implants successful at ‘Beats of Cochlea’ Music Event

Sep 12, 2018

4th International Music Festival for Children, Youths and Adults with Hearing Disorders

12 September 2018 – (Warsaw, Poland) Last week, ‘Beats of Cochlea’ - the 4th International music festival for deaf people who have a musical talent and use a hearing implant  – took place in Warsaw, Poland.

30 users of hearing implants from all over the world participated in the festival. In workshops and masterclasses they developed their musical skills further, working with highly renowned professional musicians in one-on-one lessons.

The festival culminated in a grand gala concert during which 10 laureates showed off their huge talent. 7 of the 10 laureates, who were chosen by a jury in an audition, use hearing implants by Austrian manufacturer MED-EL. The concert covered a wide range of musical styles and instruments, from classical piano to traditional zither and modern drums. The one thing that united the deaf musicians at this unforgettable event was their love for music.

Watch the highlights from the Beats of Cochlea Gala Concert here:

Quotes from the participants

Laima Jakaite Iceland
Laima Jakaitė (48), CI-user, piano, Iceland:
“I suddenly lost my hearing after an illness and spent a year in deafness – a very hard period in my life. Soon after I got my cochlear implant I took up my work as a piano teacher again. I am so happy that I can play and hear music again. Music means everything to me”.

Niraj Mehta India
Niraj Mehta (23), VSB/BB, guitar, India
“My father evoked my passion for music. Music gives me a lot of energy, it creates positive vibes and makes me feel better. With my hearing implant, whenever I make a mistake, I can easily recognize it, which I was not able to before. I am so excited to play in front of so many people at the Beats of Cochlea Festival!”

Piotr Nowacki POL
Piotr Nowacki (12), Vibrant Soundbridge, vocals, Poland
With my performance I want  to show that we can all be equal, that deaf people can sing and dance like people with healthy hearing. I can hear music and I can feel it - it's an amazing experience. I want to sing to make life more beautiful.

Rebekah Stewart NZ
Rebekah Stewart (36), VSB/BB, piano, New Zealand
“I’m so totally excited to be here. It’s always been a childhood dream to come here to Poland - actually my favorite composer is Chopin who is from here. I am looking forward to meeting other musicians with hearing implants just like me. I’ve loved music from the very beginning, it’s how I express myself. Music is a part of who I am, it’s in my being.

Sevara Ubajdullaev (11), CI, rebab, Uzbekistan
“I have been doing music for 4 years. I love music, this is my favorite hobby.“

Shiang Tzu Huang Taiwan
Shiang Tzu Huang (9), CI, piano, Taiwan
“Being able to hear wonderful and touching music is one of the best things about my cochlear implant. The piano is my favorite sound I can hear with my implant, and when I am older I would like to be a music teacher.”

Thomas M Haase GER
Thomas M. Haase (69), CI, zither, Germany
Beats of Cochlea was an incredible opportunity for people with CI. It encourages people to learn and master not only the language, but also music. Music makes people feel free and happy. 

Zuzanna Moczydlowska 2 PL
Zuzanna Moczydłowska (18), CI, percussion, Poland
Playing the drums helps me to calm down when I am upset or angry. I am looking forward to making my dreams come true at Beats of Cochlea. Music is my passion and I am excited for getting the chance to play drums in front of a big audience.

Aruzhan Narashova 1 KAZ
Aruzhan Narashova (12), CI, piano + vocal, Kazachstan:
“Music is my world. When I play music it feels like I am flying.”

Samira Yusupova KAZ
Samira Yusupova (10), CI, piano Kazachstan:
“I feel happy when I play the piano. Music also helps me in my rehabilitation to speak and hear better.”

Biektore Zhayshylyk KAZ
Biektore Zhayshylyk (10), CI, lute, Kazachstan:
"I really like to play music, because I can play how I feel - I play sad songs when I feel sad, and happy songs when I am happy.”

Musicians who cannot hear? Of course!

This year, MED-EL cochlear implant users from 8 countries presented their skills at the Beats of Cochlea festival. Ranging from 9 to 69 years of age, they covered a broad variety of music. To people with normal hearing it is still astounding to see how well deaf musicians with hearing implants perform.

Continuous technological advances in the hearing implants field ensure that users are provided with every possibility to fulfil their hearing dreams. MED-EL plays a key role in enabling them to enjoy listening to music.

The company’s cochlear implant system entails features that allow music to be perceived in a more natural way. The delicate nerve cells of the inner ear are protected, while extremely soft and flexible electrodes are inserted deep into the cochlea. Thus, the entire length of the cochlea is stimulated and the user has access to a broad range of pitches, from high to low. The particularly refined coding of sound information used only in MED-EL implant systems is vital for music perception. This combination allows users to enjoy the intricate notes of their favourite songs more clearly and accurately.

About MED-EL

MED-EL Medical Electronics, a leader in implantable hearing solutions, is driven by a mission to overcome hearing loss as a barrier to communication. The Austrian-based, privately owned business was co-founded by industry pioneers Ingeborg and Erwin Hochmair, whose ground-breaking research led to the development of the world’s first micro-electronic multi-channel cochlear implant (CI), which was successfully implanted in 1977 and was the basis for what is known as the modern CI today. This laid the foundation for the successful growth of the company in 1990, when they hired their first employees. To date, MED-EL has grown to more than 1,900 employees and 30 subsidiaries worldwide.

The company offers the widest range of implantable and non-implantable solutions to treat all types of hearing loss, enabling people in 123 countries enjoy the gift of hearing with the help of a MED-EL device. MED-EL’s hearing solutions include cochlear and middle ear implant systems, a combined Electric Acoustic Stimulation hearing implant system, auditory brainstem implants as well as surgical and non-surgical bone conduction devices. www.medel.com  

CEO

Doz. DI Dr DDr med. h.c. Ingeborg Hochmair

Press contact

Lisa Azwanger-Geser 
MED-EL Medical Electronics 
Fürstenweg 77a 
6020 Innsbruck 
Austria 

T: +43 5 7788-1029 
E: Lisa.Azwanger-Geser@medel.com 
www.medel.com