MED-EL at the Beats of Cochlea Music Festival
The 1st International Music Festival for Children, Youths and Adults with Hearing Disorders, Beats of Cochlea begins today, and it’ll be filled with singers and instrumentalists from across the world sharing their musical talents with each other—and they all have a hearing implant. We’re excited that 17 of the 34 contestants have a MED-EL hearing implant!
We’ll be there with them during the festival and will be sharing you some stories once it’s all wrapped up. So for now we wanted to introduce a few of the MED-EL recipients who will be performing:
Anamaria is just 9 years old, but she’s performed in almost 30 festivals and contests.
I was born deaf, and by the time I was three received my two cochlear implants. Then when I was five-and-a-half, I started to learn the piano because my mom knew that playing music and the rhythms would be really helpful in teaching my brain how to hear sounds with the cochlear implant. I really enjoyed it from the very beginning, and then only four months after playing the piano I went to my very first piano competition and won first prize. And the real surprise for everyone else was that they didn’t know I had cochlear implants: they thought I could hear normally!
Since that first competition I’ve played in almost 30 different festivals and contests and have won lots of different prizes. I love to do this, because music is my joy and I love to play around with different harmonies and hope to write my own compositions in the future. But right now I like listening to sensitive and rhythmic music, like Fabula by Florica Dimitriu and Arietta by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Carlo didn’t let his hearing loss get in the way of his musical career.
I was a professional violin player at age 23: my future and my life were one with my violin. It was my best friend. There was no difference between working time and free time. I was just about to have my final examination in my music conservatorium. Then, a road crash left me in a coma; I was temporarily paralyzed and lost my hearing. It took everything from me except the love I felt for my music.
I spent 12 years of my life in silence. I was able to finish my finals two years later, but I was still deaf. Then I started talking with other students about cochlear implants and, in 2004, my life changed again: I received my cochlear implant. In 2008 I received my second cochlear implant and it’s like having two legs instead of just one. Now I can work as a teacher of disabled children. I try to teach by example and that’s why I feel I must give something back by playing my violin and helping people to overcome disabilities with music.
Marina went from hearing music as “noise” to graduating from music school.
I was born deaf, and for the first 11 years of my life I had no idea what a cochlear implant was. I did use a hearing aid but it didn’t work so well. But then I met another student at my school that had a cochlear implant, and when I saw how well they were able to speak I knew that getting one would be the right choice for me.
Before getting my implant music really didn’t exist for me. It was just a noise. Then I received my cochlear implant in 2008, and just six months after getting my implant I started taking music lessons as part of my
rehabilitation program. That was when music started to make sense. Because of my cochlear implant I was able to communicate much better and it was easier to make friends. And, I have since graduated from three different schools: my regular school, a music school, and an art school, and now I love to play music and my guitar.
Join us in wishing luck to all the performers!
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