Monday, December 29, 2014

A deaf pianist?

A  deaf pianist??  Is there such a thing? Certainly. I am one of them. Specifically, a deaf ragtime pianist. I am also hard of hearing if that helps since I do have useable hearing in my right ear I take advantage of with my hearing aid. My left ear is no good.

Playing the piano is something I love to do and it is no mystery to me that deaf people can be pianists, enjoy playing it and be good at it. When I get the chance to sit down at the piano it becomes a relaxing affair even when I'm practicing a new ragtime piece. I'm no beginner here. I began playing the piano since I was 7 years old. That was over 40 years ago. Discovered ragtime in my early teens.   I continue to play and practice new ragtime songs on my 1920 Thompson player piano as well as my Kohler & Campbell piano. I play pieces like Kitten on the Keys by Zez Confrey, Black and White by George Botsford, Bag of Rags by WR McKanlass, Scott Joplin pieces, K.K. Ragtime by Kazumi Totaka, Apple Sass by Harry Belding, American Beauty by Joseph Lamb and many, many more.  The links are pages to free music sheets download.

Not all pianists born with a hearing loss have the same amount or type of frequency hearing loss. Some are born with mild hearing loss others have severe to profound hearing loss. I wear a hearing aid in my right ear while my left is no good. I can hear all of the 88-key notes. Some deaf pianists are unable to hear the higher notes or the lower notes even with the help of a  hearing aid. Some pianists wear cochlear implants.  Each of us has a preference to a particular type of piano pieces we like to play whether it'd be classical, country, jazz, ragtime, rock, or boogie woogie. For me, I am simply fascinated with the ragtime and novelty pieces. So I prefer to spend my time playing those pieces than classical scores.

What do you prefer to play?

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