It’s heartbreaking to me, as a music lover, to have to tell my Deaf son, Alex, that there’s no use buying a music video featuring his favourite characters because he can’t hear it anyway. That’s not to say he doesn’t appreciate music in his own way. But my television and sound-system are incompatible, so there’s no way for him to feel the beat as he watches. The same goes for video games. Often they rely on sound. When he was very young, he would see his brothers dance to the music at the end of a movie. He began, then, to associate movie credits to music. To this day he still dances and “sings” (repetitive, monotoned, wordless chants) whenever he sees them.
Alex isn’t totally deaf. If I put headphones on him, he can hear at least a little, but he doesn’t like it. He has a fantastic sense of rhythm, as do many Deaf people – see the current “Dancing with the Stars” for evidence. But unless the music is cranked enough for him to sense it, one could say for the most part, he dances to the beat of his own drummer.
My A to Z theme concerns the joys and challenges of being the hearing mother of my Deaf son, Alex. To learn more about his beginnings in life, click here to go to my first A to Z entry.