A Hearing Loss & Late Deafened Blog

Cause I Can’t Make My Ears Hear If They Don’t

In Deafness, Hearing Loss, late deafened on February 26, 2012 at 3:14 pm

I just read a great article, written by Barbara Kelley, on Charles Mokotoff from the January/February 2010 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine.  In the article, Mr. Mokotoff says, ”I just said goodbye to the guitar for quite some time. It was a period of reflection and self-examination for me.”

Reading this made me realize that I’ve said goodbye to things, with regard to music, because of hearing loss.  Maybe, like Mr. Mokotoff, I needed to throw off a few shackles of my own?

I’ve mentioned this before on the SayWhatClub list…  not only have I stopped listening to music, I’ve stopped singing.  I used to sing constantly in the car and around the house.  I’m not a public singer, but I do like to sing at home, usually when I’m alone.

Well, after trying to watch the grammy awards online (no captions streaming online), a few weeks ago, I became curious, wishing I could hear what all the hype is about with Adele and her voice.  I also was checking out Bon Iver and I saw a video of “I Can’t Make You Love Me”, so I listened… at least it was a song I knew… or, rather, tried to listen… I could follow along in the song from what little I heard, but I didn’t really hear any of the lyrics beyond a screech now and then.

Because Adele also does a version of “I Can’t Make You Love Me” — it was on the list of selections on the youtube page — I decided I’d listen to her rendition, which was even less lyrics heard.  Sigh…

Discouraged, I decided to go back and listen to the original, Bonnie Raitt version, which I’ve always loved.  This took a leap of faith, because I realize I’ve stopped listening to music because I don’t want to corrupt my memory of it.  Nope, couldn’t hear her singing on that video either, which had the potential to make me exceedingly sad and teary-eyed, but I nixed the temptation to go there.  Instead I’ve found myself singing the song often over the last few weeks.

My husband commented the other day that it was nice to hear me singing again… he said that I sounded really pretty.  I can’t hear myself sing the song either, but I remember how it feels to sing it, so I guess I’ve not lost that.

 

Turn down the lights, turn down the bed

Turn down these voices inside my head

Lay down with me, tell me no lies

Just hold me close, don’t patronize – don’t patronize me

Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t

You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t

Here in the dark, in these final hours

I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power

But you won’t, no you won’t

‘Cause I can’t make you love me, if you don’t

I’ll close my eyes, then I won’t see

The love you don’t feel when you’re holding me

Morning will come and I’ll do what’s right

Just give me till then to give up this fight

And I will give up this fight

Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t

You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t

Here in the dark, in these lonely hours

I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power

But you won’t, no you won’t

‘Cause I can’t make you love me, if you don’t

 

No, I can’t make my ears hear something they won’t, and that’s okay today.

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  1. Good for you to not give up.
    You know i think I am going to try harder and see if their is any vocal music i can understand.
    I haven’t really tried in years. I also use to sing around the house, but only when no one else was home.

    • Donna, good luck with trying to listen to vocal music again. I think this is a good plan. :o)

      I miss music… don’t really remember making a conscious decision to stop listening, but I do know when American Idol first came on I couldn’t hear the vocals and that was really irritating and frustrating, not to mention surprising… I was always asking anyone who was watching with me if “they”, meaning the contestants singing, were any good.

      It may be that I’ve never heard music the way those with full hearing hear it, but it was pleasing to me for many years. Now, it’s almost too much to listen to something I should recognize, but don’t. However, I did find in this recent experience that I enjoyed researching the artists and actually trying to listen to their music and comparing the different version of the same song. I do get some of the low pitch instruments. ~~ Michele

      • For many years I enjoyed music even though I knew I wasn’t hearing the entire song. I stopped playing the piano because notes would sound flat or be missing and it would seem like I was making mistakes while playing, which would be too distracting. While listening to CD’s I could ignore anything that was out of key, and my brain could fill in the gaps of what needed to be there. I am really good at making up harmony too. For example, when I hear some good base I can make up harmony and even a song that I think should be there. I really might have no clue what’s really there but it worked for me. If it was familiar I could usually recognize it from the base.

        Last year everything just went to pot. I cannot even describe what I was hearing with my hearing aids. They weren’t human sounds. I was not recognizing songs I knew anymore. I hated it. I think when music gets to the point where it’s unpleasant it is easy to stop listening because, well, it IS unpleasant. Who wants to listen to music when it reminds them of what they’re missing or sounds horrible?

        One musical outlet I found very fun that you might enjoy was I took up the djembe. You can play in a drum circle with the djembe and you can actually feel the rhythm of the other drummers. When I stopped playing the piano I needed some kind of musical outlet. I also played it to music, because I have always been able to hear/feel base, so I could play along and it was fun. My kids would dance. It’s very relaxing, meditative and it is music. You may feel like it’s not the same at first, but it is a way to be a part of the musical fun. I and participate. 🙂 I even found that the drum has different tones that can mimic music, so it does seem like music.

  2. Kim,

    I can still enjoy live music in small venues and even some recorded music is still pleasant, but most lyrics I can’t hear. Thanks for the info on the djembe. I know a few people who play.

    How are you progressing with hearing music with your cochlear implant? Has any particular music meshed into what you remember it sounding like? ~~Michele

  3. Sing away Michele! Do it for the pleasure of it. I don’t often do it around the house but I do it when I’m in the car by myself all the time. I love it.
    I soak up as much music as I can preferring it to TV. I will always have TV but I may lose music. (I can catch up on TV when music is gone.) I know I don’t hear music like I should but I still hear it enough. I hear people singing but usually don’t understand the lyrics until I look them up online. One of my friends bursts out singing now and then. She faces me so I can pick up on lyrics. Mostly I listen to a lot of old stuff I know or I listen to electronica without lyrics because it has a good beat I can follow.
    I have a djembe and I don’t play it. We do have drum circles in town in good weather on Sunday afternoons and I love going there. Drums call to me for sure but I’d rather dance to them than play them. I’ve thought of giving my drum away but maybe I should keep it.

    • Funny, I’m still humming this song… :o) I’m kind of off TV myself… we haven’t had any type of reception since early 2009 and I canceled my netflix when they did the price hike and changed their service. I’ll rejoin if they ever get the streaming end of their business adequately captioned/subtitled. I’m listening to more and more music now. I have always enjoyed live music, as I can hear the low tones of many instruments… I was having breakfast just the other day at Amazing Grace Bakery & Cafe and the ‘guy’ who always bring their instruments were at the next table and I love just watching them… can’t make out their tunes, but still recognize their sound as music if I’m sitting close enough. There is much in life to be enjoyed, even when you can’t hear it. :o) ~~Michele

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