Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Gift of Music

Tragedy struck here in Grosseto, yesterday, and in addition to the earth shaking, you may have heard my scream all the way there from iPod broke. The feeling is similar to when you get 300 emails a day and your email server is down, kind of comparable to a life-support system suddenly exploding. For six hours I debated whether to run out and buy another one with the excuse that I would give the broken one to Luca (I'm so sweet, aren't I?), but luckily work prohibitted me from doing this (I so would have), because when I got home after a party last night at midnight and gave the old "say a prayer" flick on - it WORKED! The bad news was that it needed to be recharged, the miraculous news is that I am back inside my own head peace, and obsessed with the Linkin Park song "Shadow of the Day."

I started my day with a smile after reading Paotie's Marijuana University blog, he called me sexy *smile*, much better than being called "intelligent." Can you EVEN believe a friend of mine called me "Intelligent?" He must have his head up his ass, I am so NOT intelligent. That's like me calling a man "NICE." The kiss of death. Actually, I think this friend may quite possibly be the only man who has ever called me intelligent, and that is interesting in and of itself. I wear thongs. Women who wear thongs are not intelligent...then again...

There was a point to this blog, but I sidetracked myself. Abbie another so not intelligent woman who probably wears thongs herself, blogged about Michael Chorost's article "Helping the Deaf Hear Music", which I found extremely interesting. Michael Chorost, the author of REBUILT: How Becoming Part Computer Made Me More Human, wrote an excellent and informative article about how a new test: Clinical Assessment of Music Perception (CAMP) measures how well cochlear implant users hear the basic components of music: pitch, timbre, and melody. Read the article to learn more.

One common theme I have noticed on all of the support groups, especially the adult ci groups and forums is the OBSESSION with listening to music. I would say that approximately 70% of all questions and posts on the adult groups have to do with the sound quality, requests regarding iPods, which type of music sounds the best, how well people hear lyrics, etc...MUSIC. And, on the kid ci support groups, at least 30%of the threads have to do with questions regarding which musical instruments to choose for their children, will their ci kids be able to listen to music, which iPod to choose, how to best listen to the iPod, can their kids learn to play a musical instrument, etc.

Jordan heard rhythm with his hearing aids. With his cochlear implant, he identified the ringtone of a cellphone as a classical piece his music teacher had played. Miraculous, but true. When he plays the guitar and messes up, he recogizes by "hearing" that the note was incorrect. Freaking impossible? Hell, no, CI MOMENT. Can he sing? No, I mean REALLY No! Yeah, he gets that from me.

I spent nine months of my pregnancy with Jordan in silence - I could not stand music during my pregnancy and my radio remained off except for listening to the Oriole games on WBAL. In Italy, I spent the last ten years music-less because my car radio got stolen out of my car while we were at the beach (along with my Bob Marley tape)and I never replaced it, thinking it would just get stolen again. Note: at that time, car radios were not built-ins (I know *WTF*) they were buy your own brand pull-outs. So, until Christmas when I got my iPod, I was pretty much without music in my sad is that?

I can associate all phases and men of my life with a song, some with more than one song...yet, ironically, I associate the past ten years of my life with silence. Hmmm. This is so going to date me, but I'm going there (but I'm leaving the men out of it:)). Childhood music: dancing with Sherri Bober in her basement to Michael Jackson's Thriller after having jammed to Rick Springfield's "Jesse's Girl" after a GH episode. First posters in my bedroom - Shawn Cassidy and Rick Springfield. (My sister loved Chad Allen who basically looked like a very young Ellen DeGeneris - nuff said)Bar and Bat Mitzvah music: Phil Collins and Genesis all the way! My last year of Middle School was all MADONNA "Like a Virgin." High School Graduation: "Joy and Pain," "Doin' the Butt," (Oh God, I'm killing myself writing this), Depeche Mode, Guns N'Roses - "Welcome to the Jungle" and "Paradise City", Will Smith "Parents Just Don't Understand" And College...EXPLOSION - Classic Rock "Brown Eyed Girl", "Only the Good Die Young," "No Woman, No Cry," "Bust a Move,"(hellweek song:))"Bye Bye Miss American Pie," Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Indigo Girls, the list is just neverending from College because I spent every single night at the bars dancing on the tables.

*I can understand the Deaf Community's need to promote ASL, but if there is one reason that a mother should try the oral is to give her child the gift of music. Providing music to a deaf child should be reason enough alone for the Deaf community to accept cochlear implants as valid*

Music enriches the soul and adds color. I am reborn...

and that is why when I was jamming to Nelly Furtado's "Promiscuous Girl" and saw a smokin' cyclist with some rippin' muscular calves bikin' next to my ride, I leaned out the window and gave him the "Wooohoooooo!" Shit, if the construction workers can do it, why can't I???


Karen Mayes said...

I laughed at your remark about women wearing thongs not being smart....well, you are SMART in a sassy way ;o)

Anonymous said...

I must object to your spreading the myth that signing Deaf people do not have access to music. I grew up with signing as my primary mode of communication, and I own an iPod. At the moment, I have Chuck Berry and Elvis on my playlist (always did like oldies). There are MANY signers who enjoy music and can't imagine life without music.
Signing does NOT shut off access to sound, music, speaking, or anything like that. This is a red herring used to scare parents into choosing the oral route.
Allow me to repeat that for the benefit of everyone reading: SIGNING DOES NOT EQUAL NO SOUND, NO SPEECH, NO MUSIC, ETC.

Anonymous said...

LOL...yeah, you can also do it! Go ahead if you want!

Christian and Lily's Mommy said...

One of THE biggest heartbreaks that I had associated with Christian's loss was thinking of the fact that he may NEVER enjoy music. It made me sick to my stomach---literally.

I identify certain stages of my life too with music. I pray everyday that Christian will experience the goosebumps and PURE joy that I feel while listening to the Live in Chicago version of Lie in our Graves by DMB.

You're getting a plug on my site've totally inspired me to write something that I've been meaning to for a long time.


Dianrez said...

Jenny is bang on with her comment that ASL does not preclude enjoyment of music. I can tell you of some of my Deaf friends grooving to music at all levels of hearing ability.

Me, I am not that hip to music. Other things turn me on, like a well-turned-out blog like yours, an apt phrase, the beauty of a finely photographed image, the cascade of images in a movie, but not an orchestra or an ipod blaring pop music. Bo-o-o-ring. With my hearing aids on, it doesn't do much for me. Even if I were hearing, music wouldn't much interest me.

It amazes me to gibbering incomprehension how hearing people could spend so much effort and money on music and forget what else is important in this world. Like love, communication, harmony with life, peace and learning. But that's to each his or her own.

So...crank 'em up, people. Don't forget to include the joys of ASL too.

Julie Hochgesang said...

My mom made a point of blaring Billy Joel on the radio everyday when I was a little girl. As a result, I'm in love with music. I'll listen to Billy Joel every now and then in private! :)

My mom also taught me sign language. You can have both!

Unknown said...

Hi. Thank you for your comment. I'm not trying to be thick-headed, just trying to understand. Are you saying that you are deaf, do not wear hearing aids or a cochlear implant and still hear music on your iPod?? Thank you, Jodi

Unknown said...

Your post was beautiful, all of your posts are beautiful and reading your posts is a cathartic experience for me...God, everything in this period is a cathartic experience and as I am healing, you, too will heal. Love, Jodi

Unknown said...

Beautiful and profound comment, and thank you. Jodi

Unknown said...

Hi Julie *smile*,
Live for Billy Joel, emphasize that! I need to learn ASL and I will, regrets are not something I believe in and that would be too big of one for me. It's so strange how I have always tried to learn and still haven't been able to...Jodi

Valerie said...

I love your thoughts. You hit my favorite subject - music. Oh, the joys of music. I gave it up 20 years ago except for a once in while old song. It lost it glimmer. Enter my CIs and music is back, better than ever. I really had to train myself to enjoy music again, but now there is not stopping me.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jodi,

I apologize for my tone this morning. It was very early in the morning and I am frustrated at how these misconceptions keep coming up time and again - you have to choose between signs and speech/sound. That's so not the case. It's perfectly possible, and even better, in many cases, to give a deaf child everything - signs, access to sound/spoken language, etc. Why not? There's really no need to have to "choose."

To answer your question, yes, I'm deaf, do not wear hearing aids, and I don't have an implant. I still love music. Tunes get stuck in my head. Sweet Molly Malone was playing and replaying itself in my head just the other day. Dang, it just may restick itself in my head now! "Crying 'cockles and mussels a-live! Oh!'" *grin* Another current favorite is Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. I *love* that instrumental crescendo near the end and how masterfully it builds up to that point.

Furthermore, I'm not unique in the community. You may or may not know about Beethoven's Nightmare, an all-deaf rock band. Many of us enjoy signing songs, discussing music, swapping playlists, et cetera. One acquaintance is almost totally deaf, but she always cranks up her car stereo, buys CDs like crazy, and memorizes lyrics. Most of us have a natural rhythm. We dance. We go out to clubs shakin' our thang. We have ASL songs and poems.

Dianrez is right when she says that not all of us are into it. We also vary in how "into" it we are, just like hearing people. My very hearing mom isn't into music. She appreciates it, but she doesn't purchase anything musical. Her car radio is always set to the news or to talk shows. My very hearing cousin plays the piano and cannot be without music for one second (it's always on in the background). Between these two extremes, the other members of my family fall at varying points in between. The same is true for deaf people. Some are more musically inclined than others.

I hope this clarifies and answers your questions.

Jarom R. Matheson said...

Can't live without my iPod! I usually always plug my iPod in my right processor and rock away to music. I guess I can thank my mother for giving me the love of music because she LOVES music. I can't imagine my life without CI. Even, I already had re-implantation procedure done more than once. It's worth it! Yummy picture of man with guitar... I like it! *winks*

K.L. said...

I have nothing to say about music. I just want to see the guitar guy again.

Unknown said...


Kim said...

OMG!! You have just taken us back forty years girl!! Women can wear thongs AND be intelligent at the same time!!! *CRINGE*

In fact, thongs are often the intelligent choice.

Someday I hope you get a chance to see signing to music. It's awesome. :-) Our local high school does an ASL concert every year. I just LOVE it!! The kids pick out the music so it's modern, upbeat and they make a few prop-- even do a little choreography. It's great!

Abbie said...

I love you Jodi! You have the ability to spot a fellow thonger an ocean away! :) however I think we are pretty darn intelligent and totally using common sense.

Who wants to see panty lines this day and age?! :)

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