The expression “Music to my ears” may soon have an entirely different meaning to people suffering from hearing impairment.
Exposing children to music can have a beneficial impact on hearing as is highlighted by a joint study carried out by the University College London and the University of Helsinki.
Gauging Speech-in-Noise Performance
Speech-in-noise performance was the main measure researchers observed, enrolling 43 young kids in a clinical study for 14 to 17 months. Of those enrolled, 21 children had cochlear implants, while the remaining 22 had normal hearing ability. knowing that the children with implants had trouble understanding speech perception before the start of the study, researchers introduced control and test sets, assigning participants to a non-singing (control) and singing (test) group.
For children in the singing group, a remarkable improvement in awareness and speech-in-noise performance was observed in comparison with children in the non-singing group.
The Ears Are Trained by Music
This research is only the most recent in a long line of research endeavors that illustrate the merits of musical training to improve cognitive ability and speech processing. In loud settings, speech perception can be improved by musical training, and these findings were corroborated by research carried out by the Montreal Neurological Institute
Identifying speech syllables through a variety of background noises was the goal of this study which analyzed 15 musicians and 15 non-musicians.
The ages of the participants in the research by Drs. Yi and Roberts, in contrast to the Helsinki/London study, averaged 22 years old. While participants weren’t always hearing impaired, the difference in results among people who were musically trained and those who weren’t was considerable.
Non-Musicians Were Outperformed By Musicians
When the noise was missing, both groups had comparable results, but when any level of background noise was added, the musicians substantially outperformed the non-musicians. It’s likely that the ability to perform well on these tests was a result of enhancements to the left interior frontal and right auditory regions located inside of the brains of the musicians.
But there’s more to the benefits of the musical training identified by Dr. Yi and Robert’s study. The auditory motor network is fine-tuned and united to the auditory system and speech motor system by this musical training according to this research.
It’s important to note that while the musicians examined were adults, each of them began their musical training at a much younger age and amassed at least ten years of musical training. Musical training has a powerful effect and this once again backs that fact.
The Affect of Hearing Loss on Beethoven
Hearing loss has been a challenge for some of the world’s most well-known composers and musicians. Probably the most well-known deaf composer, Ludwig van Beethoven was born with the ability to hear, but that began to decline while he was in his late 20s.
The early foundation of Beethoven’s training, though severe, was most likely the conduit for prolonging his musical career. As a matter of fact, Beethoven actually lived the last decade of his life almost totally deaf. Despite that, many of his most treasured works were composed during his last 15 years.