Project Update – November 2015

ESCOM PosterA busy ten months!

Ten months into our AHRC-funded project, the ‘Hearing Aids for Music’ project team are reaching the end of a busy period of data collection.

Our initial study, a small-scale clinical questionnaire, was completed in August. We shared our initial findings at the Ninth Triennial Conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music.

Clinical survey

Hearing aid users reported that they frequently experience problems with music listening and almost half the sample reported that this negatively affects their quality of life. Most participants had never talked with their audiologist about music listening and, for those that had, outcomes had rarely been successful.

The results support the existing literature showing that hearing aids may negatively affect music listening. But we are also aware of positive, success stories about music listening using hearing aids.

In-depth interviews

In order to find out more about both positive and negative experiences, we are currently conducting an interview study. We have talked with people with varying levels of hearing impairment about their experiences. We had many questions but in particular we wanted to find out:

  • Why are some people more satisfied with their hearing aids when listening to music than other people?
  • Do live performances cause more issues than listening to CDs at home?
  • Do specially tailored ‘music programs’ help?
  • What are the pros and cons of using assistive listening devices (ALDs) for music listening?
  • What kinds of discussions are people having with their audiologists about music?

Next steps

We are now taking time to analyse the interview data along with participants’ audiometric data. In the New Year, we will begin work on our national survey to be conducted later in 2016.

Discussion forum and webinars

The team had a great meeting with Danny Lane, Artistic Director at the charity Music and the Deaf recently, exploring how best we can create networks of people to share knowledge and ideas about music listening using hearing aids.

If you have any thoughts, please email the project team:

You can also get updates about the project and information about music and deafness on our twitter feed @musicndeafness.