deaf music

I’ll wager you have never met a deaf person who loves music as much as I do. Then again, maybe you don’t know any deaf people. Or maybe you do? Or (drumroll, hopeful breath) maybe you yourself are deaf?! I stand by my statement still: I’ll wager you have never met a deaf person who loves music as much as I do.

There are primarily two ways in which us deaf folk connect with music: tonal notes and vibration. My hearing being what it is, I can hear certain notes rather perfectly – and vibration adds to the experience. Dances held for the deaf include a lot of heavy bass, drumming, things that will pass through the floorboards and up through your bones really well. I used to drum myself – I played Japanese taiko drums, those huge ones – and few things in life have ever made me quite as happy as I was when drumming.

Except dance. It it through dance that I become as close as I ever will be to that Source of Love that we like to call ‘God’. It is through dance that I am able to lose a sense of anything that I am other than pure spirit – as we all are, at our core. Nothing makes me physically happier, nor makes me feel more alive.

I don’t dance as often as I should. Who does, really? I am lucky that I have kids – I can turn our music up and dance, dance, dance with them and we laugh and it just feels better than sliced bread.

Back to being deaf.

Do you remember that George Michael song called “I Want Your Sex”? In high school, my friend’s mother was head-bopping along to it while it played in their car. I was shocked – I mean my Dad flipped out about “Funky Town” and her mom was head bopping to “I Want Your Sex”?! My eyes almost popped out of my head; I turned to my friend with question written all over my face. She said, “she can’t really understand the lyrics.” Still stunned, I kind of nodded.

I’m bad with lyrics, but not that bad. I could at least get all those…. scintillating parts of that particular song.

But now… I wonder if I am going to be that mom, if I’m turning into that mom. Because Micah hears everything – and then all of the sudden, he’ll start singing along, “L-U-V – Madonna, Y-O-U, You wanna!”


I might need to either download lyrics for everything I put in the playlists that I put on with him – or just stick to the Carpenters till he’s older (on second thought, maybe not them, with all that “noone ever cared if I should live or die” stuff…)


Meriah Nichols is teacher and artist who lives in a yurt off the grid. She is deaf, has 3 kids (one with Down syndrome) and a lot of chickens. She writes about travel, disability, and getting dishes done. She likes her tea Earl Grey and hot.


#deaf mom, teacher & #disability activist, living in a yurt #offthegrid. 3 kids (1 with #downsyndrome), a camera and a lot of chickens. Never a dull moment
RT @DisVisibility: MT When ASL Products are Made & Sold By Non-Deaf, Does it Hurt the #Deaf Community? via @meriah - 2 hours ago
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