Come And Sit Beside Me, My Only Son

Mama told me when I was young…

usic is a difficult thing for many people with any kind of hearing loss to enjoy.  For me, it was a love and hate relationship.  I loved the feeling music produced in me — physical and emotional.  I hated when I couldn’t understand the lyrics.

Some of my biggest joy as a young child with hearing aids was when someone lip synced along with the song, helping me to match sounds to words.  In the years when CDs were a fairly new thing, I listened to the ones that had lyrics come with it.  I’d sit next to the cd player in the floor with the booklet in my hand, obsessively listening over and over as I learned where the words were in the songs.  Then, of course, internet became a big deal.

Come and sit beside me, my only son…

Music is so diverse.  It celebrates relationships, marriages, children, revelations, and life in general.  It consoles or cheers up the broken-hearted.  It identifies the paradoxes of life in a humorous way.  It can be angry, emotional, sad.  It can be a message to others.

I don’t agree with the constant debate over secular music.  To me, both secular and Christian talks about life.  Life is created by God.  If it is pleasing, true, or speaks to you in such a raw, honest way, there is something in there that glorifies God.

And listen closely to what I say…

On a recent trip to Texas, we listened to Simple Man.  That song was originally written and produced by Lynyrd Skynyrd.  But my favorite version is from Shinedown.  Why?  The Lynyrd Skynyrd version was always hard for me to totally understand, even though I loved the beauty in their version.  Shinedown’s singer sang with such a clear and haunting voice.  I heard and understood every word.

That was my deal.  I enjoyed music best if I could hear the lyrics.  To this day, even with my cochlear implant, I have difficulty making out words specifically as they came, discerning them away from random sounds.  However, the point of music truly is to enjoy each sound as they come, whether they were instrumental or vocal.  Your auditory training can come within learning to discern what is making your heart thump (bass), what is high-toned (guitars, violins, etc), and making out the words (lyrics).  Use this love for music to begin to learn to hear better.

I believe that this is one of the best ways to do auditory training.  I know this is a far more organic approach to listening and hearing, with the intent of not just enjoyment but learning what you hear.  It appeals to all your senses and helps your brain to associate memories and feelings with the words.  That is training your brain to truly identify the sounds.

 The whole earth is at rest and quiet;
They break forth into singing.

Isaiah 14:7

What is something you enjoy listening to the most? Parents, do you help your child to understand so that they may enjoy music, too?  I’d love to hear from you.

Oh, and this.  This is for you.

From God’s Heart to your ears,

ETA: This was shared on Friday Friends over at Happy Faces Unite Aug 5th, 2011.
happy faces unite