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The University of Southampton
The Music Focus Group

News release

Three music workshops for cochlear implant users took place at the SoCo (Southampton Community Music Project) Creative Hub in February and March 2011. These workshops were the first set in a series of workshops being run as part of the AHRC funded University of Southampton project ‘Compositions for Cochlear Implantees’.

The workshops were led by composer Ben Oliver, and focused on exploring strategies for listening to music through a cochlear implant. A wide range of different musical activities were undertaken including: learning and performing Ben’s new drumming piece, 'The Cheese Suite' (thanks to the workshop attendee who came up with the name!); listening to and evaluating a music resource for CI users developed by Richard Reed, 'HOPE Notes'; and having a go at using new computer software, ‘The Timbre Player’, that is designed to help CI users find which instruments, pitch-ranges and speeds are best for listening to different types of music.

The feedback from the twenty CI users who attended the workshops was really positive with the vast majority finding the activities fun, useful and interesting. Many indicated that they felt motivated and would to try listening to music more. The majority said they would like to attend similar music workshops in the future.

Some reactions from some of the attendees:

“I just wanted to say how impressed I was with the workshop yesterday. It was really good fun & very educational... I thought the software was excellent - entertaining too!”

“I thought the rhythm performance was great! It was fun to be part of a music team!”

“The best part for me was on the computer and I would have liked some more time on that. I was pleased to have the opportunity to mix the sounds, change speed, pitch etc to find out what I was best for me.”

“Much enjoyed yesterday's session, looking forward to the next one in May. Perhaps I'll get myself a drum kit....”

There are further workshops coming up in May and June, and there are still a couple of places available. Do let us know as soon as possible if you would like to come!

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