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Mary Beth

Playing musical instruments with our CIs ?

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As @Mary Beth asked for photos - here's one of me playing the piano at an awesome concert highligting ci users'  love for music (I was accompanied by a wonderful ballet dancer) and one playing the piano at the hotel lobby at this year's first ever med el meet up - with @mary Beth next to me ? 

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IMG-20181021-WA0034.jpg

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Wonderful, @VeroNika!

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@VeroNika

I wish I had been in the audience at the festival in St Petersburg!  Spectacular!

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Hi Everyone,

I am new to HearPeers and am contemplating getting my first implant soon. I have struggled for years with this decision. My primary reluctance to take this step was fear that I would no longer enjoy my piano. I am an avid amateur pianist, and music is a very important part of my life. However, my progressive hearing loss has now deteriorated to the point where I can no longer communicate successfully except in ideal circumstances, and I am becoming more socially isolated. I have finally decided communication must come first and music second. Mary Beth, one of your blog posts about music has been extremely encouraging. Are there any other active musicians out there with CI's? I would love to learn of your experiences with music after being implanted. Thanks!

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Hi @Pianist!

 

Glad the blog was helpful!

 

oh yes!  We have lots of musicians with implants!

 

I will tag a few....

@VeroNika

@Angie

@Nikki

@MallaRuth

@Jdashiell

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Hi @Pianist

music was and is a major concern for me and was one reason I chose MED-EL 

early on in my CI journey I was so pleased to hear music better than ever!  

Joe

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Thanks Mary Beth and Joe! Both, I am wondering if your CI's pick up base sounds. I have been fearful the sound would not be rich and full, filled out as only the base can do.

Joyce

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@Pianist

I love the deep, rich bass sounds of music.  They sound great now but music did not sound great for me at first.  It took its own journey.  The end result is fabulous!

I had tried the speech processing strategy called FS4-p on my right side just to see what that sounded like and it was too much bass for me.  I love FS4.

 

 

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Hi @Pianist!

I love playing the piano (also play the transverse flute and sing) - I am single sided deaf and started playing music before I got my cochlea implant. However now with the implant I enjoy playing the piano even more as I hear the full sound better. For the transverse flute the settings of the CI were very important to me as I heared high piched sounds sort of "too loud", but with the right settings it works. Also singing in the choir to me is a lot more enjoyable with the CI, as now I can hear all voices a lot better and not just those that are on my hearing side! Hope that helps & also wish you all the best for your CI-journey!! :)

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Thanks Mary Beth and VeroNika! Mary Beth, I don't know what an FS4 (or FS4p) speech processing strategy is. Is that similar to a program setting on a pair of hearing aids? Also, you said that music "took its own journey" but the end result is fabulous. About how long did that process take?

Anyone, I just read about automatic volume control in my Med-El booklet. Apparently that feature boosts soft sounds and dampens loud sounds so the dynamic range is compressed. Of course, this is also true with hearing aids, but with my hearing aids, I have a music setting that minimizes the compression so that I can tell a difference between soft and loud passages. Is the automatic volume control of CI's adjustable? And is there just one setting for the CI, or are multiple settings possible?

Sorry for all the questions, and I'm very grateful for your replies!

Joyce

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@Pianist

The CIs have so many setting options that our audiologists control to create our MAPs.

FS4 and FS4-p are two of the processing strategies. 

Compression ratio is set by our audiologists.

We have 4 program slots so can have 4 different MAPs available to us.  (That being said, I stay in one MAP 99% of the time.  I do not need a music MAP.)

ASM does manage the wide dynamic range of sounds to make it compatible with our CI input.  We do perceive soft, medium, loud, etc sounds.  Crescendos in music still sound like crescendos.

Everyone’s CI journey with speech and music is unique.  For my first side (right), I listened to music from the start but things made a big improvement around 3-4 months.  And then continued to improve over time.  My second CI (left) liked music before speech!  😊 

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Quote

 

This is very helpful Mary Beth. So glad to hear about the variable volume in music. Thank You!

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@Pianist

Before experiencing listening with a cochlear implant, it is hard to imagine what things will sound like.  The CI vocoder simulations online do not come even close to what things sound like with my CIs.  

It is such an interplay between the CI input and our brains.  I developed an intense interest in neural plasticity as I experienced learning to listen with my CIs.

My right side has been activated for 3 years, 8 months and my left side just celebrated 3 years.  It’s an unbelievable journey.  I am still entering WOW moments in my listening journal.

I am thankful for my CIs and the hearing they have returned to me.  And very very thankful for the return of music. 🎶 

Wishing you the best.

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Thanks Mary Beth. I actually have developed the same attitude already, though I have yet to be implanted. I am just very interested in how the process or relearning to hear will unfold. I, too, am interest in brain plasticity.

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@Pianist

Have you looked at all the great suggestions for aural rehab in our rehab topic yet?  Lots of great ideas there.

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 I have not; but I definitely want to do that in time. There is so much to read and learn. I am still in the process of learning about the products offered by the three CI manufacturers and differences in those products. I have a device selection appointment scheduled for early December, and I feel terribly unprepared. How can you choose a device in 1 hour when there is so much to learn. I still am trying to determine, in my own mind, how important is the number of electrodes--12 (Med-El), 16 (AB) or 22 (Cochlear). That's permanent. Processors and software can be updated, but the electrode arrays are permanent. I expect that the different processing strategies make all the arrays work well; they all work due to the differences in the processing strategies. . . . but back to the focus on music. . .

A Cochlear rep recommended this link--https://www.audiologyonline.com/interviews/interview-with-richard-reed-hope-1375--an interview with Richard Reed, a musician with Nucleus implant who developed the HOPE Notes Rehabilitation Tool. Is your experience with music similar to his? Particularly statements such as this one: "If I can bend CI users' ideas of what's good and bad, make it seem just "different", then hopefully some of them can get used to those differences and then someday retry an old favorite or two, and perhaps re-gain an appreciation of how it sounds now. The melodies and instrumentation will likely never sound the way they once did, but that's okay."

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On 11/20/2018 at 7:28 AM, Mary Beth said:

@Pianist

The CIs have so many setting options that our audiologists control to create our MAPs.

FS4 and FS4-p are two of the processing strategies. 

Compression ratio is set by our audiologists.

We have 4 program slots so can have 4 different MAPs available to us.  (That being said, I stay in one MAP 99% of the time.  I do not need a music MAP.)

ASM does manage the wide dynamic range of sounds to make it compatible with our CI input.  We do perceive soft, medium, loud, etc sounds.  Crescendos in music still sound like crescendos.

Everyone’s CI journey with speech and music is unique.  For my first side (right), I listened to music from the start but things made a big improvement around 3-4 months.  And then continued to improve over time.  My second CI (left) liked music before speech!  😊 

I have just one map that I stay in 99.99%, the only other times I use my FineTuner to make adjustments to sensitivity and volume when at a restaurant. I do this to focus hearing at the table.  -5 Clix on sensitivity, -2-3 Clix on volume 

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@Pianist

No my experience with music and my bilateral CIs is nothing like that quote.

I listen to live performances and get goosebumps.

I recognized a muted trumpet in a live band from the neighboring room even though my typically hearing family thought it was a clarinet.

I heard that one trombone in a big band live concert was playing lower notes than the other trombones and then found out it was actually a different instrument, bass trombone, which I didn’t even know existed.

I jam to the car stereo, even with the windows down, and am shocked at how many lyrics I have been singing incorrectly for decades.

This morning I danced my way through preparing breakfast while listening to music in a new Spotify list.

I am not settling and accepting music as less or different.  I am fully enjoying music in ways I have not been able to do for decades.

 

Choosing a CI brand is a strange feeling isn’t it?  Make the choice that seems best for you.  I chose Med-El due to electrode array options.

After the fact, I was pleased to learn...

-Med-El makes new processors backwards compatible with older internal units.  I thought all brands did this, but found out that’s not true.  I have a friend who can not advance to her brand’s new processor because it is incompatible with her older internal unit.

-In the US, Med-El gives a 5 year warranty when we upgrade to new processors.  At this time, Med-El is the only brand to offer a 5 year warranty on upgrade processors.

 

There are happy CI users with each brand. Choose what you think will be best for you.  Wishing you the best.

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Amazing, and wonderful to hear. Thank you.

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