Wednesday, 19 October 2011

You don't need perfect hearing be a brilliant composer. Afterall, Beethoven composed his best music whilst deaf. The story of Lloyd Coleman who is deaf and almost blind and suffers from albinism. A now 19 year old whose work has taken the classical music world by storm.
His mother,Julia recalls that when he was 7 years old, Lloyd announced to her that his dream was to play in the Royal Albert Hall and by now,he had played there three times! He comes from a family that knows nothing about music. What is remarkable about Lloyd is that despite the problems with his hearing and sight, as a toddler, he began to sing even before he learned how to speak. He became fascinated with the piano and at the age of 5, stunned his teacher by drawing 5 perfect stave lines and added notes to form his 1st musical composition. A complete mystery to his mother as no one in his family is musical neither is classical music played in their house.
And guess what, with his hearing-aid he can hear musical notes much clearer than speech! Lloyd achieved grade 8 with distinction in the piano and clarinet quite quickly! In Lloyd's words " The music just came to me like a tap that wouldn't switch off. I noticed in the school orchestra that I could hear music far more clearly than I could hear anything else. The wonderful sound of the flute and the tuba in particular seemed to cut through my deafness"

When Lloyd was 14, he won a scholarship to the prestigious Chetham's School of Music in Manchester. His mother remembers taking him to the station where he couldn't hear the announcements nor see the depature board. She worries that since deaf people are able to lipread and blind people develop a keen sense of hearing and Lloyd has none of that to help him by.

Lloyd says " If anything, my disability has made me even more determined to achieve .I would hate to be known as 'Lloyd Coleman-the blind and deaf composer and musician' because my problems with my hearing and vision have nothing to do with the music I play and my dreams for the future." He currently composes for professional orchestras and music groups across the UK. He had been offered a place to study music at Oxford University.

Very inspiring and interesting!Imagine being able to hear music (even the softest tap of the drum at the very back of the orchestra) and not speech! Waow!! I had to keep a newspaper cutting in my scrapbook.

An extremely rare breed of a deaf who can actually hear music!


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