Music Performance by people with Hearing Impairments

People with different hearing impairments have been able to access free music workshops thanks to funding by Sheffield Hospitals Charity and Arts Council England.

Led by professional musicians Thomas Sherman and Joe Harrison-Greaves, 20 participants rediscovered their passion for music.  The four different groups of participants who benefited from the workshops are coming together on Thursday 21st March for a final performance event.  They will be playing some of the musical compositions they have created and are inviting an audience to join in.

Musician and workshop leader Thomas Sherman explained the success of the project:-

We have been able to encourage participants to develop a new relationship with the music they are making and hearing.  At first, some participants were focused only on how music used to sound to them and what they had lost.  A key part of the success of the workshops has been the social aspect of making music together, sharing experiences and feeling supported to try new things. ”

Mir Jansen, arts coordinator at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals who runs the In & Out of Hospital arts programme says:

Tom and Joe encouraged everyone to try different instruments and techniques and to feel inspired by poetry, paintings and drawings.  They supported the participants to interpret these through sound.  The compositions developed have been amazing and I look forward to the live public performance”.

A hearing impairment can often make people feel isolated and anxious in social situations.  These workshops were designed to help people feel relaxed and have fun. The rehearsal spaces and musical instruments our participants had access to were provided by the University of Sheffield’s Department of Music during their quieter summer months.   Some of the Department’s music students also volunteered in the sessions.

Dr Harriet Crook, lead clinical scientist for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals attended a rehearsal in January and commented:

I was so impressed at the level of confidence and such positive feedback. Listening to the recordings made me feel very emotional as I was just so impressed with what has been achieved in such a short time.”

 The final performance will take place at BLOC projects, 71 Eyre Lane, Sheffield S1 4RB on Thursday evening, 21st March between 6pm and 8pm.  People who would like to attend and participate can contact Mir Jansen, arts coordinator at mir.jansen@sth.nhs.uk (a limited number of places are available).

Two artworks that were created from the graphic scores designed by the participants will be exhibited at the performance event and will be permanently installed at the Department of Hearing at The Royal Hallamshire Hospital later this year.