I am a Deaf musician

There was a lot of tears that day,

The day I was told that I was deaf.

He came into the waiting room, his lips moving but only silence reaching my ears. 

There was one thing I did understand though. 

I knew how to read a hearing test.

I failed it.

My heart was broken.

I am seventeen, how is it possible?

I am a musician,

I am a pianist,

I am a singer,

I am a composer,

What does this mean for my music?

I remember those thoughts running through my head.

I was born hearing. 

Now I am deaf.

It wasn't a shock,

I knew I was having trouble hearing.

Knowing something and admitting that it is true...

Those are two very different things.

Late October I was told I was deaf.

So who am I now?

I'm just a deaf girl who used to be hearing.

 

No.

 

After I was diagnosed things moved quickly.

I was given hearing aids.

I tried to quit music, but my teacher would have none of that.

"To play without passion is inexcusable." She'd say.

"To play without your hearing is wonderful."

"You play with your heart now. You play by how it feels not how it sounds."

"It is a gift in a way. You no longer hear those who tell you that you can't do it."

"The piano, your voice. They are your instruments. You were born with the gift of music, now share it."

I listened to her. I continued to play.

I learned to play by feeling the vibrations.

Then I started to sing again. 

I conquered the piano and now it was time to get my voice back.

 

The transition from hearing to deaf wasn't easy.

I lost people.

Teachers gave up on me.

Friends walked away.

But I wouldn't give up.

Music is not only my passion,

Music is who I am.

 

My world was changing though,

No matter how hard I tried to hold on to my hearing past it was slipping away.

I was once the leads in musicals.

The chosen soloist in the choir.

Now I was a deaf girl with an impossible dream. 

People I once considered friends scoffed at me.

Many people thought I was joking. 

This deafness that was unwelcome was beginning to control my life.

 

I hated it.

 

I hated being deaf. 

 

But I would sit down and place my hands on the keys,

I would close my eyes and feel the vibrations,

I would sing with all my heart.

It is a reminder.

Every time I was ready to give up.

I was reminded that my deafness wasn't what defined me.

It only defined me if I let it.

I graduated early.

I worked on my music.

I auditioned and got into a music program at a University. 

I won some composition awards.

 

So here we are today. 

It hasn't even been a year since I was diagnosed. 

I am learning to sign.

I am learning to be proud of myself.

 

In October I was diagnosed as deaf.

Now I identify as Deaf. 

 

It is impossible,

So many said.

But it is who I am.

Music is my story.

It is my silent song.

 

Yes,

I am Deaf.

I am a Deaf musician. 

It is who I am.

 

Then,

Now,

Always.

 

I am Deaf.

I am different, and because I am different,

I will make a difference.

 

I am a Deaf musician.

I am an eighteen-year-old young woman sharing her story.

I am a fighter.

I am a dreamer.

I am me. 

 

I am a Deaf musician,

Just try to tell me I can't do something. 

I'll prove you wrong.

 

I am a Deaf musician. 

I will make a difference.

I will be heard.

 

I am Deaf.

 

Not Defeated.

 

 

 

This poem is about: 
Me
My family
My community
Our world

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