Getting the most out of music with hearing aids

Reading Time: 2 Minutes
18.03.2020

Music is ubiquitous in our live, whether we listen to it actively over headphones, passively in a public place, or even play a music instrument. It accompanies us when we travel, work, or relax and can be the highlight of an evening when we attend a live concert (Lamont et al., 2015, pp. 711-722). For some people, it might even influence their lifestyle and be used as a “badge of identity”.

“Music is a universal language and does not need to be translated. With it, the soul speaks to soul.”
(Auerbach, 1865).

Music can also serve as a means of communication and connect people. It conveys emotions in all societies (MacDonal et al., 2012) and has the power to positively influence our mood (Schaefer, 2017), reduce stress (Linnemann et al., 2016), and stimulate our memory (Diaz Abrahan et al., 2019).

There is no need for long speeches to understand the effect that hearing loss can have on the perception of music and its social consequences. People with a hearing loss may feel isolated when they avoid going to concerts or left out when they no longer understand the lyrics of a song. In some cases, it can even affect professional life when hearing loss concerns professional musicians. In this context, the fitting of hearing aids is crucial as it can restore the pleasure of listening to music in all circumstances. Watch the testimony of Jörg Arm, a hearing impaired music teacher who uses Bernafon Viron hearing instruments.

 

Music should always be part of the hearing aid fitting process and it is important to raise this point with all new clients. Although music is universal, everyone has their own conception of music. As a hearing care professional, it is important to engage in a discussion to identify the needs and understand the expectations of each hearing aid user regarding how the music should sound.

It is a difficult process because music as a keyword encompasses many listening situations that are acoustically very different. Is the music played live or recorded? Do you listen to or play music? Is the live music amplified or not? What type or types of music are the most important to an individual?

Bernafon’s hearing aids offer a wide range of solutions for music from optimized streaming possibilities to different music programs, i.e. music at home or Live Music. The challenge is to find the best combination of these solutions.

REFERENCES


Auerbach, B. (1865). Auf der Höhe, Roman in acht Büchern. Hanse Verlag.

Diaz Abrahan, V., Shifres, F., & Justel, N. (2019). Cognitive Benefits From a Musical Activity in Older Adults. Frontiers in Psychology, 10. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00652

Lamont, A., Greasley, A., & Sloboda, J. (2015). Choosing to Hear Music. In S. Hallam, I. Cross, & M. Thaut (Eds.), Oxford Handbooks Online. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198722946.013.42

Linnemann, A., Strahler, J., & Nater, U. M. (2016). The stress-reducing effect of music listening varies depending on the social context. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 72, 97–105. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2016.06.003

MacDonald, R., Kreutz, G., & Mitchell, L. (Eds.). (2012). Music, Health, and Wellbeing. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199586974.001.0001

Schaefer, H.-E. (2017). Music-Evoked Emotions—Current Studies. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2017.00600

 

About the author:

Christophe Lesimple
Christophe Lesimple
Christophe is a Clinical Research Audiologist and has worked for Bernafon since 2011. He contributes to various aspects of development like working on concepts, running clinical trials, and analyzing data. Besides his activities with Bernafon, he teaches research methods and statistics at the University of Lyon. In his private time, Christophe likes to play music and volunteer for a hearing impaired association.