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What a Deaf Musician Can Teach Us About Listening

Evelyn Glennie is a unique musician.

Not just because she is a Grammy-winning percussionist and the first person in musical history to successfully create and sustain a full-time career as a solo percussionist.

Not just because she has worked with Bjork, Julian Lloyd Weber and Sir James Galway. And then become a commander of the British Empire in 2007.

No, Dame Evelyn Glennie is deaf.

Evelyn Glennie lost nearly all of her hearing by the age of 12 yet this loss came with a greater connection to music she loves.

And now she teaches us how to listen.

Listening is not about hearing, it’s about how we perceive.

Watch this TED video to see how Evelyn plays with immense sensitivity and compassion and learn what she can teach you about how to hear music. With your body, your sight as well as your ears.

Consider how, if we can perceive sound and music this way, how else we can apply these insights in to all aspects of our lives.

  • When we are having conversation with others.
  • When we learn music.
  • When we listen to music.
  • When we listen to natural phenomena.

Are we present? Are we listening with our whole selves?

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