Thursday, 16 November 2017

The accepting kindness of children

Musician in Residence at Zhodina Orphanage Foto by Val Cousins

It is so wonderful to be working with children again. After 30 years of facilitating music and story workshops, I had to hang up my fairy wings in March, due to hearing loss, tinnitus and hyperacusis. 

The Tethered Fairy ring

I honestly didn't think I would ever be able to return.

Tramore Street Festival, Ireland

It literally broke my heart. Inspiring the children via The Arts has been at the core of my lifetime career. Music, Story, Song, Poetry all being the magic that brought joy but all too noisy for my hyperacusis.

Children's Storytelling Trail, NBGW

Having a hearing aid has made all the difference and I am having a 2nd on in a week's time, too! The sound levels outside of me, are now increased to normal, which means the tinnitus in my head is less noticeable, so the dissonance from the hyperacusis is reduced radically when I wear my hearing aid.

Suffice to say, that I am now back in school, learning new ways to engage with the children.

The Art Hand, Bunmahon, Ireland

I have also learnt sign language which has really helped , and I have shifted my body language ...

Llanelli Library

... but the thing that has helped me most of all, is the incredible kindness and consideration of the children . Like this morning, my hearing aid fell out whilst in front of the class. I was mortified. Firstly I felt myself blush. I think I was embarrassed. I quickly picked it up and fumbled trying to put it back in. I couldn't get it to work and then suddenly it came back on. 

              'Euston, we back online,' I joked.

The point is, everything was fine. So, the next time it happens I won't blush and I won't fumble. I will just calmly put it back in. The children were so lovely about it. They sat quietly waiting for me to put it back in, with warm 'don't worry' smiles on their little faces. They are accepting of difference in such a way that it is moving and slowly, I can feel my confidence returning. Yes, I am deaf but I am not less than I was. Just different ... 

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