Deaf 23-year-old recounts his first time hearing music

August 27, 2012 by Matthew Colwell

Deaf 23-year-old recounts his first time hearing music

(photo courtesy of Grant Hindsley/Associated Press)

In a new piece from the Washington Post, the story of 23-year-old Austin Chapman is told. Chapman was born profoundly deaf and recently received brand new, state-of-the-art hearing aids. For the first time in his life he heard music, describing the experience as being "like the first time you kiss a girl."

Chapman is a filmmaker whose won several awards for his independently released shorts recently, but he had never actually heard the soundtracks to his films until now. The post details that Chapman listened to Mozart, Pink Floyd, Radiohead and Devo among others. He also heard a baby's voice for the first time, stating, "Their voices are too high." The story goes on to describe the new hearing aids he received and the breakthrough in digital technology that has made something like this possible.

I can't recall the actual sensation from the first time hearing music. I would have been very small, I assume. I wonder what it would be like to be in adulthood and experience sound for the first time. What do you think the experience would be like? Can you remember anything about the first time you connected with music? 

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