Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

Music Research Seminar: Alinka Greasley

Hearing Aids for Music

Hearing aids for music: exploring the music listening behaviour of people with hearing impairments

Lecture Theatre 1, School of Music

The speaker is Dr Alinka Greasley (University of Leeds)


Music is an important part of people’s lives and can have significant health and wellbeing benefits. These benefits can be experienced by those with mild, moderate, severe or even profound deafness yet little is known about the music listening experiences of this subset of the population because existing studies have focused on ‘normally’ hearing participants. A new AHRC-funded project (Feb 2015 – Jan 2018) is currently exploring how music listening behaviour is shaped by deafness, hearing impairments and the use of hearing aid (HA) technology.  

This seminar will focus on insights gained from the first study – a clinical questionnaire which was distributed to Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Hearing Service and a private audiology clinic in London – which asked participants whether they experience any problems with music listening, the extent to which this affects their quality of life, and whether they have discussed music listening with their audiologist.

Initial findings from the second study – an interview study exploring music listening experiences of users of HA technology in greater depth with collection of audiometric data to aid interpretation – will also be discussed. Participants include those who have been i) deaf since birth or childhood and ii) those with presbycusis (age-related hearing loss), and those with musical and non-musical backgrounds, to facilitate an exploration of differences according to age, specific HA technology used, and levels of musical training.

Results will inform the design of a large-scale, national survey which seeks to identify trends in the music listening behaviour of HA users. As part of the project’s wider aims, data will be used to create a website, online discussion forum and advice leaflet for users of HA technology of all ages to improve their access to music.   

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