Q. Where in Cork are you from?
A. Frankfield, Cork.
Q. Can you hear the music you play?
A. It is worth pointing out that I am not totally Deaf. I am profoundly Deaf. Profound Deafness covers a wide range of symptoms. I can hear the sounds of all the keys on the piano except for the very high frequencies .I can hear these sounds too but I depend more on “feeling” the sounds.
Q. Can you describe what it feels like when you feel the vibration of the piano keys?
A. To describe what I mean that I feel the vibrations of the keys is like this: If you passed by somebody working with a kango hammer, you would both feel the vibrations and hear the sound ,so you would use both senses.
In my case I think I am using both senses to the maximum all the time, but with the very high frequencies, the sense of hearing becomes less and the sense of touch takes over.
I had to work out all the different notes and feel the different between the high and low frequencies and vibrations.
As for songs, I would lean my head against the speakers to feel the vibrations, rhythm and sounds.
My one and biggest problem is I couldn’t hear the words , but can hear the sounds of the words being sung.
Q. Where do you teach and what do you teach?
A. I teach piano and electronic keyboard in my Music Studio, Frankfield.
Q. When is launch of CD on and your recital?
A date and time and venue will be set shortly . Keep checking for details on my website.
Q. What advice would you give to other Deaf-Blind people?
A. Do something that you like and are good at.. Use your ability, enjoy it, and don’t give up.
Q. What advice would you give to people in general?
A. To include Deaf-Blind people into society as much as possible.
Learn ISL, have good eye contact , and take your time communicating with them.
DONT shout. Speak at normal pitch..
Don’t speak/sign with bright light behind you- your face will be in shadow.
Get the person’s attention before speaking/signing.
If stuck –write it down.
Gestures will help.
Speak/sign close to them within 1-2 metres, for them to see you signing /lipreading/
Speak/sign clearly and not too fast. Repeat if necessary.
Q. How can people make a better place for Deaf-Blind people?
A. To provide Deaf-Blind awareness programme into public services ,including schools, hospitals etc.
To include large prints and braille into all menus in general.
To use ISL as a subject in all school curriculum (both primary and secondary).
To allow easier access to third level education for Deaf-Blind.
To set up Deaf-Blind Awareness Day and run it annually.
Deaf-Blind in schools should be given the opportunity to learn music in the school curriculum.
Q. What does your music mean to you?
A. Music is a gift from God.
When playing or even listening to a piece of music, I can suddenly be transported to a completely different world, and its a world filled with joy and with peace ,and I think in this day and age you cant beat that.
It inspires and uplifts my spirit and help to overcome my profound deafness and visually impairement. I love learning new pieces daily ,it may take months to work it out ,but it’s a great achievement and it gives great results.
Q. What qualifications do you have?
A. Associate Diploma in Performance for piano ( A.T.C.L) by Trinity College London, Dip YCW (UCC),Teacher’s Cert VCM, Certificate in Music Management, Performance and Sound .
Q. What is your dream for the future?
A. To compose my own music.
To have a Music Centre to teach music to everyone.