Dame Evelyn Glennie (Deaf)

One of the world’s greatest percussion musicians is Dame Evelyn Glennie, who has been profoundly deaf since the age of 12. She was raised in a family where music was a staple. Therefore, from a very young age Glennie was taught how to read music. She incorporates her unique way of hearing music, through the FEEL of the drum, with the structure of music itself.

One of Evelyn’s trademarks is to perform pieces barefoot during a show, so that she can get a better feel for the vibrations of the drum or other instruments. In order to pursue her dream, she taught herself to use every other part of her body to “feel” the music

Some of her greatest achievements include being named the “Best Studio and Live Percussionist” in Rhythm magazine in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2004. This alone is an amazing accomplishment, but she was also inducted into the Percussive Arts Society: Hall of Fame in 2008. Her life also inspired the production of a movie, Touch of Sound, which highlights her struggle in overcoming the many obstacles that she faced in life.

Dame Evelyn Glennie is recognized for her music, as she has always desired, but does not mention the fact that she is deaf until asked about it directly. She is a true inspiration to people who are deaf and dream of pursuing a career in music. Dame Evelyn’s success provides hope and integrity where there was nothing but silence. Despite being profoundly deaf, she was able to make music her own and that is an amazing accomplishment.

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