we saw this recent video of our client Lindy performing on the handbells, we
were amazed by the progress she has made with her music after adjusting to two
cochlear implants to address her hearing loss. We last interviewed Lindy in
2021. This week, we caught up again to find out more about her musical journey.
Video credit: Lindy Crocker
Lindy experienced profound hearing loss as a young adult, affecting her ability to enjoy music. After finding hearing aids weren’t suited to her, she decided to get a cochlear implant. Unlike hearing aids, which amplify sound, cochlear implants stimulate the auditory nerve and send signals to the brain so you can hear.
Following her implant, Lindy noticed an immediate difference in her hearing and began performing in a hand bells concert and accompanying choirs. Five years later, she had a second cochlear implant, and then in 2021 as part of the launch of NextSense, Lindy created a piece of music to celebrate.
Lindy’s musical abilities have developed extensively since then, although she has had her share of challenges. Cochlear implant recipients can face difficulties perceiving the nuances of pitch and timbre as the sound does not replicate natural hearing. But adjustments can be made to improve understanding.
With the help of her NextSense audiologists, Lindy is working hard to keep fine tuning her hearing potential through rehabilitation exercises and adjustments to the programming of the speech processor to get the best sound quality—a process known as mapping.
I have had very supportive audiologists who have encouraged me continually on the rehabilitation journey.
She has found it helped to start with music she was very familiar with, as her brain was able to quickly make sense of her old favourites. Then, as new music was introduced, she had the score with her so she could read along as she listened.
Connecting with other cochlear implant recipients has opened the door to new friendships and support networks for Lindy. She is a member of CICADA Australia, which is a volunteer organisation that helps and supports people with cochlear implants. Dedicated social media groups for people with hearing loss have also been a useful support for her.
Lindy composed the first iteration of A New Beginning, which is featured in the video on this page, as a power song for a school choir well before her cochlear journey began. Recently she was trying to find a piece that was suitable for handbells and piano, and after a little reworking, the song took on a new life. Lindy recorded the piano track first and then added the handbells.
I felt the simple melody and its words really resonated with my cochlear implant story. This technology has certainly given me a new beginning.
Lindy loves that she can still play music and takes great joy in helping others to develop their own love of music. Since retiring a couple of years ago, she has continued to broaden her horizons through teaching and playing a broad range of instruments including ukulele, handbells, chimes and the recorder.
‘I am living my best life’, she said. ‘I am particularly enjoying teaching aspects of music performance to members of my local community. It is wonderful to see how they too can discover their own love of participating in music activities. And I am ever thankful for this amazing technology that is cochlear implants.’