Everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy and take part in all areas of music and karaoke for the deaf ensures that this can now happen.
For most of us a good night out at a karaoke bar with friends singing & performing to all our favorite songs is something we all enjoy.
Hearing lyrics and melodies is something we all take for granted as we get on stage to showcase our vocal talents.
BUT, have you ever wondered what it would be like getting up on stage to sing and hearing no sound at all?
Not hearing the music or feeling the rhythm and being unable to understand the lyrics, that is exactly what it is like for many people around the world with hearing impairments.
Until recently deafness was a barrier for those wanting to attend a concert or a karaoke party.
Today however, even if singing is a challenge, deaf people can express themselves at karaoke through sign language and are judged on how precise it translates the lyrics of a song.
Every year a city in Russia 'Chelyabinsk' becomes the capital of Russian sign language karaoke. i.e. Karaoke for the deaf.
How Amazing is That!
Deaf people no longer have to feel they are in a 'soundless bubble', but can step up and become part of a large community of karaoke lovers they never imagined was possible.
Through sign language they can communicate & express the mood & emotional content of any song and in turn become mediators between the music and those with hearing impairments.
Karaoke is for everyone to enjoy.
On Broadway 2015 the musical 'Spring Awakening' received rave reviews from both audience and critics.
Performed by deaf actors, this show with its' dynamic choreography told the story of a group of troubled teenagers living in Germany in the late 19th century.
The actors' new interpretation of the lasting generation gap was another fantastic breakthrough for the deaf community.
Music & Emotions
Many deaf people also play musical instruments and take part in music related activities every day.
The benefits of karaoke for the deaf are the same as with hearing people:
It also worth remembering that some people have hearing aids and can use a lot of their residual hearing, whilst others may have cochlear implants or be deaf in just one ear.
In these cases enjoyment of music is not simply about vibration and being visual, but about hearing the music.
It is obvious that not all hearing impaired people will be musical in its' fullest sense. But, then neither are all hearing folk.
What is needed is the opportunity to experiment in order to discover what music abilities lie dormant in us.
William G Fauwkes (music teacher of the deaf)
Consideration - Karaoke For The Deaf
Next time you attend a karaoke party or have a great night out at a karaoke bar spare a thought to those who are deprived of hearing the sounds of music and to whom this means so much more.
Most people are so fortunate to have their hearing and until writing this article I can honestly say that like most Karaoke Kooks we have never given a second thought to those who are living with hearing impairments.
It is sad but true, and I hope you will all one day experience the joy on the faces of people singing with sign language at karaoke. Karaoke for the deaf is something we should all embrace.
Consider, if karaoke was for only for the hearing impaired, how much we as the hearing community would be missing out on in our lives.
Take a minute out of your life and consider a world without sound!
Karaoke for the deaf is an art form.
Take language and paint a visual picture, supported by a rhythmical frame of pulses and beats.
By breaking down the rhythmical components of a song and ultimately communicating the 'Story', sign singing is most definitely an art form that all children and adults can participate in - regardless of their ability or inability to actually hear.
Rebecca Withey - Deaf sign singer
- 1Try to ensure the signing represents the meaning of the lyrics. There is no need to sign each word.
- 2Use facial expressions to mirror what is being signed and in place of tone & tempo.
- 3Use signs that flow well together and fit in time with the music.
- 4Consider all ideas & suggestions for interpreting the lyrics into sign.
"Music expresses that which cannot be said, and on which it is impossible to be silent." - Victor Hugo