Music and Deafness

Participation in music plays an important role in everyone’s development. It can encourage young people to work together, develops their communication skills, allows them express themselves and to develop as a person. This is also true for deaf children. 

There is sometimes a perception that deaf children are not able to access or benefit from music classes and experiences to the extent that hearing children do – however this perception is false! 

Research has begun to examine the impact that participating in musical activities has on other areas of children’s development – such as their executive functioning, language, motor skill and social & emotional wellbeing. There is no reason why deaf children would not also benefit in similar ways by participating in music, but so far very few researchers have looked into this. 

Researchers from Music and Cognition have been the first to examine in the impact of musical activities on deaf children’s executive function skills (paper forthcoming). We have also worked with other agencies and charities to develop inclusive and engaging activities which support musicians who may be working with deaf children for the first time. (Available here).

Deaf children have the same right as their hearing peers to enjoy and make music. Here are some links to organisations and projects that support deaf children’s music making:

Music and the Deaf –

Creative Futures Sounding Out Toolkit –

The National Deaf Children’s Society

NDCS guidance through Music Mark