Deaf Filmmaker Truly Hears Music for the First TimeInspirational Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012
(CNN) Growing up, Austin Chapman was mystified by people’s reaction to music.
He would poke fun at those around him who abandoned their composure to sing their favorite song or twirl around a dance floor. When someone wept at the tune of a ballad, he was bewildered. To him, music sounded “like trash.”Until this summer, Chapman, a 23-year-old filmmaker, was able to hear only a distorted version of music in the form of bass and mid-tones through his old hearing aids.
When he was just 9 months old, his parents learned that he was born “profoundly deaf,” and he was immediately fitted with his first listening device.
It helped, but he was unable to hear anything clearly. Until now.
It was nearly midnight July 6 when he was able to hear his first song in its entirety: Mozart’s “Lacrimosa.”
Fitted with a new pair of hearing aids for the first time in years, Chapman was sitting in a car with his close friends and remembers the moment vividly: “I was blown away by the beauty of it. At one point of the song, it sounded like angels singing, and I suddenly realized that this was the first time I was able to appreciate music. Tears rolled down my face, and I tried to hide it. But when I looked over, I saw that there wasn’t a dry eye in the car.”
Chapman just acquired the newest technology in hearing aids because his health coverage under his parents’ insurance plan was about to expire.
He had been skeptical and reluctant to update his devices, but his parents urged him to investigate any improvements in the technology.
Image: Grant Hindsley / AP