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February 16, 2004

Deaf Musicians Feel What Their Audience Hears

From: Omaha - Omaha,NE,USA - Feb 16, 2004

School For Deaf Teaches Music

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa -- How would you take up a musical instrument if you couldn't hear the notes you were playing? A group of children at Iowa's School for the Deaf is making music together in spite of their inability to hear the song they're playing.

The school has a handbell choir that is 11 members strong.

"I didn't know if it was possible, but I found the kids can follow music really good," said music director Sara Planck.

To help the students chime in together, the notes are all color-coded. The students' sight is an essential sense. They watch their tune and Planck points to each beat to help them along the way.

The students say they experience the music by feeling the vibration in the bell. They feel what their audience hears.

Some of the students are hard of hearing and can hear some of their music -- others are profoundly deaf. The group performs all around the area.

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