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The inspiring true-life story of Evelyn Glennie is told in The Sound of Music Part I Evelyn Glennie Listens to Music Without Hearing It written by Deborah Cowley. Evelyn, who was born in Scotland in 1965, began losing her hearing at the age of eight due to gradual nerve damage, and by the age of eleven, she had totally lost her hearing ability. She did not let this affect her life or work, instead, she worked to become one of the greatest percussionists of all time.
Evelyn may have been deafened at a young age, but she refused to let her disability define her, and she was determined to pursue her passion for music. Seeing a girl play the xylophone inspired her to try it herself. Despite the fact that all of her teachers discouraged her, percussionist Ron Forbes saw her potential and decided to teach her. Despite the fact that she couldn’t hear the sounds he made, she soon discovered that she could distinguish between the sounds produced by various instruments based on their vibrations.
Evelyn began by starting to play the drums while standing barefoot and sensing notes through various parts of her body. Evelyn auditioned for the Royal Academy of Music at the age of sixteen and was accepted after receiving one of the highest grades in the institution’s history. She rose to become one of the greatest percussionists of all time through sheer hard work and determination, and she was also successful in bringing percussion to the centre of the Orchestra. She has a long list of accomplishments to her name, and her incredible abilities never fail to captivate her audience.
She received the prestigious Soloist of the Year Award from the Royal Philharmonic Society in 1991. She has received numerous other honours, including Musical American Instrumentalist of the Year in 2003 and the Sabian Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. Evelyn is fluent in English, French, and basic Japanese in addition to her native language of music.
Evelyn Glennie is a motivation to deaf children around the world because she is living proof that their disability does not define them. They, too, can achieve whatever they set their minds to with determination and perseverance. Evelyn Glennie is still a down-to-earth and humble person despite her many awards and accomplishments.
I. Thinking about the Text
I. Answer these questions in a few words or a couple of sentences each.
1. How old was Evelyn when she went to the Royal Academy of Music?
Answer: Evelyn attended the Royal Academy of Music when she was seventeen years old.
2. When was her deafness first noticed? When was it confirmed?
Answer: At the age of eight, Evelyn’s mother Isabel realized something was wrong with her daughter when she did not respond to her name being called while waiting to play the piano. Evelyn’s deafness was discovered when she was eleven years old.
II. Answer each of these questions in a short paragraph
1. Who helped her to continue with music? What did he do and say?
Answer: Evelyn’s talent was noticed by Ron Forbes, a percussionist himself, who encouraged her to continue with music.
He adjusted two large drums to distinct notes and instructed Evelyn to try to sense their sound in a different way than through her ears. He taught her that she could feel the higher drum from her waist up and the lower drum from her waist down, as well as different notes in different parts of her body. As a result, Ron Forbes taught her to perceive sound through her mind and body rather than her ears.
2. Name the various places and causes for which Evelyn performs.
Answer: Evelyn has a very busy schedule, performing at regular concerts and going on international tours. Classes for young musicians are given top priority by her. Evelyn also performs free concerts in hospitals and prisons. Evelyn is a shining example for the handicapped, instilling hope in them through her persistence and achievement.
III. Answer the question (from The Sound of Music) in two or three paragraphs
1. How does Evelyn hear music?
Answer: Evelyn understands music by listening to the vibrations produced by each instrument as it produces different notes. The various notes and their vibrations are detected by various parts of her body. She claims that the music pervades her entire being. Her skin, hair, and cheekbones all tingle as a result of it.
Evelyn usually stands barefoot on a wooden platform during performances and while playing so that the vibrations can travel up her legs. She can feel the sound travelling up the stick and into her fingers when she plays the xylophone. Evelyn can feel the reverberations flowing into her body by leaning against the drums while they are being played. As a result, Evelyn can ‘hear’ music and play it flawlessly by sensing it through the sensations generated by the instruments.
Additional/extra questions and answers/solutions
1. When did her mother notice Evelyn’s deafness for the first time?
Answer: Evelyn’s mother Isabel Glennie initially noticed Evelyn’s hearing problem when she was eight years old and did not respond to her name being called while waiting to play the piano.
16. What contribution does Evelyn make to percussion?
Answer: Evelyn helped percussion by securing a prominent position in the orchestra. She has demonstrated how percussion instrument music is deeply moving and touches people’s hearts and emotions.
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