Listening to music tips

A group of teenagers talking and sitting on some steps

Music helps add dimension to your life. It represents snapshots in time filled with friends and family; laughter and tears; discoveries and memories. The most important events in life are often packaged with music – eventually these become the soundtrack to your life.

No two people have the same experiences, and listening to music with a cochlear implant is no different. Many CI recipients have a positive music experience although others report they don't get much enjoyment from it. It takes a little dedication and practice to achieve your personal best.

Information on sound processor audio accessories - Nucleus® 7

Information on sound processor audio accessories - Nucleus® 6

Information on sound processor audio accessories - Nucleus® 5

Listen to Music Tips

  • While listening to music, read along to the lyrics. Often you can find lyrics in the sleeve insert of a CD and you can find thousands of lyrics online. Some recipients find that watching music videos online (e.g. YouTube) helps them to understand lyrics better.
  • Music may not sound good to you. Remember, patience, persistence, practice and a positive attitude will go far!
  • Experiment using a Personal Audio Cable that provides direct input to your sound processor.
  • Experiment with different types of music.
  • Start by choosing simple songs or familiar tunes, such as children's songs.
  • Set aside time to practice in a quiet environment when you are not tired.

HOPE Notes

HOPE Notes is a first-of-its-kind program uniquely developed for cochlear implant and hearing aid users. It is designed to help improve music appreciation using original songs, traditional Folk, Blues & Country styles and familiar tunes played in unexpected ways. HOPE Notes includes a CD, DVD, and a detailed User Guide including lyrics designed to assist and enhance your use of the program.


Why is music so challenging?

One Nucleus user asked: “I can understand speech with my cochlear implant, so why doesn’t music sound as good?” Music is made up of several different elements including: rhythm, tone and pitch. A complicated mixture of sounds, it can be difficult for the brain to organize them in a meaningful way, which may make music challenging.

Will these advancements work for everyone?

Because of differences in our hearing histories, auditory memories, previous music experience and other variables, music enjoyment will vary from one cochlear implant recipient to the next. The key to music enjoyment is practicing and finding what works best for you. Parents may wonder if your child will be able to appreciate music. Many professionals recommend that you introduce a variety of musical instruments and music styles to learn if your child has a preference. If your child responds positively to a particular instrument or type of music, use that as a starting point and build from there.