Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Marlee Matlin explains her relationship to music

In an interview with the New York Post, Marlee Matlin gives excellent information to the hearing world about how she can hear and feel music so she can perform on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars."

"In a dance studio, I like the music to be turned up loud so I can follow along the bass line," Matlin said in The Post. "But mostly, it's about that rhythm I have inside me. I've got groove because my heart beats just like everyone else's. The trick for me is to use what I've got to sync up with the music that comes through my dance partner's moves.

"In the end, it sounds complicated, but it's really not a big deal. Just ask the 30 million other deaf and hard of hearing Americans, and they'll say the same thing. There's music out there but a lot of it is about the music you have inside."

Matlin wears two digital hearing aids but without them she has little hearing. "They do a few things; they amplify the higher frequencies which I can't hear, they sharpen the lower frequencies which I hear better and then they mix it all together and amplify it," she explained.

"As for music, I've been a fan of music for years - Billy Joel, Madonna, etc. With hearing aids, I've been able to hear the beat, I can hear that there's music," she said.

"And if I've learned the words, I can match up what I hear with the words being sung. That's how I've been a big fan of Billy Joel's music since I was a kid and that's how I was able to sign the national anthem with him at last year's Super Bowl."