This project will provide support to Listen and Talk's music program for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Music is a powerful tool in enriching a child's listening skills as they learn to listen and talk. Musical instruments, song books, and specialized materials available in our music program can help families make music an integral part of their everyday lives.
With the right supports, children who are deaf or hard of hearing can learn to listen, and in turn, learn how to talk--and sing! Approximately 1-3 per thousand babies are born with hearing loss and many others develop hearing loss later in their childhood. Listen and Talk serves approximately 225 families each year who has a child with hearing loss in Washington State. Expanding our ability to provide music enrichment for the infants and toddlers we serve will better ensure future success.
Babies learn to talk by listening to the voices of family members and caregivers from the time they are born. Music is a critical tool to help them learn to listen. Our providers act as coaches, helping families understand the process of listening and talking in a natural, playful way, including through music. With supported practice, a family learns to help their child respond to and interpret sounds, building a foundation upon which spoken language and learning will grow.
Most children who are diagnosed with hearing loss can learn to listen and talk. Music is one tool to help such children be successful at communicating through listening and spoken language. Such a means to interact can facilitate communication with family and community members, allowing the children to integrate into regular classrooms, compete side by side with their hearing peers, and have no limitations in the hearing world.