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October 2021

Music and deaf culture: Images from the media and their interpretation by deaf and hearing students

Author(s): Loomis, D. M.

Journal/Book: J Music Therapy. 1999; 36: 8455 Colesville Rd, Ste 1000, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA. Natl Assoc Music Therapy Inc. 88-109.

Abstract: The purpose of the study was threefold: (a) to examine how the visual media have portrayed the subject of music and the deaf, (b) to verify the validity of these portrayals with members of the deaf community, and (c) to compare and contrast deaf and hearing audiences' impressions of these portrayals. An additional purpose of the research was to examine the results in light of possible misconceptions that may be construed by music therapists and music educators based upon the media's representation of the relationship between music and deaf culture, Since music therapists and music educators are the primary persons responsible for the music instruction of students in school programs for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, it is particularly important that they receive accurate messages about the relationship of music to deaf culture. Fifty deaf (n = 25) and hearing (n = 25) undergraduate college students individually viewed motion picture and television excerpts related to music and the deaf. Subjects were instructed to fake notes as needed regarding the content of each excerpt and their impressions. Students were then interviewed in their native language, English or American Sign Language, as to their interpretations and perceptions regarding these excerpts and their accuracy. Interviews of the deaf students were translated into English from American Sign Language by trained interpreters. Written transcriptions were then made of the interpreters' English translations of the interviews with deaf students and of the Verbal interviews with hearing students, interview transcripts from both groups were coded and analyzed for recurring themes and patterns using content analysis. Data analysis revealed cultural patterns for the two groups, impressions specific to individual subjects, and trends in communication style and content for the two groups. Implications for music therapists and music educators are given regarding the influence of the media, characteristics of deaf culture, and teaching music to deaf students.

Note: Article Darrow AA, Univ Kansas, Lawrence,KS 66045 USA

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