Author Topic: Singing and music with one ear...  (Read 4524 times)


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Singing and music with one ear...
« on: March 29, 2007, 01:34:27 pm »
As a singer and avid music lover, I am concerned with the impact of hearing loss - either minor or profound - will have on me. Will I be still be able to hold my pitches? Will it be harder to blend in an ensemble or to find a part?

My AN has only affected my hearing so far in the high frequencies and I have not noticed it at all. Only the hearing test revealed the degradation. I'm just wondering how much I'll miss when I have the AN removed via microsurgery?

Forgive me if I placed this in the incorrect forum.

I would appreciate any and all thoughts.

(Does anyone who has undergone microsurgery regret their decision and wish they'd chosen a radiation-type treatment? I don't read too many totally positive outcomes on this board, so I'm just wondering.)


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Re: Singing and music with one ear...
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2007, 02:52:03 pm »
Until hearing is lost one doesn't appreciate how much the bones in the head tell us about sound. 

Pre-op (when the hearing in my AN ear had dropped to 30%) I could sing just fine and had no hint of loss of pitch.  I found that I developed an increasing irritation with bad singing.  Our church choir singers are mostly untrained volunteers, so I run across a wild one once in a while.  I have natural  ability to copy, sustain, and find a pitch.  I harmonize by ear.  For twelve years I have been the person in the choir who calls the office to get the piano tuned again.  I have retained all of that ability in spite of my 2005 Translab and SSD.   

Post-op I have less tolerance for off-key or bad pitches. Post-op I have better luck singing alone, with a well tuned soprano, or accompanied by a well tuned instrument backup.  I still harmonize well and hear myself in my head and with my good ear.  I have natural pitch and I read music a bit.  Others tell me my singing is the same.  Since I started using a bone conduction aid I am better able to hear myself singing, and I am better able to hear nuances of the string chords.  I doubt I'd be able to sing with a loud group or near brass instruments.  My tinnitus would be too outrageous.

So, I encourage you to keep on singing, learn to ignore tinnitus.  Continue to enjoy your vocal gift.

I can't say I regret surgery.  My tumor was ready to come out.  I was not prepared to have it swell and wait for it to die, not at my age.  I am 65.  I want to be positive with you.  If my young family member had a small tumor I would investigate treatment that might promise preservation of the some hearing.  Of course, even my family members have the right to make their own informed decisions.  There is a lot to consider I know. 
« Last Edit: April 01, 2007, 09:31:35 am by Boppie »


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Re: Singing and music with one ear...
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2007, 05:44:53 pm »
Hearing loss to some degree is extremely common with most AN patients over the years and regardless of treatment. Some manage to hold on to quite a bit for while many others immediately or gradually lose over time but your one good ear does pretty good. It's a really good thing if you don't have tinnitus which usually spikes when I'm around loud music or singing. One cannot predict the future so enjoy what you have.  :)     


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Re: Singing and music with one ear...
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2007, 02:14:23 am »
ya it sux.
was melancholy with some smashing pumpkins last night.

Not trying to be a downer, but realistic. I do find though with some songs, I still get the fervent fever feeling I had before, not on the hearing level of course but the metaspiritual level that music has always given my spirit. trance, techno is difficult because there are so many different levels.

5cm left AN from IAC to cerebellum/brainstem.
Zapped out by Shahinian @ SBI over the course of 6.5 hrs on Monday 11/27 2006.   h   biologyfly06


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Re: Singing and music with one ear...
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2007, 06:09:02 am »
Well, even though I loved to sing before surgery, friends would say (laughingly),'Nancy, why are you punishing us?  what did we do?'
Now, I can tell I'm more off pitch than ever !, but couldn't sing in the first place !  So, singing in the shower I go !!
2.2cm length x 1.7cm width x 1.3cm  depth
retrosigmoid 6/19/06
Gold weight 7/19/06, removed 3/07
lateral tarsel strip X3
T3 procedure 11/20/07
1.6 Gm platinum weight 7/10/08
lateral canthal sling 11/14/08
Jones tube insert right inner eye 2/27/09
right facial paralysis
good to go.


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Re: Singing and music with one ear...
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2007, 11:26:02 pm »
 I have been a guitarist/vocalist for 35 yrs. I was diagnosed this past Jan and I am having translab micro surgery on the 26th of this month.
There are a few things that I have noticed over the past 2 years or so and other symptoms that, in retrospect, I feel sure are associated with the partial hearing loss on my right side and the increased tinnitus.
 #1. My tolerance of loud confined places is ZERO.
2. I have a low hanging ceiling fan in my studio, in the past 3 years I have noticed that I can tune my guitar by ear in seconds (normal) if the fan is off. If it's on I have to use a tuner (abnormal) and even though it says I am A-440, the strings sound like they are harmonicaly conflicting with each other.
3. Like you, mostly my upper register is what has been lost. except for ultra high notes.
5. My ability to harmonize on command has dramatically improved over the past 5 yrs. Unfortunatley my vocal range has become more limited. That could just be age.

It is my hope that with the partial hearing being eliminated by surgery, I will have less distortion or warping of all sound waves and therefore less frustration and easier key recognition.
Who Knows?
I will be posting at this site asap after surgery and music will most likely be my main focus, As it has been al of my life.

I am also a realist and I understand that it is possible for the mechanical aspect of playing to be adversly affected by surgery. I hope that would be temporary.
I also know that there has NEVER been a reported case of a post-op patient losing their tinnitus.

So, stay tuned ladies and germs. Enjoy the "very real" reality hit show of going thru recovery "real time" with an AN post-op!!
It will probably be a HUGE bore like all the others.

Sound advice from,
Diagnosed  1/20/2007. Right side AN 2.5 cm
50yr, guitarist for 35 yrs.
Married w/10yr old son.
Translab 4/26/07 at Emory University performed by: Dr. Mattox & Dr. Olson
Surgery successful!
Extended time in ICU due to CSF leaks.


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Re: Singing and music with one ear...
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2007, 12:02:51 am »
Mykey,  I've posted on this thread before.  I want to hear from you  ;D post op.  Some interesting things I learned at my first post op hearing test...I have upper range loss on my good side; I hear pure tones in the upper range; I don't hear the mixed tones or chorded sounds in the same range.  I hear mud.

Still singing and appreciating my hearing aid while I'm up there.

Good luck!