Evelyn Glennie Listens to Sound without Hearing It


(To be answered in about 30 – 40 words each)

 Which train was Evelyn waiting for on the underground train platform? How did she feel when she sensed the train approaching?

Around the crowded underground train platform, Evelyn felt tensed and worried because she was to join the prestigious Royal Academy for Music. As she sensed the train approaching, she felt both nervous and excited.

When Evelyn’s deafness was first noticed?

When Evelyn was eight years old her mother had noticed it when she did not respond to a call for a performance on piano. Her deafness was confirmed at the age of eleven when her poor academic performance forced her parents to consult a specialist, who discovered that her hearing was badly impaired because of gradual nerve damage.

Why had Evelyn’s headmistress advised her parents to take her to a specialist?

Evelyn had managed to conceal her growing deafness from students and teachers for some time. However, by the time she was eleven years old, her performance in school deteriorated and her marks decreased. It was then that the headmistress advised her parents to consult a specialist.

What advice were the parents of Evelyn given once her deafness was confirmed?

Once Evelyn’s deafness was confirmed her parents were advice to get hearing aids for their daughter. They were also advised to send her to a special school where only deaf children were taught.

“Everything suddenly looked black”. Why does Evelyn say so?

When Evelyn came to know about her deafness and her parents were advised to help her with hearing aids and join the school for deaf, she felt that her future was bleak and dark. She was depressed, as all hope for great achievements seemed to have vanished

How did Evelyn respond to the discovery of her deafness?

Evelyn instead of giving up, she decided to lead a normal life like other children, and pursue her dream of learning music.

How old was Evelyn when she went to the Royal Academy of Music? Why was she nervous on her way to the academy?

Evelyn was only seventeen years of age when she went to the Royal Academy of Music, London. Her nervousness was the result of her young age and lack of exposure. Coming from a farmland in Scotland, she had not experienced much of the world. In addition, going to a big institute like The Royal Academy of Music with her hearing disability made her uneasy.

While leaving for the Royal Academy of Music, why was Evelyn excited despite her nervousness?

Royal Academy of Music, London was one of the best institution that provided lessons in music. For Evelyn going to this academy was a dream come true. She was going to join a three-year course in an institute she had cherished to join. It excited her to think that despite her impaired hearing she had made her way to such a prestigious institute.

How did Evelyn’s teachers respond when she expressed her desire to play a xylophone?

Evelyn was fond of music despite her deafness she expressed her desire to play the xylophone. But her teachers felt that she would not be able to play it because of her impaired hearing and they discouraged her.

Who helped her to continue with music? What did he do and say?

It was Ron Forbes percussionist who spotted her potential. He began by tuning two large drums to different notes. She had learnt to open her mind and body to sounds and vibrations. He turned two drums with different notes to make her sense the higher ones through the upper part of her body and the lower ones through down her waist.

Why does Evelyn say that men with bushy beards give her trouble?

Evelyn had learnt to converse with everyone in many languages. She had difficulty with bearded because she had to watch their whole face, especially their eyes, in order to grasp what they said. Just watching their lips did not help as the lips remained partially hidden in the beards.

Which qualities of character enabled Evelyn to move ahead in life?

Unfaltering determination and hard work enabled Evelyn to move ahead in life without looking back. Instead of yielding to her handicap, she decided to overcome it and lead the life of a normal person. Being a workaholic, she put in her earnest efforts and kept advancing further.

How did Evelyn get admission in the Royal Academy of Music, London?

Evelyn was called for audition for admission to Royal Academy of Music, London. Her score in the audition was one of the highest in the history of the academy. She was selected for a three-year course.

What were Evelyn’s achievements after she joined the Royal Academy of Music, London?

At the Royal Academy of Music, London, Evelyn began as one of the performers in orchestra. But gradually she moved on to give solo performances. At the end of her three-year course, she had bagged the biggest awards in the Academy.

What is Evelyn’s view of her achievements?

Evelyn is so humble and modest that she does not consider her achievements to be heroic deeds. She feels if one has the clarity of the goal and puts in hard work, one is sure to achieve the aim. She believes that it is through hard work only that she has been able to achieve success.

What reveals that Evelyn has succeeded immensely in her career?

Evelyn was not only a percussionist but also she had a command over about a thousand musical instruments. As a percussionist, she is the most admired one at the international level. In 1991, the Royal Philharmonic Society conferred on her the most prestigious “Soloist of the Year Award”.

Name the various places and causes for which Evelyn performs

Evelyn performs in regular concerts on the global level. But she also gives concerts free of charge in prisons and hospitals. In addition, she holds classes for young musicians.

Who is James Blades? What is his opinion about Evelyn’s talent?

James Blades is a master percussionist. He believes that God might have taken Evelyn’s hearing but has given her back something extraordinary. The audience hears what she feels, which is far deeper than what any of the other percussionists feel. It is due to this talent that she expresses music so beautifully.

How is Evelyn an inspiration for the handicapped people?

Evelyn could have sat back and wept over deafness but worked hard to live a normal life. Her achievements, gained through determination and hard work, set an example before other handicapped people. They gain confidence from her example and believe that they too can achieve their goals in life by overcoming their handicaps with firm determination.