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Research shows that singing may improve speech understanding in noise for children with hearing loss.

Research shows that singing and musical instrument play may benefit hearing-impaired children. Singing and musical instrument playing have been associated with improved auditory skills in normal-hearing children. Now a group of researchers at the University of Helsinki and University College London have found that the auditory skills of hearing-impaired children are connected to the amount of singing and music in their everyday lives. They looked specifically at hearing-impaired children who have cochlear implants and compared groups who sing and play musical instruments informally to those who do not regularly sing or play musical instruments. They found that the singing group of children demonstrated better speech in noise perception than the non-singing group. Speech in noise perception is the ability to understand speech or sentences in noisy environments (say a classroom or cafeteria). Hearing well in noisy environments is difficult for many with hearing issues. improved performance in noise is a critical component ofm hearing well. This suggests that singing and musical instrument playing has the potential to enhance the perception of speech in noise in children with cochlear implants.1.

This is a good reminder that helping children learn the valuable skill of hearing well in noisy environments can be as easy as singing nursery rhymes with them. Both playing musical instruments and singing may improve speech understanding in noise for children.

  1. Ritva Torppa, Andrew Faulkner, Teija Kujala, Minna Huotilainen, Jari Lipsanen Developmental Links Between Speech Perception in Noise, Singing, and Cortical Processing of Music in Children with Cochlear Implants Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol. 36 No. 2, December 2018; (pp. 156-174) DOI: 1525/mp.2018.36.2.156