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Q.1. How does Evelyn hear music?
Evelyn Glennie’s deafness was more than compensated by other parts of her body so far as the music was concerned. Discuss.
Ans. Evelyn Glennie had a deep passion for music but unfortunately, she lost her hearing completely at the age of eleven years. She wanted to lead a normal life and play the xylophone, but her teachers discouraged her considering her deafness to be an obstruction. However, Ron Forbes, a great percussionist, trained her to listen to the musical sounds and vibrations not through ears, but through other parts of her body. He created two drums with different sounds to make her hear the higher beats from the upper part of her body and the lower beats from the parts lower than her waist. The experiment was so effective that Evelyn opened her mind and body to the fine sounds of music.
Evelyn now believes that music penetrates into her through every part – through her skin, cheekbones and even her hair. When she plays the xylophone, she feels that the sounds move from the stick into the tips of her fingers. When the drums are played, she can feel the resonant sounds pouring into her body. She takes off her footwear on a wooden stage and the vibrations of the instruments pass from her bare feet into her legs. Thus, Evelyn has sensitized the different parts of her body to the different sounds of music.
Q.2. If you work hard and know where you are going, you’ll get there,” remarks Evelyn Glennie. What does it reveal about her character?
Which traits of Evelyn’s personality enabled her to overcome the challenge of deafness?
Which values of life strengthened Evelyn against the handicap of her deafness? What does her career teach to the handicapped people?
Ans. Evelyn’s firm determination, her industrious nature and her clarity of aim are well revealed in her statement. These values of her character have enabled her to overcome her handicap of deafness very bravely. Although she developed hearing impairment at a young age of eight only, she has never let it become a stumbling block in her way to success.
Firmly determined to lead the life of a normal person, Evelyn never gave up her passion for music. The encouragement and training provided by Ron Forbes paved the way for her advancement and she stuck to the path with unstaggering confidence. It was this confidence and faith in herself that made her dare to audition for the Royal Academy of Music, London where she received the topmost awards.
Evelyn is a workaholic. This helped her to toil hard, in fact much harder than the classical musicians to bring percussion to the front stage in the orchestra. She believes that no goal is unachievable for those who work hard and are focused on the goal. With her earnest efforts, she moved from orchestra to solo performances and eventually became an internationally renowned percussionist owing to her command over a large number of instruments. She had the courage and confidence to trample down her disability and move on without looking back.
Her firm decisions, her sincere efforts, her passionate labour, and her untiring devotion to music are a source of inspiration for the people with challenges.
Q.3. Suppose you are Ron Forbes. You have come to know that Evelyn Glennie has been awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society’s prestigious ‘Soloist of the Year Award’. Write a letter to Evelyn in about 150 words.
In your letter, you should
• congratulate Evelyn on winning the prestigious award
• wish her great success in future
Please accept my heartiest congratulations and blessings on being awarded the ‘Soloist of the Year Award’, the most prestigious award given by the Royal Philharmonic Society. It is really a proud moment and I am overwhelmed with pleasure at your enviable achievement. It is really gratifying to see you scaling new heights day after day.
Evelyn, your sincerest efforts and unfaltering passion for music have resulted in your grand achievements. I remember the day you responded so well to the drums I made for you and since then you have never looked back. You have proved to the world that no dream is too big if one has the mental courage and firm determination to overcome the obstructions. You have trampled down your handicap and moved on ceaselessly with your unfaltering faith in yourself. You are really ideal for handicapped people.
I wish you good luck and pray that you may achieve the highest glory in life. I send you blessings from the core of my heart. May the almighty keep in you the flame of energy and enthusiasm burning bright!
With deep affection
Q.4. Suppose you are Evelyn Glennie. The doctor has diagnosed that your hearing is completely lost. Write a diary entry in about 150 words about how you feel and what you plan to do.
(Day and Date)
Today is a very sad day in my life. The doctor has told me that I can no longer hear because my hearing is completely impaired owing to some nerve damage. The headmistress and teachers at my school have advised me to use hearing aids and join a school for the deaf. It is a real agony to think that I am not among the normal, able children.
I understand that I’ll have to depend on hearing aids, but I have decided not to give in to my handicap. I know a number of people who have risen to great heights despite their disabilities. I have never forgotten about the life and achievements of Helen Keller. I will continue to pursue my passion for music and put in my best efforts to find a way to overcome the handicap. I know that all obstructions can be conquered by firm determination. Therefore, I’ll never ever accept defeat. I’ll prove that one can find ways to come out of problems if one adheres firmly to one’s aims and objectives.
I pray to the Almighty to strengthen my mind and give me moral courage so that I may make it to the Royal Academy of Music. The dream is much too lofty but not impossible to achieve. Amen!