Hearing aids are music to the ears of this concert violinist

Twenty seven year old musician, Erin, is a first violinist for the Cairns Concert Orchestra, leader of the Cairns Chamber Ensemble and a member of the string quartet Strings 4. Erin’s achievements are all the more impressive, knowing that she has had a degenerative hearing loss for almost twenty years.

As a young child, Erin’s hearing loss went undetected, as it seemed impossible that an extremely talented, budding violinist, who relies heavily on sound precision, could be having hearing issues.

It wasn’t until Erin was 15 years old, after turning the TV volume up consistently loudly, that Erin saw Dr John Wells, who diagnosed her with 20 per cent degenerative hearing loss and was immediately referred to Australian Hearing Cairns.

The team at Australian Hearing assessed Erin further and recommended for her to be fitted with hearing devices, a time Erin remembers vividly:
“Australian Hearing suggested I bring my violin to the fitting, which was a brilliant idea, as we were able to fit my hearing aids to suit my violin volumes. I remember hearing sounds again for the first time in years, including birds singing. It was funny, I actually thought the birds were inside my head as they sounded that close – much to the amusement of everyone around me,” Erin laughed.

School was often a lonely time for Erin. Erin noticed her hearing loss from as early as eight years old, but because her hearing loss wasn’t detected until her mid-teens, it meant that she missed out on social conversations, which often lead to lack of friendships.

Today, Erin has a number of very close friends, and has been living with her partner, Robbie Johnstone, accomplished conductor and violinist, for the last 7 years.

By day, Erin is a Payroll Officer and by night, loves playing in her various music groups, especially performing Classical pieces and modern movie themes. Erin said of her relationship with Australian Hearing:

“Australian Hearing has been fantastic to me, they are like family. They always fit my appointment times around me, not them. The best thing is, that they have fitted me with new hearing aids, as technology advances. Previously, people used to sound like robots to me when I wore my aids.”

“Now, with my new aids, the difference is dramatic. The volume levels are perfect, the filters are so much better, which means I can focus on the sound brilliantly.”

Erin’s Italian made violin is a treasured possession. But her most treasured possession of all are her Siemens hearing devices, fitted by Australian Hearing, because without her hearing aids, there would be no music in her life.

SUMMER MUSIC CONCERT

Falmouth School students dazzled the audience with a sparkling set of performances at the recent Summer Music Concert. The sheer talent of those performing blew the crowd away in a show that was packed full of diverse and exciting acts.

The packed crowd were introduced by student compere’s Millie Revel and Theo Fleming, who introduced the first act of the night on a jam packed bill. The Brass Group opened proceedings with a rendition of the Rocky theme and Somewhere Over the Rainbow, before a beautiful violin piece by Zoe Osmond.

Tia Head and Eloise Williams performed a lovely duet version of Gabrielle Aplin’s ‘Panic Chord’, before Jordan Lanyon played ‘Esmerelda’ by Ben Howard – a difficult piece made all the more impressive by the fact Jordan is only a year into playing the guitar. The flute group put on a bright and sparkly version of the Tchaikovsky classic, before the boys choir had the audience singing along with ‘Little Eyes’ and ‘Angels’.

Theo Fleming took a brief break from his compere duties to perform a piece on the flute, before later taking to the drums and the piano in a busy night for the new Head Boy! There was a foot tapping, jazzy number from the clarinet group and the talented Abiah Wyatt performed her own composition on the acoustic guitar.

The girls group consisting of Millie Revell, Daisy Easterby-Sands, Mabel Radmore and Niamh Miller performed an excellent version of ‘lovesong’ by The Cure (probably now better known for Adele’s cover), before Minnie Harrop gave an excellent solo performance on the piano to Ed Sheeran’s ‘Even My Dad Does Sometimes’.

There was an upbeat number from the sax group, before Lewis Naisey (a recent recipient of the most promising young pianist at the Junior Music Awards) played a superb piece. The pop choir stripped things back with their version of Birdy’s hit song ‘Wings’, before Falmouth College A-Level music student Anna Freeman sang a crowd pleasing rendition of Elton John’s classic, ‘Tiny Dancer’.

The show wound down with the final two acts, firstly with school band ‘Green Aliens and Blonde Girls’ playing the Red Hot Chilli Peppers new single ‘Dark Necessities’ and some impressive slap bass from Tadhg Cullen that Flea would be proud of! Finally the Jazz Band closed an excellent and enjoyable evening with ‘Smooth Operator’ and ‘Watermelon Man’.

Music Teacher at Falmouth School, Mr Fox said “The students have worked extremely hard preparing for tonight with busy schedules and their performances were superb. We thank everyone who came along to support the students and the music department, for making it such a great night.”