By: Kayla Nickles (07/03/17)
There are many wonderful influential deaf people in history. My favorite would have to be Ludwig Van Beethoven. He wasn’t born deaf, but he became deaf later on in his life. We all know Beethoven as a famous musician, but not very many people associate him with the deaf community. How can someone so gifted at music be someone that couldn’t hear?
Beethoven wasn’t born deaf and he was introduced to music at a very young age. He became passionate about music and let it lead him to many great places. It was something that he poured his whole life into. Beethoven published his first music work by the age of 12! At the age of twelve, I was just learning how to talk to play “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on the piano.
Beethoven went on to make more music. People of his time thought that it was different and out of the ordinary. When we listen to it today, we think of it being classical and of the past. When Beethoven was writing it and performing, it was the new thing. It was fresh and some people were scared off from it or the opposite, very attracted to it. This was a way that Beethoven was going beyond the musical boundaries of his time.
After finding out that he was deaf, of course Beethoven was confused. It is recorded that he wondered, “Why is it that someone with his musical ability would become without hearing, a major part of music?” I feel like if I was in his situation, I would wonder the same thing.
According to the letters that Beethoven had written, he was ashamed of being deaf at first. He was sad that he couldn’t hear his most prized possession… his musical ability. In order to communicate with others and to understand others, Beethoven would use notebooks and write down what he wanted to say or have others say to him. His complete deafness didn’t come all of a sudden, it developed over time. As he became completely deaf, he began to accept it.
Beethoven tried everything he could to try to heal what was happening with him. He went to multiple doctors and took their advice for healing. None of them worked and he continued to lose his hearing.
With the realization that this hearing loss was apart of who he was, he accepted it and continued to do what he loved. He didn’t stop making music just because he couldn’t hear it. He started to feel it. Though Beethoven’s health continued to decline, Beethoven remained faithful to his music and didn’t give it up.
I chose Beethoven as my favorite, because he didn’t let his deafness stop him from overcoming his dreams. He continued to move forward and it allowed him to stand out from the crowd. He accepted who he was and became a musical legend of all time. He is someone that we can all look up to when we’re wanting to give up on accomplishing our dreams just because we may have a “disability” or “sickness”. Anything is possible as long as we keep moving forward, despite our circumstances or “diagnosis”.