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Music Class May Benefit Kids with Cochelar Implants - featured March 11, 2010

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[Source: Reuters Health] - Music class may help improve certain types of sound perception in deaf children who have cochlear implants, a new study hints.

Cochlear implants are small electronic devices that can give a sense of sound to people who are deaf or severely hard-of-hearing, helping them to understand speech and other sounds in their environment. The implants work by bypassing the damaged portions of the inner ear and directly stimulating the auditory nerve.

Coupled with intensive post-implantation therapy, the implants can also help young deaf children learn to speak and understand language.

However, it is difficult for these children to enjoy music, according to the researchers on the new study, led by Dr. Joshua Kuang-Chao Chen of Cheng Hsin General Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan.

For their study, the researchers assessed 27 children with cochlear implants for their ability to discern musical pitch -- how high or low a musical note is. Thirteen of the children had attended standard music classes at the Yamaha Music School, which has centers around the world.

Overall, Chen's team found, the longer the children had taken music classes, the better their pitch perception.

Read the Rest of this Article on Reuters Health

Tags: News of the Week Cochlear Implants Newsletter 12 March 2010