Perception of music for adult cochlear implant users: a questionnaire.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Audiology
Existing music questionnaires have shown that postlingually deafened adult cochlear implant (CI) users generally find music to be less enjoyable following implantation. However, they did not investigate, in detail, which factors influence CI users’ music listening enjoyment, nor did they examine the approach a music training program should take. In order to obtain such information, a questionnaire, the University of Canterbury Music Listening Questionnaire (UCMLQ), was developed. The UCMLQ investigated: (i) the effect of implantation on CI users’ music listening enjoyment (determined by comparing the levels of enjoyment experienced post-implantation to prehearing loss, and just before implantation); (ii) the effect of a hearing aid in the unimplanted ear on CI users’ music perception and appreciation; (iii) the effect of timbre on music listening enjoyment whereby respondents will be asked to rate the pleasantness and naturalness of common instruments and voices, and also, give ratings on the instruments’ sound quality based on what they expect these instruments to sound to a person with normal hearing; (iv) whether respondents have a preference for a particular musical style (e.g. Country and Western, Jazz, Classical, etc); (v) whether respondents’ have a preference for, firstly, low-pitched versus high-pitched instruments/voices; secondly, music with instruments-only, voice-only, or both instruments and voice; and lastly, music with smaller number of performers versus greater number of performers; (vi) practical methods or ‘tips’ for enhancing everyday music listening enjoyment were collated; and finally, (vii) respondents were asked for their views and opinions on the content and logistics of a ‘take-home’ MTP for improving their music listening enjoyment. One-hundred postlingually deafened adult CI users, ranging in age from 18 to 88 years (mean = 62.1, SD = 17.1), completed the UCMLQ. All respondents used a Nucleus CI24 implant and the ACE speech processing strategy. Results showed that following implantation, respondents generally found music to be less enjoyable but they also preferred certain types of instruments and music: (i) low-frequency instruments over high-frequency instruments; (ii) certain instruments (e.g. the guitar) over others (e.g. brass instruments); (iii) smaller numbers of performers as opposed to larger numbers; (iv) Country and Western music as opposed to Pop/Rock, Jazz, Classical-small group, and Classical-orchestra; and (v) music with a slow rhythm/beat, and words. A comparison of the ratings given by CI and Hearing Aid (CI+HA) users and CI-only users also revealed that CI+HA users felt that they were significantly more able to follow the melody-line of musical styles, identify these styles, and they also rated musical styles to sound significantly ‘more normal’ than the CI-only users did. However, no statistically significant difference was found between the two groups’ (CI+HA users versus CI-only users) ratings for common instrumental sounds. In regards to respondents’ interest in partaking in a ‘take-home’ music training program (MTP), 54% of respondents stated that they would be interested in undertaking one. Respondents also indicated that the MTP should focus on improving their ability to recognise tunes, in particular, tunes known before implantation, and commonly-known tunes, and the MTP should offer a wide range of musical styles. In addition, training sessions should be of 30- minutes duration, 2 times per week, and the MTP should come in the form of a DVD with subtitles. Overall, this study collected information which not only helps us to better understand CI users’ appreciation of music but also could be used in the shaping and development of a future MTP.