News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Hearing Loss no obstacle to a music career

Hearing Loss no obstacle to a music career for talented Christchurch woman

Talented pianist Rebekah Stewart has won a coveted position at the 4th International Music Festival “Beats of Cochlea” in Poland for people with hearing loss.

‘Beats of Cochlea’ was created by Polish surgeon Prof. Henryk Skarżyński in 2015 to help hearing implant users express their musical talents and to show the world that hearing loss is not an obstacle to a music career. This year’s festival runs from 9-12 July 2018 in Warsaw Poland.
“I have always loved classical music and my favourite composer is Chopin, who was originally from Poland. To win a trip to Poland has made a childhood dream come true”

Listening to music is a milestone achievement for people with severe to profound hearing loss. Thanks to hearing implants, many users are able to enjoy their favourite songs, while others take their love of music one step further by playing instruments, singing, composing and recording music. To people with normal hearing it is still astounding to see how well musicians with hearing implants perform.
Rebekah explains “Having a hearing loss has meant that I struggled to hear and critique my own playing but also going to classical performances such as operas and symphony orchestras has been difficult. Since getting my MED-EL BoneBridge implant all of that has changed, I can now even discern when different parts of the orchestra are playing, and I am teaching students piano performance and music theory”
Rebekah now holds a Bachelor of Music from the University if Canterbury, Christchurch and has achieved all grades in piano performance through the Royal Schools of Music. At the festival Rebekah will have the opportunity to further develop her skills under the guidance of famous musicians, artists and teachers.
The festival is sponsored by MED-EL, one of the world’s leaders in hearing implant development. Continuous technological advances in the hearing implants field ensure that users are provided with every possibility to fulfil their hearing dreams. MED-EL plays a key role in enabling them to enjoy listening to music through specifically designed features that enable recipients to perceive music in a more natural way and enjoy the intricate notes of their favourite songs more clearly and accurately.

Rebekah’s ENT surgeon Dr Melanie Souter commented:
“Rebekah absolutely deserves this opportunity to play at the 2018 Beats of Cochlea in Poland. She is a very talented pianist! The BoneBridge bone conduction implant has helped Rebekah, (who is unable to wear standard hearing aids) not only in everyday communication, but also with her music, and given her more confidence in everyday life.”

For more information about ‘Beats of Cochlea’ visit To find out more about MED-EL please visit

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Birds: Dunedin's Bells Ring As City Celebrates Its Albatross

The city's churches, schools and public buildings bells would chime in unison from 1pm, in what has been a long-standing tradition marking the return of the birds - and a farewell to this season's albatross chicks. More>>

Oscar Buzz: Waititi's Jojo Rabbit Wins People's Choice Award At Toronto

Taika Waititi's new film Jojo Rabbit has nabbed the coveted Grolsch People's Choice Award at the close of Toronto International Film Festival. More>>


Broken Estate: An Expat Expert Surveys Our Media

Melanie Bunce cut her teeth in journalism at the Otago Daily Times. Now she teaches and researches it at one of the UK’s most prestigious journalism schools and tracks the trends that shape the uncertain future of news... More>>

Controversial Reforms: Te Papa Chief Executive To Step Down

Te Papa’s Chief Executive Geraint Martin announced today he will step down from the role at the end of the year. Mr Martin said he had achieved what he set out to do at the museum, and Te Papa was in a strong position for the future. More>>




  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland