I have a hearing condition called Enlarged Vestibular Aqueduct, which causes just slight hearing loss for me. I'm getting hearing aids next week.

I play the violin, piano, and clarinet, and I have difficulty playing music by ear. Is it possible that hearing aids could help with my lack of ability to play music by ear?

  • After a month with the new hearing aids, you'll be able to answer yourself, and give an answer that may be useful for people who are considering hearing aids, rather than who already have them on order. – Steve Feb 9 '18 at 6:38

Hearing aids will help you l hear. That’s it. If the reason why you can’t play is because you can’t hear yourself then it will help. If the reason is because you have difficulty internalizing music or because you do not practice then it won’t help.

Getting a hearing aid won’t help you play by ear any more than getting glasses would help someone sight read. Both would only help as far as allowing you to see/hear the music. The act of playing by ear/sight involves a heck of a lot more than just the senses involved. But thankfully the skills can be learned.

I hope your hearing improves, I’m sure being a musician who has difficulty hearing is tremendously frustrating. Please recognize though that playing by ear is a skill like any other. You’ll have to practice playing by ear in order to do it.


I imagine you can still hear fairly well, possibly as well as a lot of folk who are unaware that they have hearing impairment - however small.

Playing three instruments must mean that you can hear well enough to play well, rather than be blissfully unaware of mistakes you may make!

Playing by ear isn't only about having good hearing, in fact, I guess that those who can do it successfully would still manage with not-so-good hearing.

Your lack of ability in that area is probably down to insufficient knowledge of theory concerning the likes of scales, chords, harmony, and possibly timing. I don't know, obviously, 'cos I'm not watching you try! I imagine you play primarily from the dots, as do so many players, and are a good sight-reader. So often, players are very good at sight-reading but not playing by ear; or vice-versa. If that's you, having improved hearing won't help, but less reliance on the dots will !

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