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MED-EL In Sync with Natural Hearing - Dec 2017

MED-EL Launches First Spotify Playlist Designed Specifically for Cochlear Implant Users

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Listeners can Follow MED-EL to Tune In and Start Enjoying during May’s Better Hearing and Speech Month.

May 9, 2016 – (DURHAM, NC) – In celebration of May’s Better Hearing and Speech month, hearing implant leader MED-EL announced the launch of their first-ever Spotify playlist designed specifically for cochlear implant users. Spotify is a desktop and mobile streaming music service that offers free and paid subscriptions. Cochlear implant (CI) users are invited to follow MED-EL on Spotify and share the MED-EL Music for Cochlear Implant playlist with friends and family.

The world premier cochlear implant playlist was created by MED-EL’s in-house musicologist, Johanna Pätzold, based on key learnings from research on music and CI. Johanna is a musician, an expert in music research, and a MED-EL CI recipient. 

“Music is such an important part of life, but can be challenging for people with cochlear implants,” said Johanna.

“Active music engagement makes a big difference and that simply starts with being exposed to music. I wanted to curate a diverse list of songs in regard to artists and genres, because every CI user is different and not everyone enjoys the same songs. I hope this playlist motivates CI users to actively listen to music,” she continued.

Developing the playlist combined art and science. Based in research surrounding music and CI, the following criteria were used as a general guide in selecting songs that would be enjoyable to established CI users:

  1. Music that is popular/familiar. CI users are more likely to recognize music that they are already familiar with, or have heard a number of times.
  2. Simple arrangements with emphasis on the vocal
  3. Limited “special effects” that would not overwhelm the listener. 
  4. Representative of a wide spectrum of genres and decades to provide variety.
  5. Songs that are free from explicit lyrics or content according to Parental Advisory guidelines.
  6. Songs have the “Lyrics” feature available on Spotify so that CI users can follow along.

Johanna says that experienced CI users are more likely to enjoy the list than recently-implanted users.

“Typically, it takes some time to get used to hearing with a cochlear implant,” she noted. “The brain needs to learn to interpret sound through the system.  When a recipient is first activated, listening to music can often be challenging. So, while there’s nothing preventing a new user from listening to the playlist, they may want to take their time and know that music listening will improve with time and practice. My hope is that new users will revisit the playlist as their hearing experience evolves.”

To access the list, visit www.spotify.com and login or create a free account.  Under “search,” enter “medelcochlearimplants.”  Listeners can then chose to follow MED-EL and start enjoying the music! 

Important disclaimer: The list was created for the personal enjoyment of people who wear cochlear implants. This is why you won’t hear the list played at MED-EL events – Spotify does not provide the rights to stream music at group events. MED-EL does not endorse any of the artists selected to be a part of the list, implied or otherwise. Also, we kept it clean. The list was screened using Parental Advisory guidelines to remove songs with potentially offensive lyrics or content. However, if there’s a song or artist that you don’t like, simply click ahead to move onto the next song.

About MED-EL

Austria-based MED-EL Medical Electronics is a leading provider of hearing implant systems with 29 subsidiaries worldwide. The family-owned business is one of the pioneers in the industry. The two Austrian scientists Ingeborg and Erwin Hochmair developed the world’s first microelectronic-multichannel Cochlear Implant in 1977. The cochlear implant was and remains the first replacement of a human sense, the sense of hearing. In 1990 they laid the foundation for the successful growth of the company when they hired their first employees. To date, the company has grown to more than 1500 employees around the world.  

Today MED-EL offers the widest range of implantable solutions worldwide to treat various degrees of hearing loss including cochlear and middle ear implant systems. People in over 100 countries enjoy the gift of hearing with the help of a product from MED-EL. www.medel.com or the MED-EL Expo Page on AudiologyOnline.

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