Sign Language, Music, And Their Unlikely Relationship
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How I Combined My Two Passions Of American Sign Language And Music

A deeper look into two communities that allowed me to find myself, when originally thought to be too distant.

How I Combined My Two Passions Of American Sign Language And Music

American Sign Language, the language used by the American Deaf community, has been one of the most beautiful entities that have entered my life. My career aspirations revolve around this community and language. Discovering this language through the television show Switched at Birth has completely altered my life, and has provided me with a path I never would have expected.

My other passion, that was embedded in me since birth, is music. While a large repertoire makes up my Apple Music library, rock has always held a special place in my heart. When I was only a few weeks old my parents took me to an America concert on the beach, and that was the beginning of the embedment of music in my brain.

My two biggest passions, American Sign Language and music vastly contradict other. Or so I thought. While learning and diving myself into the Deaf community, I absorbed all of the information I could try to form a connection between the two things that define me. I realized, then, that I did not have to create the connection, as it was previously formed.

Deaf people go to concerts, as they can feel the vibrations that come with a heavy beat, and interpreters are present to convey the meaning behind the songs. As I continue to meet people in the Deaf community, I find that rock is an incredibly popular genre due to the heavy instrumentals producing intense vibrations. Growing up loving rock music, this insight provided me with a sense of relief when feeling that I would have to choose one of two of my defining qualities.

Even with this commonality, I was still unsure that Deaf music lovers can be as invested in music as I am. Even with an interpreter and captioning, feeling the meaning behind the artist's lyrics is something that I feel can only be done with sound. If you ask a deaf person, though, they do not need to hear the music, just need to feel it. And that is what music is all about, the feeling that transcends through you as the artist captivates the listener.

This journey of learning American Sign Language has allowed me to understand who I am. Increasing interaction with the Deaf community while becoming friendlier with sites like Spotify and Apple Music has made me realize my career goal; interpreting for concerts. If I can be the one person who transcends artists words to those who do not have immediate access, then I have truly found my calling. While I originally thought that I would have to compartmentalize my old and newfound passions, increased exposure has led to realize that there is always a way to combine your passions.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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