Evelyn Glennie

 

Percussionist

 

FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK:

    “Brer Rabbit” by Inid Plighton

FAVORITE CHILDREN’S FOLK-SONG:

    “Scottish Drumming  Piece”  by Evelyn Glennie

LANGUAGES SPOKEN:

    English, French, Balking, Dorik

Profoundly deaf since the age of 12, Evelyn Glennie refused to accept rejection of her desire to become a solo percussionist. She continued to follow her dream; and today she is recognized as the first classically trained solo percussionist, one of the finest in the world.

Evelyn was born in northeast Scotland on her family’s farm, about 20 miles from the city of Aberdeen. She was the youngest of three children and the only girl. Evelyn attended a small rural elementary school close to her home. Later she was a student at a secondary school about nine miles away. Her mother played the church organ; and every Christmas, her father got out his accordion.

Evelyn gives much credit to her elementary school teachers for encouraging her to pursue her goal of a musical career. She first learned to recognize high notes and low notes by placing her hands on the outside wall of the music room while a teacher inside performed. Some of the notes made her fingers tingle, while others were felt all the way down to her wrists.

One day she saw a classmate playing percussion instruments. Her interest was roused, and she asked for lessons. After a few days, Evelyn said that it just “felt right” for her.

By the time she had completed secondary school, Evelyn came to see that her deafness would not allow her to participate fully within an orchestra. So she began consider a future as a solo performer on percussion.

How does Evelyn evaluate her success in life? This quote from her gives us some insight: “I’m not a deaf musician. I’m a musician who happens to be deaf.”

Photo from Wikipedia

TED Talks:  Evelyn Glennie Shows How To Listen To Music With Your Whole Body

 

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