News Our news Man with severe hearing loss regains passion for music Geoff Hayes' love for composing music began when he started writing songs for children taking part in school concerts, and continued into retirement where he embarked on composing instrumental music. In his later years, his devastating hearing loss prevented him from continuing with his lifelong passion. But thanks to free charity funded music workshops, Geoff was able to work with professional musicians to rediscover his passion for music. "I didn't think the workshops were going to help me" He said: “My love of music spanned my whole life and I built a career on it. I had great difficulty coming to terms with my hearing loss, as I was only able to hear distorted sounds and cannot identify some levels of pitch. “I was so upset with not being able to enjoy my piano anymore, that at first I was sceptical and didn’t think the workshops were going to help me. "I could hear the rhythm and the melody" “But when Thomas Sherman and Joe Harrison-Greaves started reading poems and looking at paintings, I started to imagine the sounds that could accompany the text of one particular poem. I could almost hear the rhythm in the text and could hear the melody, so I walked up to the piano and played my first response to Tom’s opening phrase of melody. “I left the session so happy. When I went home I wrote a three page musical composition for the poem, which I brought to the next session. The week after I wrote some lyrics and the whole group started to rehearse it. The others in the group supported me with this and we made changes and added other instruments. “I found these sessions extremely rewarding. I felt inspired to try to contribute to the group composition after a lapse of seven years through deafness. All members of the group were very encouraging for which I am very grateful.” Sign up for next sessions The Arts in Health team at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals is now offering those with hearing loss or cochlear implants with a love of music the chance to sign up for the next block of music sessions. Instruments and singing voices are welcomed, with a range of instruments available for use to help patients experiment with different sounds. The sessions are free of charge and run for a period of five consecutive weeks, from Friday 17th August to Friday 14th September, either in the mornings or afternoon. For more information, or to enrol, visit http://arts.sth.nhs.uk/music-project-for-people-with-hearing-loss-cochlear-implants/. To donate to Arts in Health sessions, visit www.sheffieldhospitalscharity/donate or phone 0114 226 7351.