The MED-EL Corp, Durham, NC, introduces two new resources for teachers, therapists, and parents of children with cochlear implants (CI): The Musical Ears instrument and CD set, and the Music and Young Children with CIs guide.

“As well as encouraging development of musicality, musical activities can positively affect a child’s whole development," said Darla Franz, MA CCC-A, director of education and corporate communications at MED-EL Corp USA. "Participation in musical activities enhances learning by promoting communication skills, listening skills, language skills, cognitive skills, fine and gross motor skills, social and emotional development, and creativity.” 

Musical Ears is a music therapy program intended for professionals working with young children. It consists of a set of child-friendly musical instruments and a CD. The CD includes a series of PowerPoint presentations with embedded videos that teach therapists techniques for teaching music to children with hearing loss, as well as a Musical Ears Evaluation Form with 24 music listening behaviors that can be used to measure and track a child’s music behaviors both pre- and post-music therapy. A discussion regarding the effect of music on the overall development of babies and young children is also included. This resource was developed by international pediatric rehabilitation expert Julie Kosaner in collaboration with MED-EL.

Music and Young Children with CIs is a companion piece to Musical Ears that is designed for parents of young children with cochlear implants. This free resource introduces parents to ways that they can work with children at home to further develop listening skills and includes a discussion about the benefits of music. The guide covers activities that parents can use to strengthen their child’s musicality, such as rhyming and repetition, the use of percussion instruments, and techniques such as listening for music start and stop. A Musicality Rating Scale with 25 different skills is included to help parents assess learned skills and select new skills to emphasize. This booklet is available in printed form or as a download. Music and Young Children with CIs was also developed by Kosaner in collaboration with MED-EL.

Hearing loss professionals and parents can contact MED-EL via e-mail or at (888) 633-3524 for ordering information and availability.

Kosaner, a pediatric clinical specialist for MED-EL based in Turkey, is considered an international expert in pediatric rehabilitation. An audiologist and teacher of the deaf, her work includes establishing and supporting CI clinics, fitting of devices, training of audiologists, supervision of research projects, and supporting rehabilitation centers by helping them to implement parent guidance and rehabilitation programs for young CI users. She has wide experience in running training programs and frequently presents at conferences.

BRIDGE to Better Communication is a comprehensive support program that MED-EL has developed in cooperation with leading experts worldwide. The program is designed specially for hearing loss professionals, schools, cochlear implant users, and parents to help close the gap between implantation and the development of improved listening skills and spoken communication. It consists of a variety of products, resources, and materials for adult and pediatric habilitation, assessment, and device management. This process begins with identifying the implant user’s current skills, setting realistic expectations and goals, ensuring the best possible device function, and improving communication skills daily. A variety of habilitation materials can help guide and motivate both the user and the professional toward achieving the best possible communicative competence. MED-EL launched BRIDGE to Better Communication, in April 2007.

Since its founders developed one of the world’s first cochlear implants in 1975, MED-EL has set new standards in hearing implant technologies, developing, and manufacturing technologically advanced hearing solutions for people with varying degrees of hearing loss.

[Source: MED-EL]