From Evelyn Glennie in Unstoppable, Sourcebooks:
“I grew up on a farm in northeast Scotland and began taking piano lessons when I was eight. The older I got, the more my passion for music grew. But I also began to gradually lose my hearing…by age 12, I was profoundly deaf. But my passion for music never left me.
“My goal was to become a percussion soloist, even though there were none at the time. To perform, I learned to “hear” music differently from others. I play in my stocking feet and can tell the pitch of a note by the vibrations I feel though mu body and through my imagination. My entire sound world exists by utilizing almost every sense I have.
“I was determined to be assessed as a musician, not a deaf musician, and I applied to the prestigious Royal Academy of Music in London. No other deaf student had done this before and some teachers opposed my admission. Based on my performance, I was finally admitted and went on to graduate with the academy’s highest honors.
“After that, I established myself as essentially the first full-time solo percussionist. I rote and arranged numerous musical compositions since few had been written expressly for solo percussionists.
“I have been a sol;list for over 10 years, because I decided early on that just because my doctor made a diagnosis that I was profoundly deaf, it didn’t mean that my passion couldn’t be actualized. I would encourage people to not allow themselves to be defined or limited by others. Follow your passion, follow your heart. They will lead you to the place you want to go.”
What an inspiring story! It reminds us that passion creates endless possibilities. It ignites our ingenuity and our drive. It leads us to wherever we want to go. Let’s follow our passion. Let’s be unstoppable! Write on!
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