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Music Helped Deaf Boy Recover His Hearing And Become A Top Conductor

Robert Guy lived in silence for most of his young life. He was born 70% deaf, but he didn't let that stop him from accomplishing his dreams. He spent much of his childhood in and out of hospitals, trying to help clear up his ears.

Guy said that “I started on the piano because I came from a musical family and my nana taught half of Llay village." That was when they started to realize that something wasn't right.

He hadn't noticed that his hearing had been off because he knew no different. “When you’re young you just think that what you’re hearing is just normal. But other people at school started to realize.”

Guy was given a surgery that would change his life forever. They were able to operate on his ears and help bring back his hearing. But it wasn't all smooth sailing after the surgery. “After the operation I wouldn’t get in the car because I was terrified of the engine,” he said.

But after everything settled and his hearing started to come back, he was able to take his life in an unexpected direction...

Thanks to his grandmother, he had developed a love of music before he could hear properly. He realized his life was going to change after returning home. “When I got back and sat in the garden and came in I said to my mum, ‘I think I can hear the birds now’. That was the moment when my mum became really choked up and went, ‘Oh wow!’”

“It was exhilarating, music became my whole world and continues to be,” said Guy. He had been learning the piano already, but now he was able to expand his expertise. “My tuning was pretty bad on the violin,” he said. “As I got to the point my hearing was getting better I had to become more disciplined. I was not expecting to be able to hear things and I had slipped into bad habits.”

Kristina Banholzer

Thanks to this life-changing surgery, he was able to go to college for music and was able to join the Wrexham's Sinfonia Orchestra. “To do music professionally you need to be able to hear,” he said. “You need to be able to develop the way you listen as well. “If I had been prevented from doing that, that would have been a travesty for me,” he said. “I’m so glad it was a problem I was able to overcome because I love every day I wake up.”

He is now participating in a prestigious competition with 60 of the top conductors, which will help him advance his career. “I just want to do well and I am working really hard. There is a huge amount of music to prepare. I’m just focused on working as hard as I can to prepare.

Kristina Banholzer

“The final actually takes place on my birthday, so depending on how I do, I’ll either be on an aeroplane flying home that day or in the spotlight conducting in the competition of my life!”

Good luck Robert!

Tanya has been writing for Shared for two years. She spends too much time thinking about dogs, Marvel movies, and ice cream. You can reach me at tanya@shared.com