25th February 2005 at 00:00
Luke Nichols, 15, plays timpani in the orchestra at Bury St Edmunds County Upper School, where he is in Year 10 and taking music GCSE. He lost almost all his hearing when he had meningitis at 19 months. He has a cochlear implant, which brings him to the level of mild hearing loss.

"I started playing drums two years ago. I have a drum teacher who visits me at home. Playing with other people is quite tricky, because when I play the drums I only hear myself.

"I mostly like to play rock, groove, funk and punk music. I can hear live or recorded music. When I listen to music I listen most to the drum line. I am currently working on the drum line from Green Day's song 'Give Me Novocaine'.

"Some GCSE lessons are quite hard for me, such as hearing the difference in major and minor chords. People usually talk to me about feeling the vibrations of the music, but that's not how I listen to music. Sometimes during music lessons I go out of the classroom with my supporter, who happens to be my drum teacher. He plays some notes on the piano where it is quiet and I can hear better than in a noisy classroom.

"It is hard to say if I work differently to hearing musicians because I can't imagine what it would be like to hear any different to the way I do now."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today