GarageBand Songwriting for Deaf and HoH

Welcome to my music course!

Image: A painting of a girl with long red dreadlocks and sparkly green eyes. She has a black cross over her left ear, and red lips. She wears a red T-shirt with a black stencil of a face on it. She is holding a guitar. To her right is large text: ‘GarageBand Songwriting for Deaf and HOH, ‘ In the background is a blue textured wall with grungy black dots, piano keys and music notes.

The incredible benefit for deaf* and hard of hearing people who write their own music is that you can tailor it to your specific range of hearing, creating the perfect accessible music just for you. If you have only a little hearing, it’s possible you will be able to enjoy music even if you can’t understand speech and most conventional music sounds dreadful to you. This course may also provide useful information for music teachers who work with deaf and hard of hearing students. 

Find out more about the course, who it’s for, how hard it is, and what you need in order to study it.

This course was created by me, Asphyxia. I am a profoundly Deaf person for whom music has not been very accessible for most of my life. Although I cannot hear speech well enough to understand it and am not interested in many aspects of hearing, when I was able to access music, I found it brought me immense joy.

I wish to share that joy with others, and so I wrote this course. I know that if I had found this course a few years ago I would have been suspicious of it, wondering if it was another effort by the kinds of hearing people who cry because I cannot hear the sound of rain, to focus my attention on all that I am missing out on. But it’s not. If you wear hearing aids you may find this to be an enjoyable extension of that technology. Learn more about how I came to write this course.

You might like to check your audiogram and learn what this means for you and music. This will help you work out if you have enough hearing to do this course. 

I suggest you bookmark this page and work through the following Level One lessons in order. If you have music experience already you won’t need to do them all. But you will need to understand the concepts and how to use GarageBand before you progress to Level Two.

LEVEL ONE – Learn to make a simple cover song

Work through these lessons in order before proceeding to Levels Two or Three.

You should now be able to make a very basic cover version of almost any song out there. You could also hand your audiogram and preferences chart to a professional musician and ask them to make music for that is tailored to your hearing.

LEVEL TWO – Skills to develop your cover songs

LEVEL THREE – Writing original songs

Coming soon!

Make a donation: This course is free because I want music to be easily accessible to everyone, and I want to improve the lives of deaf people who might enjoy it. It has taken a lot of time and study to put together this course, and I am still working on adding new lessons. I have resisted the suggestion that I monetise my online offerings through advertising, because I am philosophically opposed to living in a world full of ads. If you want to support my mission to make music accessible to deaf people for free, I would really appreciate a donation.

Many thanks to Gemma Horbury, a musician who checked Level One of this course, made numerous suggestions and diagrams, and helped me to make it so much better! Gemma has been a music educator for 25 years, working with communities all over Australia. She conducts and composes music for school, community and professional ensembles. She is now sharing music through online spaces.

* While I write ‘Deaf’ for people who identify as members of the Deaf community, for this course I will write ‘deaf’ as it refers to anyone who has a hearing loss, regardless of whether or not they sign. For simplicity, I also include hard of hearing people when I use the term ‘deaf.’

What do you think of this course? Any issues? Anything you’d like to see added? Please email me here to help me improve it. Thanks! Asphyxia.

2 thoughts on “GarageBand Songwriting for Deaf and HoH

  1. Mr Tim D Atkinson

    I just want to hug you,
    So that I can taste your strawberry cream,
    Tinged with Casanova,
    It’s so seem like a dream,
    But I’m sure it will come true,
    Your silky hair brushed with my soul stream,
    You are one of the chosen few,
    Your spirit is like a peach on Pavlova,
    You are very tasty indeed,
    I just need you,
    Your clear eyes like a sky,
    You hair’s like a night desert,
    In my dream,
    We have a wine dessert,
    And it will come true,
    That we’ll make a good team.


  2. Mr Tim D Atkinson

    Empty Room

    I opened the door,
    I see an empty room,
    It’s in the mind (sing slowly and deeply).

    Then lively music:

    I came to the dark, but lively room,
    I’m wearing a Capone hat,
    Just to show people what I am,
    People look at me in that funny way,
    But, by my lamp,
    I see with my ears, and I hear with my eyes,
    I have no fears,
    I know they all are like me,
    We all mirror each other,
    We know that simple things are free,
    I feel by my empty room,
    We smile each other,
    We love each other,
    We feel with our nose, we smell with our skin,
    We by the empty room, We by the empty room.
    Emptiness is all you need,
    Forget illusionary love,
    Forget silly Beatles love songs,

    Music recedes slowly.

    Empty room, empty room,
    All you need is emptiness.
    Nothing is what you need.



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