Class 9 English ‘The Sound of Music’: ‘Evelyn Glennie Listens to Sound without Hearing It’ Word meanings

Class 11 English lesson “Evelyn Glennie Listens to Sound without Hearing It” Word meanings: These word meanings are given paragraph wise to help students male a self-study of the lesson ‘Evelyn Glennie Listens to Sound without Hearing It’ which is the Part 1 of the chapter ‘The Sound of Music’.

‘Evelyn Glennie Listens to Sound without Hearing It’ Word meanings

1. RUSH hour crowds jostle for position on the underground train platform. A slight girl, looking younger than her seventeen years, was nervous yet excited as she felt the vibrations of the approaching train. It was her first day at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music in London and daunting enough for any teenager fresh from a Scottish farm. But this aspiring musician faced a bigger challenge than most: she was profoundly deaf.

Rush hourThe peak period of heavy traffic or crowded public transportation during the morning or evening when people are commuting to or from work.
CrowdsLarge groups of people gathered together in a particular place.
JostleTo push or shove someone roughly, often in a crowded place, as a result of trying to move through a crowded area.
Underground train platformA designated area in a subway or metro station where passengers wait for trains to arrive.
SlightThin, small or delicate in build or appearance.
NervousFeeling worried, anxious, or uneasy.
ExcitedFeeling eager, enthusiastic, or thrilled.
VibrationsRapid movements or oscillations back and forth that produce a shaking or trembling sensation.
ApproachingComing closer or getting nearer.
PrestigiousHighly respected or esteemed, often associated with excellence or quality.
Royal Academy of MusicA renowned music institution located in London, known for its high standards of education and training.
DauntingIntimidating or challenging, causing feelings of fear or apprehension.
Aspiring musiciana person who wants to be a musician
Profoundly deafExperiencing a complete or near-complete loss of hearing.
  1. Evelyn Glennie’s loss of hearing had been gradual. Her mother remembers noticing something was wrong when the eight-year-old Evelyn was waiting to play the piano. “They called her name and she didn’t move. I suddenly realised she hadn’t heard,” says Isabel Glennie. For quite a while Evelyn managed to conceal her growing deafness from friends and teachers. But by the time she was eleven her marks had deteriorated and her headmistress urged her parents to take her to a specialist. It was then discovered that her hearing was severely impaired as a result of gradual nerve damage. They were advised that she should be fitted with hearing aids and sent to a school for the deaf. “Everything suddenly looked black,” says Evelyn.
Loss of hearingThe gradual reduction or complete absence of the ability to hear sounds.
GradualHappening or developing slowly over time.
Nerve damageInjury or impairment to the nerves, which can result in a loss of sensation or function.
Hearing aidsDevices worn in or behind the ears to amplify sound for individuals with hearing impairments.
SpecialistA professional with expertise in a specific field, often providing specialized care or treatment.
Severely impairedSignificantly or greatly restricted or hindered.
  1. But Evelyn was not going to give up. She was determined to lead a normal life and pursue her interest in music. One day she noticed a girl playing a xylophone and decided that she wanted to play it too. Most of the teachers discouraged her but percussionist Ron Forbes spotted her potential. He began by tuning two large drums to different notes. “Don’t listen through your ears,” he would say, “try to sense it some other way.” Says Evelyn, “Suddenly I realised I could feel the higher drum from the waist up and the lower one from the waist down.” Forbes repeated the exercise, and soon Evelyn discovered that she could sense certain notes in different parts of her body. “I had learnt to open my mind and body to sounds and vibrations.” The rest was sheer determination and hard work.
Lead a normal lifeLive in a typical or ordinary manner, without significant limitations or barriers.
PursueFollow or engage in a particular activity or interest.
XylophoneA musical instrument consisting of a series of wooden bars of different lengths, which are struck with mallets to produce musical tones.
DiscouragedTo try to persuade someone not to do something or to have less confidence in their abilities.
PotentialCapability or capacity for future development or success, quality or
ability that can be developed
Percussionista person who plays the drum, the table, etc.
SensePerceive or become aware of something using senses other than hearing.
Open my mind and body to sounds and vibrationsBe receptive and attuned to the sensory experience of sounds and vibrations.
DeterminationFirmness of purpose, resolve, or perseverance.
Hard workDiligent effort or laborious endeavour.
  1. She never looked back from that point onwards. She toured the United Kingdom with a youth orchestra and by the time she was sixteen, she had decided to make music her life. She auditioned for the Royal Academy of Music and scored one of the highest marks in the history of the academy. She gradually moved from orchestral work to solo performances. At the end of her three-year course, she had captured most of the top awards.
Auditionedgave a short performance so that the director could decide whether she was good enough
Orchestral workPerformance or participation in an orchestra, playing music as part of a group.
Solo performancesMusical performances given by a single individual.
CapturedWon, achieved
  1. And for all this, Evelyn won’t accept any hint of heroic achievement. “If you work hard and know where you are going, you’ll get there.” And she got right to the top, the world’s most sought-afterm ulti-percussionist with a mastery of some thousand instruments, and hectic international schedule.
Heroic achievementRemarkable accomplishment or success that is regarded as heroic or exceptional.
Know where you are goingHave a clear sense of purpose, direction, or goals.
HecticFull of intense activity, excitement, or chaos.
International scheduleA timetable or plan involving events or activities in different countries around the world.
  1. It is intriguing to watch Evelyn function so effortlessly without hearing. In our two-hour discussion she never missed a word. “Men with bushy beards give me trouble,” she laughed. “It is not just watching the lips, it’s the whole face, especially the eyes.” She speaks flawlessly with a Scottish lilt. “My speech is clear because I could hear till I was eleven,” she says. But that doesn’t explain how she managed to learn French and master basic Japanese.
IntriguingFascinating and curious
EffortlesslyWithout difficulty or strain.
FlawlesslyWithout any errors, faults, or imperfections.
LiltA way of speaking
Scottish liltThe characteristic speech pattern or accent associated with the Scottish language.
Learn FrenchAcquire the ability to understand, speak, read, and write the French language.
Master basic JapaneseAttain proficiency in fundamental or essential aspects of the Japanese language.
  1. As for music, she explains, “It pours in through every part of my body. It tingles in the skin, my cheekbones and even in my hair.” When she plays the xylophone, she can sense the sound passing up the stick into her fingertips. By leaning against the drums, she can feel the resonances flowing into her body. On a wooden platform she removes her shoes so that the vibrations pass through her bare feet and up her legs.
Pour inEnter or fill a space in large quantities.
TinglesCauses a tingling sensation, which is a slight prickling or stinging feeling
on the skin. 
ResonancesVibrations or echoes that continue to sound or reverberate.
Wooden platformA raised surface made of wood.
Bare feetFeet without any covering or footwear.
Pass throughMove or travel through a particular medium or substance.
Resonances flowing into her bodyVibrations or sound waves being transmitted into her body.
  1. Not surprisingly, Evelyn delights her audiences. In 1991 she was presented with the Royal Philharmonic Society’s prestigious Soloist of the Year Award. Says master percussionist James Blades, “God may have taken her hearing but he has given her back something extraordinary. What we hear, she feels — far more deeply than any of us. That is why she expresses music so beautifully.”
DelightsIn this context, “delights” means to please, charm, or captivate. It indicates that Evelyn brings joy and enjoyment to her audiences through her performances.
Royal Philharmonic SocietyThe Royal Philharmonic Society is a prestigious organization dedicated to promoting and supporting classical music in the United Kingdom. They organize concerts, awards, and events to celebrate and recognize exceptional musicians and performers.
Soloist of the Year AwardThis award is given to an outstanding musician who has demonstrated exceptional talent and skill as a solo performer. In this case, Evelyn received this esteemed award in 1991, which signifies her exceptional abilities as a musician.
Something extraordinaryRefers to a remarkable or exceptional ability or quality possessed by Evelyn, despite her hearing loss.
What we hear, she feelsWhile others with normal hearing might perceive music through their ears, Evelyn experiences music on a deeper level, feeling the vibrations and emotions of the music through other senses.
Expresses music so beautifullyEvelyn’s musical expression and interpretation are exceptionally graceful and moving. Her performances are still powerful and resonant with emotions.
  1. Evelyn confesses that she is something of a workaholic. “I’ve just got to work … often harder than classical musicians. But the rewards are enormous.” Apart from the regular concerts, Evelyn also gives free concerts in prisons and hospitals. She also gives high priority to classes for young musicians. Ann Richlin of the Beethoven Fund for Deaf Children says, “She is a shining inspiration for deaf children. They see that there is nowhere that they cannot go.”
WorkaholicA person who is addicted to or excessively devoted to work.  a person who finds it difficult to stop working
Regular concertsConcerts that occur on a regular or scheduled basis.
Prisons and hospitalsCorrectional facilities and medical institutions where inmates and patients reside.
High priorityGiven significant importance or considered to be of utmost significance.
ClassesEducational sessions or lessons.
Shining inspirationA source of motivation or encouragement that stands out brightly and is admired.
  1. Evelyn Glennie has already accomplished more than most people twice her age. She has brought percussion to the front of the orchestra, and demonstrated that it can be very moving. She has given inspiration to those who are handicapped, people who look to her and say, ‘If she can do it, I can.’ And, not the least, she has given enormous pleasure to millions.
AccomplishedAchieved or completed successfully.
PercussionA family of musical instruments that are played by being struck, shaken, or scraped.
Front of the orchestraThe section or position in an orchestra where percussion instruments are played.
HandicappedPhysically or mentally disabled or challenged.
Enormous pleasureGreat joy, delight, or satisfaction.
MillionsA large number of people.

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