I will keep bringing smiles with music.
Hello, I’m Fmo from Japan. I was born slightly deaf or as a HoH. When I entered elementary school, I got a hearing aid but back then, I didn’t even know myself that I had trouble hearing. Now, I use three different types of hearing aids depending on the situation. When I go out, I use in-the-ear hearing aids that I insert into my ear. When I am driving, I use a bone conduction type. When I’m at home or listening to music, I use the behind-the-ear type.
I had actually thought about quitting music I loved many times when I was suffering mentally and physically. Yet, the reason why I am still playing the guitar today is because of my friends and fans who always encouraged me to bring smiles on people’s faces through music.
I first started playing music in the fifth grade watching my brother play the guitar. My brother taught me some basic guitar chords and so, by the time I got my first guitar, I was already self-taught. I then started practicing based on the chords of the ‘snow drop’ song available at my home. One day, when I was in the music room at school with my friends, I casually tried to play it and my friends said, “Wow! It’s so cool!” Their first reaction encouraged me and since then I started playing the guitar in front of people. I felt very happy because my friends praised me and I was able to make people smile.
Music is very addictive to me because of its bouncing sound and vibration. Listening to different genres of music, feeling the vibrations with my body, and then playing it myself in my own way is the most fun. Although I have formed bands and written my own songs, I still prefer to play cover songs on my solo guitar. I think it’s because I can arrange the song in my own way, at my own rhythm & speed which I everyone likes to hear.
I am sometimes asked if my hearing difficulty hinders my music activities but no it doesn’t. I don’t mind if it doesn’t match the original music 100% but I enjoy making a song that only I can express. When I was in a band, I used to worry about adjusting the sound, but the band members would do it or the hearing members play according to my tempo, which resulted in the unique performance only we could express.
There was a time when I thought about quitting music. There was a time when I hadn’t played the guitar for years due to family reasons. My friends and I used to get together once a month to play, but we were all busy with work, we couldn’t get together often. One day, while I was playing guitar and the bass, I got tendinitis and couldn’t play anymore. I started playing again after recovering but I fell into a vicious cycle of recurring tendinitis. At that time, with no specific reasons, I signed up for a social media and found people who were doing their best to keep sending out messages. There were also people who continued to perform despite their problems. Seeing them, I got inspired not to give up.
Then, I started playing & posting my videos on social sites which helped me make many connections. Today, the number of my followers has grown to four digits. My dream is to create one day my own unique collaborative project and perform with the famous acapella singer or shamisen players using the live function of SNS.
Music is the source of my energy and I feel that my music is helping others in some way. When I was a child, I was often bullied because of my hearing difficulty. Because of this experience, I now want to work to eliminate it little by little. I am aware that there are many people who are in the same situation as me and I would like to bring a smile to everyone’s face through music acclaiming that we, (even HoH) can. Thank you!