Christine Sun Kim, sound artist and composer, was born deaf. She recently gave an inspiring TED speech on The Enchanting Music of Sign Language. Christine signs while an off stage person interprets her graceful movements, gestures and expressions. Christine is inspiring because she does not let her disability confine her or even define her, no she let’s it refine her.
She has refined her reactions and outlook to the sounds that she cannot hear in a powerful and empowering way through her visual art.
Christine cannot hear, but she does not live in a soundless world. She has learned how to react to sound by observing others reactions. She learned sound etiquette through observations. She does not slam doors, scrape her utensils across her plate, burp out loud or eat potato chips in a quite setting. She can feel the sound through her eyes. She embraces the sound around her that she cannot hear.
In this video, she beautifully shows the musicality of sign language in a convincing and captivating way. Her calm and positive outlook are prominent. She is not a victim. She is in complete control.
From TED Ideas Worth Spreading: The Enchanting Music of Sign Language
She rationalizes and reframes her relationship with sound and spoken languages by using audience’s voice as her own, conducting a group of people to sing with facial movements (rather than sound), composing visual scores with sign language and musical symbols. These attempts are made to raise questions on ownership of sound, explore oral languages as social currency, deconstruct preconceived ideas about silence, and above all, unlearn sound etiquette.
The Kidmunication Point
Don’t let a disability confine your child or even define him or her. Instead, help your child refine their outlook. At Kidmunicate Pediatric Speech Therapy, we work hard to give children the confidence to communicate. Christine Sun Kim is an inspiration. Despite her disability, she communicates confidently and beautifully.