“Music to the ear”: An interview with Paul Whittaker — Paul Wittaker & Shirley Salmon

Τεύχος 14 (2) 2022 – Interview (first published on 25 June 2021)

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“Music to the ear”: An interview with Paul Whittaker

Paul Whittaker & Shirley Salmon


Paul Whittaker is a profoundly deaf musician who has devoted his life to encouraging other deaf people to engage with music and challenging others to think about how they hear and perceive music. In this interview with Shirley Salmon, he talks about his background and experiences and some of the difficulties he has faced.


music, deafness, perception of music, hearing loss

Author Biographies

Paul Whittaker was born in Huddersfield in 1964 and has been deaf all his life. After getting a music degree from Wadham College, Oxford and a post-graduate diploma from the RNCM, he founded Music and the Deaf, a charity he ran for 27 years before leaving to pursue a freelance career. Paul has signed many shows and concerts across the UK, including with The Sixteen and at the BBC Proms. He continues to promote music and deafness and currently runs seven signing choirs. He was awarded an OBE in 2007 and holds two Honorary Degrees. [paul@paulwhittaker.org.uk] Shirley Salmon MPhil, PGCE, BA, taught music and movement to deaf and hard-of-hearing children for many years and has published on this topic. She has lectured at the Orff-Institute, Mozarteum University Salzburg, focussing on Music in the Community and Inclusive Pedagogy since 1984. She is president of the International Orff-Schulwerk Forum Salzburg. [sdaysalmon@gmail.com]