I’m Dr Paul Whittaker – a profoundly deaf Musician. In 2007, The Queen gave me an OBE for services to music. Ask Me Anything!
My short video for proof: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDbem9iK48Y
Hello! I’m Dr Paul Whittaker OBE – a profoundly deaf Musician from the UK. I was born deaf, but I can play the piano and the organ. I have a Music degree from Oxford University and 2 honorary degrees. In 2007, The Queen gave me an OBE for services to music.
For 27 years, I ran a charity called Music And The Deaf encouraging deaf people, and those who live and work with them, to take part in music. I ran workshops, worked with orchestras, choirs, dance companies, theatres, to encourage them to engage with deaf people, and gave a lot of speeches about my life as a deaf Musician. 3 years ago, I left that job to start a freelance career. I still work in music and deafness but most of my work is motivational speaking.
For many years, I’ve been passionate about signed song and recently set up www.SiBSL.co.uk – Songs in British Sign Language – to try and raise standards and awareness of this art form. I film a performance of a song along with a detailed teaching video, explaining why I use certain signs and how I’ve translated the song.
For 26 years, I’ve also worked in the theatre interpreting major music shows such as Les Miserables, Cats, Phantom Of The Opera, West Side Story, and many others. I’ve also signed Opera and worked with various choirs and at the BBC Proms. In 2010, I signed the Sondheim at 80 Prom and had the pleasure of meeting Stephen Sondheim and working with people like Judi Dench.
AMA about my life as a deaf musician, signed song, access issues – anything related to music and deafness.