Champion - Wendy Cheng

Musician • Advocate

From: Gaithersburg, Maryland

Music and Hearing Loss

Wendy Cheng has always followed her passion for music , and she doesn’t let anything stop her—especially hearing loss! Although Wendy was diagnosed with hearing loss as a child, she has excelled at a number of musical instruments, and uses her experience to encourage other aspiring musicians.

Wendy even runs a small nonprofit called the Association of Adult Musicians with Hearing Loss. This organization helps individuals with hearing loss work with trained audiologists and continue to make music. Along with Willa Horowitz, Au.D., Wendy helped publish and edit the second edition of Making Music with a Hearing Loss, a book full of advice, information, and inspiring stories of musicians with hearing loss across the globe.

Help From Hearing Devices

Wendy was fit with her first pair of hearing aids shortly after she was diagnosed with hearing loss in third grade. Her hearing continued to worsen as an adult which prompted her to get two cochlear implants. Hearing better has had an important impact on her life, not only because it allows her to play music, but also because it is essential to her daily communication and well-being.

“Hearing is one of the senses that affects our emotional health,” says Wendy. “When we hear well, we can interact with others more easily. Consequently, we feel better when we can exchange information and have good relationships with other people.”

Wendy also attributes many of her experiences and accomplishments to being able to hear well. She says,

“With my two cochlear implants, I am able to take music lessons without having to lipread the instructor, direct a handbell choir, play my viola and participate in small string ensembles, and travel abroad.”

Why Wendy is a HearStrong Champion

Wendy is a HearStrong Champion because she advocates for musicians with hearing loss and helps them pursue their passion.

Her advice for those with hearing loss is to get treatment as soon as possible. She says,

“To delay seeking treatment means you can’t get the help you need that is readily available to you.”

On July 20, 2016, Broadway performer Mark McVey helped honor Wendy as a HearStrong Champion in front of an auditorium of friends, family, and hearing healthcare professionals during an EarQ Thrive event.

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