Music appreciation and training for cochlear implant recipients: a review

Valerie Looi, Kate Gfeller, Virginia D. Driscoll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, there has been increasing interest in music perception of cochlear implant (CI) recipients, and a growing body of research conducted in this area. The majority of these studies have examined perceptual accuracy for pitch, rhythm, and timbre. Another important, but less commonly studied aspect of music listening is appreciation, or appraisal. Despite the ongoing research into potential technological improvements that may improve music perception for recipients, both perceptual accuracy and appreciation generally remain poor for most recipients. Whilst perceptual accuracy for music is important, appreciation and enjoyment also warrants research as it also contributes to clinical outcomes and perceived benefits. Music training is being shown to offer excellent potential for improving music perception and appreciation for recipients.Therefore, the primary topics of this review are music appreciation and training. However, a brief overview of the psychoacoustic, technical, and physiological factors associated with a recipient's perception of music is provided, as these are important factors in understanding the listening experience for CI recipients. The purpose of this review is to summarize key papers that have investigated these issues, in order to demonstrate that i) music enjoyment and appraisal is an important and valid consideration in evaluating music outcomes for recipients, and ii) that music training can improve music listening for many recipients, and is something that can be offered to persons using current technology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-334
Number of pages28
JournalSeminars in Hearing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • cochlear implants
  • music
  • quality of life
  • rehabilitation
  • training
  • sound quality


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