Learning to read music and play the piano by the age of five would be quite an achievement for most people – but Kieran Ross was born deaf.
The 18-year-old, from Rothienorman, Aberdeenshire, now writes music, performs with his band and plans to make a career out of his passion.
Kieran suffers from a severe hearing loss in both ears and this wasn't discovered until the age of three. Doctors had said that he wouldn't be able to talk let alone attend a mainstream school but he defied the odds and did both. His hearing loss has never stopped him from trying to achieve his goals in music.
In the Daily Express this week, Kieran described how music helped him to overcome his disadvantage. “At school I always felt the odd one out, always last to be picked for football or have my name called. Then people started noticing me playing the guitar, saw I was good and started to speak to me. I don’t know where I’d be without music. I definitely wouldn’t enjoy my life as much.”
Kieran had his first toy guitar and drum set as a toddler and by time he was five he could read music and play the piano. At 13 he took up the guitar and now takes to the stage with his band The Seasons.
Kieran’s state-of-the-art digital hearing aids allow him to hear speech and music, although not in the same way as a person with normal hearing. The talented teenager is studying music technology at the University of the West of Scotland in Paisley and has just been named the National Deaf Children’s Society’s Creative Artist of the Year.
Mum Vanessa, a 42-year-old accounts assistant, admitted she and husband Andrew initially had fears about how Kieran would cope. She said: “When we were told he was deaf we were distraught. But he just amazes me every day with what he can do.”