Vibrations in the air, called sound waves, carry sounds to your ears. Your brain interprets the sound. Your body can feel the vibrations too—like the “brum-brum” of a drum or the “unce” from a speaker. Though deaf people can’t hear the music, they sense the vibrations in their body and in the same part of the brain used for hearing.
Preparing for a concert begins weeks before the show. First, Rothschild Cross listens to the words of each song very carefully. Then she practices translating the songs into sign language. The hardest part? Making sure that her signs match the music perfectly. Plus, some songs have feelings that are hard to express with movement.
On concert nights, there can be up to 20 songs to interpret. Rothschild Cross listens and translates each one. She matches her body language to the feeling of the music. This could mean jumping up and down or standing still.
Many musical acts today hire sign language interpreters to translate their songs into sign.
Rothschild Cross hopes her work will help advocate for the Deaf community. “Deaf people can enjoy concerts too,” says Rothschild Cross.