A real-life Beethoven banned from studying music at GCSE because he’s DEAF has overcome the odds to become – a music TEACHER.
Talented John Thompson, 27, was born prematurely with a severe hearing impairment, leaving him deaf in both ears.
John’s impairment left him struggling at school and he was even banned from studying music at GCSE.
But he is now on top of the world after becoming a school teacher at St Bonaventure’s School, in Newham, East London.
He is able to teach classes music thanks to heavy-duty hearing aids and his ability to read lips.
John, of Hackney, east London, said: “Because I was falling behind at school I wasn’t given the option to take music but it’s bizarre now I am teaching it when I wasn’t allowed to do it myself.
“My hearing impairment and limited frequency range hasn’t stopped me loving music. It is not a barrier.
“Music should be accessible and enjoyed by everyone and at the school students can see I have determination and perseverance.
“I hope what I go through inspires and encourages them to continue and do well in lessons.”
The nerves in both of John’s ears were damaged from birth and he struggles to hear typical volumes and high frequencies without his aids.
When John was growing up in Northallerton, Yorkshire, he was approached by a deaf charity – the Robert Dent Memorial Fund – and was asked what he would most like to do.
The charity paid for his guitar lessons and he quickly took to the instrument before getting one of his own for Christmas aged 11.
John began playing in bands in his teens and continues to this day in London-based Americana group The Medicine Show.
The all-boys Catholic school, where John has taught music for three years, held a charity concert last month and donated £500 of the proceedings to the National Deaf Children’s Society.