For the last 20 years Orla O’Sullivan, from Frankfield in Cork, has taught scores of students, from beginners up to diploma level.
Ms O’Sullivan, who started teaching deaf children at a local primary school in the mid-1990s, now uses a purpose-built classroom in her home for hearing and non-hearing pupils.
She believes all schoolchildren should be given the option to learn music, regardless of disability.
“I teach music in a standard, normal way. The difference is in how I prepare,” she said.
“I memorise everything, even the questions that are normally asked by students at the various levels. With my hearing aids on and with close lip-reading I can usually make out what is being said.
“As regards the music, again, with my hearing aids on, I can hear/feel some of the notes. The notes I cannot hear, I hear in my imagination. As regards sight, what I see is normal for me. I can only imagine what a person with perfect vision can see.”
Ms O’Sullivan was among nine people with hearing loss commended at the Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards in the Alexandra Hotel in Dublin.