Development of the Musi-CI Training, A Musical Listening Training for Cochlear Implant Users: A Participatory Action Research Approach

Joke Veltman*, Marjo J M Maas, Cilia Beijk, Adinda Y M Groenhuis, Huib Versnel, Constance Vissers, Wendy J Huinck, Alexander E Hoetink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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A cochlear implant (CI) is a prosthesis that allows people with severe to profound hearing loss to understand speech in quiet settings. However, listening to music presents a challenge to most CI users; they often do not enjoy music or avoid it altogether. The Musi-CI training course was developed for CI users with the goal of reducing music aversion and improving music enjoyment. A consortium was established consisting of a professional musician with CI, CI rehabilitation professionals and researchers. Participatory action research (PAR) was applied to develop and evaluate the training experiences, collaborating with 37 CI users during three cycles of eight training sessions, each held over a period of 3 months. Input and feedback were collected after each training session using questionnaires, observations and focus group interviews. Almost all participants (86%) completed the training. After completing the training a large majority of participants reported increased music appreciation, increased social participation in musical settings and a positive impact on general auditory perception. The resulting Musi-CI training programme focuses on music listening skills, self-efficacy, and self-motivation. It consists of exercises intended to strengthen attention and working memory, to improve beat and rhythm perception (with online rhythm exercises) and exercises to distinguish timbre of instruments and emotion in music. A Melody Game was developed to improve pitch and melodic contour discrimination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number23312165231198368
Number of pages16
JournalTrends in Hearing
Early online date12 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • auditory training
  • cochlear implants
  • musical training
  • rehabilitation
  • thematic analysis


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