The enchanting music of sign language

The “The enchanting music of sign language,” speech by Christine Sun Kim, in TED Talks, is one of the most inspirational I have ever seen (and heard translated). Sound artist and composer, the cute and spunky Christine, explores sound and silence despite being born deaf. There is no music to accompany her speech, and yet with every movement of her arms, my eyes and ears are in-tune and intertwined with her ‘words.’ It is hard to tear your eyes away from Christine Sun Kim’s performance.

What I really find inspirational about Christine, is her ability to rise above and beyond the limitations set forth by her being deaf, and her choice instead to become a public speaker to influence and inspire thousands of other people. Christine explores similarities between American Sign language (ASL) and music, explaining that sound does not need to be solely experienced through the ears, but could be felt, seen and experienced in other ways.

Some of Nancy Duarte’s techniques used by Christine, are to create meaningful content that is “more than just facts,” and to deliver something the audience will always remember. According to Duarte (2013), “Small dramatizations convey insights. They can be … like a reenactment or skit.” (p.175). Throughout her presentation, Christine prompts the audience to copy her hand/arm movements, ultimately teaching them endearing phrases in ASL and surprising the audience with its own ability to learn.

Work Cited:

Christine Sun Kim. The enchanting music of sign language [Video file]. Retrieved from

Duarte, N. (2013). Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences. Sunnyvale, CA: John Wiley & Sons.