My deafness has become more pronounced as I grow older. More than half of my adult life, I’ve worn hearing aids. Every year or so, the aids have to be adjusted to make up for further failings in my ability to hear. My guess is that if I live long enough, I’ll go completely deaf.
So my days as a musician are numbered. I listen to music and play the piano as often as I can, but these days writing takes up more and more of my time. I suspect that eventually my hearing will fail to the point that I can no longer listen to music. Then I’ll find out the degree to which I can depend on my inner ear (my mind) to play music that only I can hear. Will I be able to read a score and hear a piece internally?
My guess is that the answer’s yes. If Beethoven could go on composing after he lost his hearing, then, if I go completely deaf, I should be able to listen internally.
I hope I don’t find that answer to that question soon.