Personal Missive on Hearing

As an acoustician, I am, of course sensitive to hearing issues. Quite by chance, this was reinforced by meeting a beautiful lady in university. She was studying audiology. The science of making people hear better. Little did I know that 30 years on I would need her help. We never talked about work at home but eventually it became too obvious to ignore. I'm an acoustician who eventually admitted he had a hearing loss and needed hearing aids.

I find it interesting that visual artists and architects can wear glasses without question. It’s not the same for an acoustician. An acoustician wearing hearing aids? That can’t be right can it? But I was brave enough, or perhaps foolish enough, to admit it to myself. My hearing loss has brought me closer to an interest that I didn’t have before but I now care about deeply.

I can shape concert halls, theatres, etc. so people can hear better. So why not classrooms for kids. There’s something called neuroplasticity. For language the brain is most plastic between the ages of 3 and 5. Perhaps a bit longer. If children can’t learn to speak and read in these critical years, they will have trouble throughout their education. Most prisons are populated by under educated people. I do deeply care about acoustics for the performing arts – of course. But if we can make the world a slightly better place for our children, well, that would be a good thing wouldn’t it?