August 27, 2020

University Honors Program to host talk on preventing hearing loss

A workshop on Friday will focus on issues of noise and music-induced hearing loss.

“HearTomorrow,” a free online lecture by Columbia College Chicago Associate Professor Benji Kanters, is from 1 to 3 p.m., Friday, Aug. 28.

This Hearing Conservation Workshop offers a new approach to promoting awareness of the increasing problem of noise and music-induced hearing loss. Kanters has 45 years of experience in the music and audio industries to present new strategies for promoting hearing conservation.

Kanters’ workshop is one of three special presentations as a part of Jay Needham’s fall 2020 Honors class, “The Nature of Sound: Learning to Listen & Play in Our Natural and Built Habitats.” 

Needham, a professor in the Department of Radio, Television and Digital Media, is excited to be hosting Kanters through the university’s Honors Program

“In a field, such as the media arts, ears are used in specialized ways, they are relied on as fine- tuned instruments to listen and make decisions about nuanced aspects of a given production,” Needham said. “As co-director of the Audio Design and Production major at Columbia College in Chicago, Benj has over twenty years teaching recording technology, audio theory, hearing physiology, psychoacoustics and conservation to college students.” 

Needham added Kanters has collaborated with jazz and folk artists including Pat Metheny, Keith Jarrett, Sonny Rollins, Steve Goodman, Emmy Lou Harris, and John Hartford. The Hearing Conservation workshop is Kanters’ “unique way of teaching us all how to protect our hearing in a very loud world.”

“As mediated sound and especially, amplified sound have become so ubiquitous in our culture, Kanters approach speaks to us all,” Needham said. “He’ll challenge us to remove our earbuds and reexamine our relationship to sound so that we might better understand, protect and value the human hearing process. I believe that we are overdue for lessons in how to listen differently and are looking for ways to embrace our senses in new ways.”

Registration for the free ZOOM meeting is available in advance. Email for the ZOOM link and write “Sound Workshop” in the email subject line.