2022 Miniconference: July 16-17, 2022

Presentation Descriptions and Presenter Bios

  1.  Principles of Hearing Conservation and Use of In-the-Ear Monitors 
  2.  Hearing Conservation in Collegiate Music Programs
  3.  Wider is Better:  Three Music Programs for Hearing Aids
  4.  The Cochlear Implant Programming Process for Musicians
  5.  Life After Deaf:  Adjusting to Hearing Loss as Musicians
  6.   A Music-Friendly Audiogram 
  7.  Companion Mics:  HAT for Participating in Music Ensembles
  8.  Instrument Selection for Individuals with Hearing Loss
  9. Obtaining an Undergraduate Music Degree:  Issues and Barriers for Students with Hearing Loss

Principles of Hearing Conservation and Use of In the Ear Monitors for Musicians

This session will briefly discuss the primary ways music industry professionals can care for their main instrument, their ears. This session will also discuss differences between in-ear monitor types as well as discuss new data collected on in-ear monitor isolation and output.

Presenter bio:

Dr. Heather Malyuk, owner of Soundcheck Audiology, is a musician and audiologist who hails from Northeast Ohio, but is known internationally as an expert clinician and public speaker in the field of music audiology.  Heather grew up in a musical family and since the age of 2 has been singing, playing piano, violin and fiddle, and guitar. In her early teens, she began teaching music, touring, and recording. She received an undergraduate degree in Music History and Literature from the University of Akron and continued on to earn her Doctor of Audiology (AuD) degree from Kent State University. From 2013-2017, Heather was the clinical director at Sensaphonics Hearing Conservation in Chicago, Illinois. In 2020, she co-authored the clinical consensus document for Audiological Services for Music Industry Personnel through the American Academy of Audiology, she is on the Leadership Advisory Team for the National Hearing Conservation Association, and is a co-chair of the College Music Society’s Committee on Musicians’ Health. She is passionate about new delivery models for audiologic care and is the Head of Audiology for Tuned, a groundbreaking virtual audiology clinic. In addition to her clinical and educational work, Heather developed and manages the first-ever hearing wellness video curriculum for the music industry, is a sought-after consultant, and is a research team member at The University of Akron where she is studying pharmaceutical intervention for Noise-Induced Hearing Loss.

Hearing Conservation in Collegiate Music Programs

Description:  For several years, the University of North Texas (UNT) has created and implemented a curriculum to provide hearing awareness and hearing conservation as part of the curriculum for undergraduate music majors.  Dr. Kris Chesky will share his perspective on how the program originated and explain the program results.

Presenter’s bio:

Dr. Kris Chesky holds the rank of professor in the UNT College of Music and is co-director of the Texas Center for Performing Arts Health. He holds a bachelor’s degree in trumpet performance from the Berklee College of Music and a doctorate from the University of North Texas. Chesky also established an award-winning undergraduate occupational health curriculum at UNT that has served more than 3,000 undergraduate students. He also established the first optional field of music & medicine for student musicians seeking graduate performance degrees. Teaching is central to his interests, and a number of his students have conducted research, authored peer-reviewed research articles, and hold academic positions in various universities around the world.

More is Better: Three Music Programs for Hearing Aids

Description: The history of why more may be better for listening to and playing music is given suggesting why more may be better.  Three distinct “music programs” should be available where music is important, either as a listener or as a performer. Three simulations will be presented demonstrating the differences:

1.   Prerecorded music should be linear, or near-linear in order to avoid the “double compression” found with already compression limited (CL) music.   
2.  Playing or listening to live music would be similar to the client’s speech in quiet program butwith a disabling of certain advanced features.  
3.  Playing or listening to “instrumental music only” can utilize a one octave linear frequency lowering algorithm that avoids harmonic distortion but creates other acceptable musical intervals

Presenter’s bio:
Dr. Marshall Chasin is Director of Audiology and Research at the Musicians’ Clinics of Canada, Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto (in Linguistics), and Associate Professor in the School of Communication Disorders and Sciences at Western University.    Marshall holds a B.Sc. in Mathematics and Linguistics from the University of Toronto, a M.Sc. in Audiology and Speech Sciences from the University of British Columbia and his AuD from the Arizona School of Health Sciences.  He is the author of over 200 articles and 8 books including Music and Hearing Aids (Plural Publishing, 2022).  He writes a monthly column in Hearing Review called Back to Basics.  Dr. Chasin has been the recipient of many awards over the years including the 2004 Audiology Foundation of America Professional Leadership Award, the 2012 Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Award, the 2013 Jos Millar Shield award from the British Society of Audiology and the 2017 Canada 150 Medal. He has developed a mobile app called Temporary Hearing Loss Test (TTS) app.

The CI Programming Process: How to Explain Your Auditory Requirements to Your CI Audiologist

Description: After using hearing aids for over 50 years, Rick Ledbetter opted to receive a cochlear implant in one ear.  In this session, he will describe how he used his extensive background in hearing acoustics, and programming his own hearing aid to find the right language to explain his auditory requirement to his cochlear implant audiologist.   NOTE:  Attendees of this session should attend the earlier presentation that Dr. Marshall Chasin is doing, because the presenter assumes you have this background before attending his presentation.

Presenter bio:
Rick Ledbetter is a professional musician, a composer/arranger and a bassist for over 50 years.  He has a profound bilateral hearing loss and played professionally in many different acoustic situations.  He also has his own computer based music production studio, and prior to receiving his cochlear implant, had been programming his own hearing aids for over a decade.

Life After Deaf: Adjusting to Hearing Loss as Musicians

This presentation will discuss the stages of adjustment following hearing loss, the differential impact depending on the life cycle phase, and coping strategies to help foster successful readjustment. An opportunity for interactions will be provided so that participants can explore/share their own journey with hearing loss and the discovery of well-being in living with the “new normal,” particularly as musicians.  

Presenter bio:

Deb McCaw has a life-long progressive hearing loss that started in early childhood. Her journey into gradual deafness, led her to discover American Sign Language and become immersed the Deaf community in her early adulthood years. The journey back to the “hearing world” and music (with violin and harp lessons), was made possible with cochlear implantation. Dr. McCaw is currently a professor in the Department of Psychology at Gallaudet University.  She completed her doctoral work in Clinical Psychology at The George Washington University and her predoctoral internship at The University of Rochester School of Medicine and the Deaf Wellness Center.  Her areas of research include: psychological well-being within the deaf and hard of hearing population, deaf acculturation, acculturative stress related to new signers, and the psychosocial aspects of cochlear implantation. 

A Music-Friendly Audiogram

In this talk, deaf composer Jay Alan Zimmerman will discuss the need for an audiogram that focuses on our hearing abilities rather than on our hearing loss.

Presenter bio:

Known as Broadway’s Beethoven, composer Jay Alan Zimmerman had to craft a new path and new identity for himself after becoming Deaf due to 9/11 just as his music career was taking off. Told he should give up music, he instead let his deafness inspire new works, new technologies, and new thinking about all kinds of abilities. These projects include creating and performing in his Incredibly Deaf Musical Off-Broadway, debuting new works at Lincoln Center, creating the Seeing Music visualizers with Google Creative Labs, developing a patent-pending hearing visualization audiogram, and collaborating with dancers, aerialists, sign language artists, and even musical robots at Spotify. Meanwhile, his advocacy has played an important part in rebuilding the World Trade Center site, inspiring epidemiological studies, bringing personal device captioning to Broadway, and starting the new theatrical accessibility design field through a residency with Berklee School of Music.

Companion Mics: Hearing Assistive Technology for Participating in Musical Ensembles

Presentation description: 

Dr. Mead Killion is the creator behind the Companion Mic kit, which comes with several transmitter units and one receiver unit.  Many musicians with severe hearing loss had found the Companion Mic system to be invaluable in helping them participate in musical ensembles.  In this presentation, Dr. Killion will discuss how he came about creating these microphones, and future plans for these devices.

Presenter bio:

Mead Killion is the founder of Etymotic Research, an R&D organization whose mission includes:  1) Helping people hear, 2) Helping people preserve their hearing, and 3) Helping people enjoy hearing.  Dr. Killion has been Adjunct Professor of Audiology at Northwestern University for 36 years.   He holds two degrees in mathematics, a Ph.D. in audiology,  and an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Wabash College.  He has authored or coauthored 88 papers,  21 book chapters and 92 U.S. patents in the fields of acoustics and hearing aids  His scientific papers have been cited 1800 times in the last five years.  He recently taught a PhD Seminar at Northwestern University in Innovation, Patents, and Starting a Business.  Mead ran 32 marathons before age 68, when it took too long and hurt!  Now he just plays Pickle Ball and directs a small church choir (for 37 years).   These days, Mead is learning to fly a Piper Cub J3 airplane, which he owns with a partner. He also recently incorporated a new startup company MCK Audio, Inc. in pursuit of a 25 year quest for helping people hear much better in noise with Companion Mics®.  

Instrument Selection for Individuals with Hearing Loss

50 years ago, children and adults with more than a mild hearing loss were encouraged to learn rhythmic or keyboard instruments only.  With the advent of new apps to aid in understanding the concepts intonation and dynamics required for tone production, and the ability to use hearing assistance technology to participate in musical ensembles , the possibilities have now widened to include band and orchestral instruments.   This event will feature a brief presentation about  apps that musicians with hearing loss have found useful as well as allowing attendees to share their own experiences regarding attitudinal barriers in instrument selection.  This presentation will be most useful to music education students and music therapists.

Presenter bios:

Wendy Cheng is the founder of the Association of Adult Musicians with Hearing Loss. While dealing with a significant hearing loss which started at age 9 and grew progressively worse by the time she entered college, she also developed a life-long passion for making music. She started piano at age 7, fell into love with orchestral string instruments in high school and began taking violin lessons in college. A new cochlear implant caused her to switch to viola at age 36. Eight years ago she fell in love with the sound of handbells and purchased her own 3-octave set of handbells. She currently directs a small handbell choir for the federal agency where she works.

Clinical audiologist Dr. Brad Ingrao  made his first attempt at playing music at age 5, studying piano and violin with his uncle Angelo, a former professional musician.   Fortunately for Angelo, he was nearly deaf, because Brad was terrible!   He had a better start in 4th grade with clarinet, then bass clarinet.  In middle school he switched to oboe, then all four saxophones.  He continued playing until his mid-twenties then laid off until picking up the alto sax in his late 30s. He recently switched to the Aerophone, a digital wind synthesizer which allows him to use over 100 voices to match the sound to the hearing of his audience.

Obtaining an Undergraduate Degree in Music in the United States: Issues and Barriers for Students with Hearing Loss

Description:  We are very familiar with stories of individuals who lost their hearing after a lifetime of making music. What is less familiar, but needs to be publicized more, is the experiences of individuals born with significant hearing loss who have attempted, and in some cases, succeeded in completing the undergraduate music curriculum. Abigel Szilagyi and Tyler Mazone will share their experiences on being born with a significant hearing loss; what led them to embark on a pathway to become music majors at the undergraduate level and the barriers they faced. Dr. Vitalino, who taught ear training to Tyler at the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York, will share his strategies for assisting Tyler though the ear training sequence of the undergraduate music curriculum.

Panelist bios:

Tyler Mazone is a deaf composer from New York state and a graduate of the Crane School of Music at SUNY-Potsdam. He is currently living in Michigan while working toward his masters degree in composition at Central Michigan University. Tyler writes mainly chamber, solo, and large ensemble music. His music has been played by ensembles such as The ____ Experiement and the US Air Force Band. Tyler’s main goal is to continue the work of accessibility and to reach a wider range of audiences and performers by improving upon the framework of inclusive practices in music.

Dr. Michael Vitalino is the Associate Professor of Music Theory at the Crane School of Music (at the State University of New York-Potsdam). His specializations include nineteenth-century art song, Franz Liszt, Schenkerian analysis, music cognition, and choral conducting. He also engages with disability scholarship and its application to music theory and aural skills pedagogy. He has presented at the Society for Music Theory in addition to several regional and international conferences.

Abigel Szilagyi
performs regularly as a violin soloist and chamber musician in California and throughout the United States. As one of five winners of the prestigious 2016 VSA Young Soloist International Competition, she performed as a soloist at the Millennium Stage of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Abi’s list of awards and scholarships for her artistry is long and full of world-class competition, devoted hard work, and success. She has studied and performed around the globe. From the Luzerne Music Center to the Cambridge International Strings Academy in England, to Paris with Quatuor du Lac through the Lake Avenue Church (LAC). Abi has been a part of LACO and the greater Worship and the Arts ministries at LAC for many years, including many solos with the Chamber Symphony.

Abi studied with Danielle Belen at the University of Michigan School of Music. She is currently in transition to a school in the Southern California area. She plays on a violin made in 1919 by Leon Mougenot in Mirecourt, France.