Photograph By Mike Jbara, MQA

MusiCares and The Recording Academy’s Producers & Engineers Wing presented the panel “Listen Up: Why Protecting Your Hearing Really Does Matter” as part of the South By Southwest (SXSW) festival on Friday, March 17, 2017. Maureen Droney, former audio engineer and currently The Recording Academy Managing Director, P&E Wing and Recording Technology, moderated the panel.

Pictured, from left, are panelist Dr. Michael Santucci, audiologist and founder/president of Sensaphonics Hearing Preservation Foundation; moderator Maureen Droney; and panelist S. Benjamin Kanters, Associate Chair and Associate Professor, Audio Arts & Acoustics Department, Columbia College Chicago.

Studies have shown that music creators are nearly four times more likely to suffer preventable hearing damage. For artists and engineers alike, healthy hearing is vital to a long and successful career. Attendees learned about how their ears work and what they need to know to protect their hearing for the long haul. Eligible music professionals in attendance had the first opportunity to register to receive free custom hearing protection via MusiCares, exclusively at SXSW.


“For audio professionals, taking a long view of hearing loss and protection can be challenging,” states Droney. “It may be difficult to notice damage as it is happening, and once it’s occurred, it may feel like there is no point in worrying about it anymore. The good news is that there are some easy, common-sense, practical steps that can be taken to preserve your hearing day-to-day.”

MusiCares provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. MusiCares’ services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies, and each case is treated with integrity and confidentiality.

Currently more than 6,500 professionals comprise The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing, which was established for producers, engineers, remixers, manufacturers, technologists, and other related creative and technical professionals in the recording field. This organized voice for the recording community addresses issues that affect the craft of recorded music, including the development and implementation of new technologies, technical guidelines and recommendations, and archiving and preservation initiatives.

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