Sunday, November 6, 2016


School concerts. They bring out the best in us. An auditorium filled with parents, siblings, grandparents, extended family, and friends was the setting for last night's Prism concert at River Hill. The entire music department was represented. The action moved quickly from piece to piece. There was no time to get restless and wonder what would be next.

The theme of the concert was celebrations. Large and small ensembles from Band, Strings, Guitar, and Choral Singing were represented. A shoutout to the entire music department: Mike Blackman, Katie Geiger, Rosemary Lather, Richard McCready. Your students performed with knowedge and love.

It was a rather special celebration for me because I really felt that I was hearing the music better than I have in some years. A few weeks ago I had tubes put in my ears to address the pressure brought on by my year-round allergies. I know that I feel much better, but I haven't been entirely sure how much it has improved my hearing. Last night was a test.

For the last few years I have felt as though I was hearing school choirs singing inside a shoe box. I would struggle to "pop my ears" and would hear clearly for a minute or two until the pressure reverted. Last night I heard everything. I heard subtlety and nuance of tone in the Women's Choir. I heard the building of sound into a crescendo, sudden pianissimo, even the sound of a soloist's voice rising above the ensemble.

I've been hearing "enough to get by" for awhile now. And I've just been putting up with it. I was afraid that I was losing my hearing due to aging and there wasn't anything I could do about it. My daughter pushed me to do something. She was worried that I wasn't hearing her as much when she initiated conversation with me at home while the heat or the air conditioning were blowing.

She's a teenager, she wants to be heard. And off to the doctor I went.

As parents we often put off taking care of ourselves. Sometimes you just have no choice. I'm glad I got the support to follow up on this. I'm grateful for my ENT Dr. Hamburger and for health insurance to cover much of the cost.

Most of all I'm grateful to be hearing the music. Really hearing. For a musician there's no better way to celebrate.

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