Hearing Aids for Music Survey

Hearing aids for music: exploring the music listening behaviour of people with hearing impairments

The team are running a survey exploring the experiences of audiologists in the clinic which can be accessed directly at http://tinyurl.com/audiologyandmusicsurvey or through the project website www.musicandhearingaids.org.

For more information email musicandhearingaids@leeds.ac.uk or follow www.twitter.com/musicndeafness on Twitter.

Project Background

The topic of music and hearing loss, including NIHL due to loud music in clubs and the use of ear phones, has been well publicised recently and was raised during lastyears’ BAA Conference. A further article on clinical strategies for music listening by Dr Marshall Chasin was included in the Spring 2015 issue of BAA Magazine along with a letter from a hearing aid user and article on hearing aid settings.

We are pleased to follow this by announcing a new research collaboration between Dr Alinka Greasley, Lecturer in Music Psychology at the University of Leeds, and Dr Harriet Crook, Lead Clinical Scientist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which will explore how people use hearing aids in a range of musical situations, whether at home or at a classical symphony or rock concert.

Very little is known about how hearing aids can affect ‘everyday’ music listening and initial studies suggest that hearing aid users can experience problems when listening to music, such as acoustic feedback, distortion and reduced tone quality.

The research will be the first to combine hearing test data with social psychological data to create a systematic exploration into how hearing aids affect music listening experiences and behaviours. As well as academic publications and presentations, the team will use the results to provide resources for clinicians, a website and discussion forum. They also hope to create an agenda for future signal processing research for digital hearing aids.

Dr Robert Fulford, a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the University, is also working on the three year project, which has been awarded £247,295 in funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AH/M00368X/1). The team are joined by an advisory panel consisting of experts in auditory processing, signal processing, hearing aid fitting, hearing therapy and deaf education.

We are currently recruiting audiologists to take part in a short survey which explores experiences of discussing music listening issues with patients and optimising hearing aids for music. If you would like to take part, or for further information, go to www.musicandhearingaids.org or email the team at musicandhearingaids@leeds.ac.uk.