On December 20, the NYC chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America will present a program on musicians with hearing loss. Dr. Kate Gfeller of the U. of Iowa will be joined by a panel of performing musicians with cochlear implants who will share their experiences playing their instruments with CIs. In addition, they will discuss the issues they confronted in their pursuit of appropriate audiological services. We hope that one or more of them will perform.
Bettina Turner, singer, pianist, piano teacher.
Gaelen McCormick, bass player, Eastman School of Music faculty member.
Dan Burkee, singer, advocate for Music-centric CI and HA services HEAR Wisconsin.
Alek Mansouri, free-lance trombonist in Boston.
Kate Gfeller Dan Burkee Gaelen McCormick Alek Mansouri Bettina Turner
(Photo credit Michael Hanlon)
Kate Gfeller, Ph.D., has appointments in the School of Music, Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders, and the Dept. of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery at U. of Iowa. She has served as Director of the Music Therapy Program in the School of Music, and Dean for Faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. For over thirty years, Gfeller has directed research on music perception as part of the Iowa Cochlear Implant Clinical Research Center. Gfeller has conducted basic and translational research, and provided music therapy services for children and adults with hearing losses. Her scholarship on perception and enjoyment of music by CI users has emphasized real-world complex sounds, as well as music-based training for auditory skill development. Her recent studies focus on factors that CI recipients identify as impeding or enhancing participation in real-life music situations.
Dan Burkee is semi-retired from a career in advertising and public relations, with experience in nonprofit management. He has played piano since age 5, oboe since age age 11 and sung in choirs since age 14. Dan lost most of his hearing to Meniere’s disease in 2011 and 2012 and is bimodal, with a CI in his right ear and a hearing aid in his left. Since his hearing loss, he has not performed musically in public. Dan has begun an effort to establish an audiology program in the Milwaukee area to provide music-specific optimization of CIs and HAs. The program will develop a common language for musicians and audiologists, and, using recorded music and musical instruments, make music-specific adjustments to devices. Audiologists will either be musicians or trained in music.
Gaelen McCormick is a bassist who played with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra from 1995-2017. Since losing her hearing in 2017, a new career path has emerged as a composer, arranger, and arts administrator, developing the Eastman Performing Arts Medicine program. Teaching students of all ages remains a significant part of Gaelen’s life. She teaches at Eastman Community Music School, and in the collegiate Arts Leadership Program. Her bass technique books are published through Carl Fischer. Gaelen holds degrees in performance from the Eastman School and Carnegie Mellon.
Bass trombone specialist and Southern Californian Alek Mansouri completed his Master’s degree in Trombone Performance at Boston University in 2020. As a user of cochlear implants, Alek feels grateful and inspired to be involved in the music community. His interests in different sounds and people’s abilities influence projects that include musicians from all walks of life.
Bettina Turner is a musician, teacher, artist and writer. She grew up in Germany and came to the U.S. almost forty years ago. With degrees in music education, music therapy and Expressive Arts Therapy she has worked in psychiatric institutions, hospice, and as a piano and music teacher. She started losing her hearing in her forties and received a CI in 2018 after several years of wearing hearing aids. She continues to wear a hearing aid in the other ear. Although her implant has been a success when it comes to understanding speech, the results with respect to music are mixed. Bettina is a classically trained singer, pianist and baroque recorder player, dabbles in ukulele and has played violin in the past. She continues to take piano lessons, sing, and teach a few piano and recorder students, including a deaf piano student with two implants.
If you would like to join us for this captioned program, register here. After registering, you will receive an email with the Zoom link.
Can’t Hear? We are here for you!
The New York City Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America is a vibrant, diverse community dedicated to helping people with hearing loss lead more satisfying and productive lives. At the chapter’s monthly meetings, speakers address topics such as hearing aids and hearing-aid alternatives, assistive technology, interpersonal strategies, and advocacy initiatives. Those of you who are interested can find information about our organization on our chapter website by clicking here.
This looks interesting and inspiring, thank you!