In August 2015, HEARsmart sponsored a Musicians for Hearing (M4H) charity gig. The event was held at the Gasometer Hotel in Melbourne and attracted a large crowd that came to see performances by local music industry luminaries Fraser A. Gorman, Alta and Lanks and Jim Lawrie.
Donning fluorescent paint, the gig also featured Auslan interpreters (pictured right) from Auslan Stage Left who visually expressed the music and the vibe of the night for audience members with hearing loss.
The gig raised more than $4,000 for All Ears Cambodia. This fantastic charity runs several audiology clinics across Cambodia, providing vital support for thousands of adults and children with hearing loss.
M4H organised the gig to coincide with the 2015 Hearing Awareness Week. Siobhan McGinnity is one of the founders of the group – she is a trained audiologist and a musician and is a passionate advocate for healthy sound levels in live music. She’s so passionate she’s recently started her PhD on this very subject!
After the gig Siobhan said, “We ended up raising over 4k for the charity which will go a long way towards providing hearing care for many a child in Cambodia, that’s fantastic. We have also had some wonderful feedback from the Deaf community about the inclusiveness of the event. It was beautiful to see the music being shared between cultures, and is something I hope we see more of.”
She continued, “audience feedback was really really encouraging – by asking them to consider someone else’s hearing, we inadvertently asked them to consider their own (sneaky!).”
HEARsmart is keen to support M4H in the future to grow awareness around the risk of music induced hearing loss and to encourage better hearing health in musicians and music lovers everywhere. As Siobhan said “Music is a powerful tool, something I hope we can continue to use to shape a positive and inviting culture around hearing care.”