Archive for September 2015

Etymotic Insights Image

Here are stories about people, places, or things we care about.

Mountain View High Gets Adopted

Etymotic’s Adopt-a-Band program welcomes Tucson, Arizona’s Mountain View High School to the family. The Pride of Mountain View marching band’s “adoption” began through the efforts Dena Engel, vice president of Mountain View’s Band Parent Association.

“Dena reached out to me about the program,” says Etymotic’s Charlene Clements, Coordinator of the Adopt-a-Band Program. “It’s unusual for a band parent to make the first step. After we spoke, she contacted a number of audiologists in the area to see if they wanted to help the school get ear protection for the band.”

Among them was Dr. Janis Gasch of Arizona Hearing Specialists, the oldest audiology practice in the area. “When I read her letter,” Dr. Gash says, “it really fit into our mission statement of helping patients both hear their best and live their best. A big part of our mission is educating people about hearing loss, and this was a chance to get in on the ground floor with high school kids whom we know are suffering from noise-induced hearing loss at an alarming rate. Being able to educate them—and their parents—was right up our alley.”

Originally, the Band Parent Association had hoped to cobble together enough earplugs for the whole band by working with a number of audiologists, with each making a small donation. Dr. Gasch had other ideas. “I called her and said we’d do the whole thing,” she recalls. “I think she was stunned.”

In addition to donating enough earplugs for 130 band members, Dr. Gasch attended a rehearsal at Mountain View’s summer band camp and gave a presentation on hearing safety and the risks of exposure to high sound levels. “I told them that noise- induced hearing loss is 100% preventable, and noted what a great thing they’re doing,” she says. “Then Mrs. Engel asked me if I would speak to the parents, too.

“Both the students and parents have really responded well. I’m told that the kids were really good about wearing the earplugs during camp—if they forgot, they ran back to their lockers to get them. The band director Alyssa Grace also deserves a lot of credit—she’s really in tune with the need for hearing safety.”

“The band students at Mountain View are so fortunate to have a director who recognizes the importance of hearing protection and has led the charge to teach students good habits early on in their music careers,” Dena Engel says. “We as a band parent association are incredibly grateful to Dr. Gasch and the experts at Arizona Hearing Specialists for ensuring that every single band member has access to quality ear protection. That shows their commitment to the community and their efforts to prevent unnecessary hearing loss.”

In fact, this adoption has been so successful that Dr. Gasch hopes it will become an annual part of band camp and possibly expand to the general student population as well. “We would love to work with them as an ongoing program,” she says. “Getting the kids when they’re young can help prevent noise-induced hearing loss.”

“Some audiologists focus on dealing with hearing loss,” Clements concludes. “But Dr. Gasch’s approach—trying to prevent it in the first place—is going to have a lasting impact on a lot of young people.”

« Back to Archives