When I coached adult amateur chamber musicians at Mannes it was particularly painful to note the behavior of people who were losing their hearing, as happened to several individuals over the course of 35 years.  The first sign of it is a noticeable withdrawal into personal space, not open to sounds around them, unaware of sounds from another person or instrument.
Sometimes I wonder whether the racket of modern life, especially among the young, is causing a withdrawal from open-minded listening.  
I have seen it up-close:  young musicians, highly gifted professionals, who play the club circuit lose their ability to fine-tune their ears.  Gift?  Out the window.
I have seen too many young musicians, highly gifted professionals, not on that circuit, but hooked on electronified sound, unable to attune to live music in intimate settings.  Gift?  To what end?


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