Music: Special Convocation with Richard Reed on the Subject of Hearing

Each week at the URI Department of Music Convocation, faculty coordinators Susan Thomas & Joseph Parillo present concerts and discussions featuring faculty, students and special guests.

This week, we meet Richard Reed who brings a  very special presentation on hearing - a subject vital to all of us, not just musicians.

Before losing his hearing to antibiotics, the musician and cochlear implant- user Reed played Hammond organ and piano with Junior Walker & the All Stars, Otis Rush, Hubert Sumlin, Roomful of Blues, Mark Cutler, and many other R&B, Blues and Rock & Roll bands. Unable to appreciate music for nearly ten years, he had CI surgery in 2002.

Certified by The Hearing Loss Association of America and Gallaudet University as a hearing loss specialist, Reed is a guest lecturer at universities, symposiums and research facilities across the globe. His experiential knowledge helps researchers improve the fidelity of hearing loss technologies. Once again playing professionally, Reed is a 2015 inductee to the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame. 

During live presentation, Reed uses a digital keyboard to demonstrate how things sounded on CI activation day; and how those odd auditory sensations changed over time- through trial and error, device upgrades, new mapping strategies- with practice and patience. Notes and scales evolve into simple melodies, harder-to-discern harmonies, and whole songs, interspersed with his light-hearted take on the heavy challenges and rich rewards of “CI music”.

Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 12:30pm to 1:50pm

Fine Arts Center, Concert Hall
105 Upper College Rd, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881, USA

Event Type

Concert/Performance/Entertainment, Special Event


College of Arts and Sciences, Harrington School of Communication and Media, Speech and Hearing Center


special event




Music Department


Contact Person

Amy Botello

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