For many of us, music is a part of living. Although I have been an avid rock disciple over the decades, I have to admit I never picked up or played an instrument. Regardless, music has been and will always be integral to my day. Working at Eargo, we are fortunate to come in contact with people from all walks of life especially those who come into contact with potentially “hearing damaging” environments on a regular basis. One such group of people are musicians.
Musicians and Hearing Loss
So many musicians experience hearing loss and at a very young age. As they put it, “In my world, it is a daily struggle and most of the time embarrassing. Missing questions, giving wrong answers, looking confused and uncomfortable.” It has become such an issue that those in the music industry discuss hearing loss openly (which is not the case with everyone else) but the stigma of hearing devices or any kind of hearing aid makes musicians feel that they are being perceived as “less competent”. In their words, “How can you be good if you have trouble hearing?”
To them, the consequences of their craft are robbing them of the love for their art and, for some, their livelihood. We invented Eargo for people just like them. Those that need help with hearing without having to pay the price of social stigma. Eargo has been working with musicians for some time now in improving their quality of life and that’s why we jumped at the chance over one year ago to participate in MusiCares’ annual charity event and did so again in February.
The MusiCares event raises money for its foundation whose mission is to provide musicians with a place to turn in times of financial, personal, or medical crisis. The foundation’s programs include emergency financial assistance, addiction recovery, outreach and leadership activities, and senior housing. You can learn more about this organization by visiting their website (https://www.grammy.org/musicares). Every year, the event honors a musician with a lifetime achievement award and this year Tom Petty was the honoree.
Eargo Sponsors MusiCares, Again!
Eargo was fortunate enough to be asked to set up shop backstage at the event where we met a variety of musicians and discussed their struggles with hearing loss (you can read about last year’s sponsorship here). We personally met with Elle King, Steve Ferrone, Booker T Jones, Randy Newman, Jackson Browne, Jakob Dylan, Regina Spektor, George Strait, Don Henley, Norah Jones, Dave Grohl, Gary Clarke Jr., Lucinda Williams, Chris Hillman, Herb Pedersen and Taj Mahal. It was a thrill for me personally to meet these living Rock legends, but it was even more thrilling to introduce Eargo to them. Many of these musicians got a chance to sample Eargo and the results were like a Stairway to Heaven. Their faces instantly lit up and we heard a variety of reactions from “Cool” to “I can hear” to “Amazing.” My favorite reaction was from a musician (who shall not be named, but he’s a cool cat) who responded, “You’ve just changed my life.” And then his wife came by 10 minutes later to tell me, “You’ve just saved our marriage.” Mission accomplished. Hmmm, maybe we should change our tagline to “Saving Marriages One Ear at a Time.” Nah.
We had a great time at the event and an even greater time sharing the Eargo love with all who came by. As I mentioned, Eargo was invented for people like them and for us it was a grand opportunity to give back to the music community for all the joy they’ve provided to all of us for decades. Thank you, MusiCares and Rock On!