Benj Kanters, MM
Associate Professor and
Director of the Music Recording Program,
Department of Audio Arts & Acoustics,
Columbia College Chicago.
In 2000, while studying for my master’s degree in music technology at Northwestern University, my advisor and colleague, Gary Kendall, suggested that I might enjoy taking a course in hearing physiology with Jon Siegel in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. I had never considered studying this subject, but found this course among the most stimulating of my post-graduate career. Thoroughly entranced by the biological functions of the ear being described in my own language of audio theory and technology, I continued to study in the field and have since developed a course in hearing physiology for the Department of Audio Arts & Acoustics. I suppose I shouldn’t be so shocked to find myself here since, in retrospect, 40 years in audio have led to this point. I have worked in the music and audio industries since 1973, as a partner and house engineer at the concert-club amazingrace and, later, studio engineer at Studiomedia Recording Company. I have been teaching since 1979, and in 1993 became a full-time faculty member of Columbia College Chicago directing the Audio Design & Production Program, which covers all areas of audio recording and post-production for aspiring audio professionals. Many in education speak of “giving back” as a primary motivation for teaching. I feel I am now in a position to give back, not only to my students, but to the music listening public through those who are or will be audio and music professionals. In the description page, you will read about the “Hear Tomorrow” touring workshop to promote hearing awareness and conservation. After all, good hearing is of crucial importance to any practitioner/artist in audio or music, and I believe the success of my course at Columbia College is indicative of the success I have, illustrating this very significant problem to an eager and influential audience. Eventually, I hope that these “first responders” will become role models for the general public, since musicians and audio professionals are often regarded as experts in “all things aural.”
Today, I take as a personal point of pride, the over 12 former Columbia audio students who are now aspiring or practicing audiologists.
I guess the bug that bit me is alive and well!
I hold memberships with the following organizations:
The Audio Engineering Society
Technical Sub-Committee on Hearing and Hearing Loss Prevention
The National Hearing Conservation Association
The Performing Arts Medicine Association
And am a board member of the following foundations:
The Knowles Hearing Center, Northwestern University
The Foundation for Hearing and Speech Rehabilitation