Ambassador Spotlight: Kyle Gray Young

by admin

In this Ambassador Spotlight, we meet with Kyle Gray Young, a music educator and composer from Minnesota.

SoundPrint: How does SoundPrint help you as a hyperacusis patient?
KGY: As someone with both hearing loss and hyperacusis, I find this to be one of the most beneficial apps. It’s a great tool to use as an ice breaker to discuss hearing issues and noise in general. I can use it to show people why I avoid certain places because of the decibel readings I’ve measured there.
SoundPrint: How would you describe your experience with the App?
KGY: Overall it has been a positive experience. Greg has always been very eager to help with any issues and seems to take every suggestion the SoundPrint community has into consideration with each update and improvement. I think that even without the SoundPrinting aspect, it stands alone as the best free decibel meter in the app store. I’m very happy that we’ve expanded to include more than just restaurants now and even add our own places.
SoundPrint: What motivational words could you share with fellow SoundPrinters to encourage them to go out and take more SoundChecks?
KGY: Hearing health is something that has never received enough attention. I think that with the help of this app, people can become more aware of what damages their ears and how to avoid it. Most people don’t realize how much just a little bit of hearing loss can affect every aspect of their lives. Our hearing can be permanently damaged when we are exposed to sounds over 80 decibels. Common household objects that create that much volume would be like a typical vacuum cleaner or garbage disposal.¬†Next time you’re at a restaurant and you’re struggling to understand a conversation, please take a SoundCheck and post it. Ask the server to please turn down the music. If the music doesn’t get turned down, politely ask to see a manager. Talk to the manager about SoundPrint so he or she is aware that their establishment is being reported to others as being uncomfortably loud. But on the other side of the same coin, make sure you SoundCheck quiet areas too. I feel like this will attract more like-minded, quiet-seeking people to the same places. The only person who can be in charge of your hearing health is you. This app can help all of us be our own advocates for healthy and happier ears. In turn, this will help us all become part of a bigger movement to make a real change in society in regards to unnecessary and unwanted noise.
SoundPrint: Lastly, could you share a personal note about your life as a musician with hyperacusis?
KGY: I’ve been actively trying to find a cure, or at least some relief from this, for about six years. But I’ve had it as long as I can remember, I just always thought it was normal. Being a musician with hyperacusis means that I usually have more explaining to do. For example, if I decline a dinner invitation to a loud restaurant, people might ask me why I won’t go do something like that but I’ll spend several hours a day playing music. My defense for that is this: it’s worth it to play music. It’s not worth it to sit in a noisy restaurant and suffer and not be able to participate in the conversation. Other musicians generally get it, non musicians think I’m crazy. In addition to being a musician, I teach guitar and piano full time. Some days I’ll have 11 or 12 lessons in a row with no break. My explanation for that is the same, it’s worth it. I get the opportunity to do something I love for a living, to share something I love with others. And that’s something to feel grateful for, hyperacusis or not.
SoundPrint: Thank you Kyle, you have shared wonderful insights. We look forward to sharing your thoughts with our community.
KGY: My pleasure.
More about Kyle can be found on his website www.kylegrayyoung.com.

To learn more about SoundPrint Ambassadors and how to become one, please visit our Ambassador webpage.

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Kyle in the studio