App helps students be better listeners

Access to app allows Sound Production students to train their hearing

An integral part of the training that takes place in the Sound Production program is learning how to listen. The classroom is fitted with equipment and computer programs that enable students to listen and learn different frequencies. When COVID-19 disrupted in person learning, and students went to remote instruction, they had no access to their classroom equipment, therefore they could not practice their listening skills.

Teacher Sean Harty was determined to find a way for his students to get their listening training done no matter where they were.

Having worked with Pro Audio Files before, an online company that shares blogs, articles and more with sound production professionals and musicians, Mr. Harty reached out to them to see if they could help. Happy to do so, Pro Audio Files covered the cost for each student to download the ear training app Quiztones.

The app has different quizzes the students can take that ask them to identify the specific frequency they are hearing. Each day students take a quiz and send the results to Mr. Harty, as it is part of a student’s grade.

“We can have the best equipment in the world, be in the best studio in the world, it doesn’t really matter if you can’t use the equipment,” Mr. Harty said. “Now all students have Quiztones and can use it at home.”

Being able to identify frequencies is integral to the work a sound production engineer does. As Mr. Harty explained, every instrument has a frequency, engineers need to determine if the frequency sounds correct, and if not, make adjustments.

“It is basically for them to become better engineers,” Mr. Harty said of his students. “You have to learn what sounds right. It does help them to listen better. I always say your best weapon is your hearing.”

Students are welcome to take the required quiz more than once until they are satisfied with their score. In many ways, the app has motivated students to challenge themselves to see if they can get a 100 the first time, they take a quiz.

“You are training both your ear and your brain,” while listening, Mr. Harty said. “You are training to get into a conscience thought, ‘I know exactly what is happening and how to make it better.’”