On March 31, I'll be a speaker at the third annual TEDx conference in Nashville. The title of my talk on the TEDx website is "Hearing The Difference: A Life's Journey in LIstening." So now that's up there, naturally I feel the need to change it a little, at least the subtitle. I think I'll introduce it as "Accidental Lessons In Listening." As I've written, the key theme that jumped out at me was that my most profound lessons in hearing the world more completely and listening more actively have come not from muisc teachers but from happenstance encounters with people who taught me unexpected insights into the audio universe. I believe American culture and our education system doesn't do a good job helping us cultivate our most sensitive sense, our hearing. We're constantly being led to more expansive and extraordinary visual experiences (HD! 3D!), and when our vision starts to go, we get glasses or corrective surgery. But we abuse our hearing from youth and assume it's obvious how to use our ears. The moments of surprise in my life where I've been invited to notice something audible that was there all along have been among my most cherished however. Sound and music are central to how I appreciate the world. I'd rather be blind then deaf without a doubt. Moreover, cultivating our ears is directly related to cultivating our ability to listen and empathize, and the world needs a whole lot more of that these days. I've long wanted to organize and share the stories and ideas that will be in this 15 minute talk, and it's an exciting honor to get a chance to put it together. The event is, I think, technically sold out, but apparently a new block of tickets went up for sale this week. I hope to see (and hear) you there in any event.