Hearing Aids

Creating Custom Hearing Aids for A Professional Violinist

At Chicago Hearing Services, we have a personalized approach to hearing care and strive to be our patients’ biggest ally on their journey towards better hearing health. This means that we always do our utmost to help them to find the best possible solution for their unique hearing needs. But what happens when a professional violinist walks through our door, whose ears are a central focus to their career?

Prelude: The Problem

Our patient is a young classically trained violinist, who has performed with philharmonic orchestras and symphonic ensembles, so good hearing is quintessential to her career.

She came to us with 6 or 7-year-old hearing aids. We were determined to do our utmost to help her find the perfect technology for her unique needs, so she can focus only on performing without having to worry about her hearing aids.

She was a little nervous and wanted to ensure that her new hearing aids would sound clean and up to her musical requirements while she was performing. We carefully selected an appropriate brand and style that suits both her hearing loss and her musical lifestyle.

The Duet: Fine-tuning Together

When helping our patients get new hearing aids, we always take into account what’s most important for the individual. In this case, it was playing the violin. We needed to make sure the violinist wasn’t experiencing any unnecessary reverberation, entertainment, feedback, or any other distracting noises that can occur while wearing hearing aids, because these obstacles can hinder her experience of listening to music and more importantly, performing at a professional level.

This is what personalized hearing care is all about; identifying what matters most to each of our patients and helping them hear it crystal clear. We needed to make sure that her hearing aids sounded just perfect while playing music.. Therefore, she brought her violin into our office, and we made adjustments to her hearing aids right there in real-time..

Growing up, both audiologists played classical musical instruments, so we understand the language that musicians use when describing something they don’t like.

Paired with our in-depth audiological knowledge of how hearing aids work, we were able to make adjustments to the hearing aid software, as well as physical acoustic modifications to the hearing aids to achieve the clearest natural sound possible for our customer. We chose Widex Moment hearing aids based on their performance when playing or listening to music. This is why seeing an independent provider office is vital to the patient experience and outcome. We have a lot of tools in our toolbox to utilize. We do this for everyone; we perfectly understand your most important needs and do our best to find you the most suitable hearing aids and brand.


A few months later, our patient, the violinist said all was going smoothly. . She had no complaints or desire to make further adjustments, her hearing aids were working perfectly. She could keep performing while hearing the music clearly. She stated this is the first pair of hearing aids that were a part of her and not a hindrance to her performance.

The Touch of a Master’s Hand

There’s a Myra Brook Welch poem, The Touch of the Master’s Hand that tells the story of an old and battered violin about to be sold as the last item at an auction for a pittance. Until suddenly, a violinist steps out of the audience and plays it ever so purely and sweetly, demonstrating its grace and true value. In the end, the violin sells for $3,000 instead of a mere $3.

This is exactly what an experienced audiologist can do as well: take any amplifier or hearing aid and fine-tune it until it satisfies a specific individual’s needs. This doesn’t mean, however, that the equipment doesn’t matter and just about any hearing aid will do. If we take violins as an example, just like an experienced musician can make better music on a professional instrument than a student can on a beginner’s violin, the same is true for hearing aids. But the true value lies in expertise: finding an audiologist that can accompany you on your journey towards better hearing health and make sure you get exactly what you need is the key.

Audiologists are the experts for hearing and hearing loss care. From the diagnosis, to coming up with a treatment plan and evaluating the treatment to ensure the person with hearing loss has improved hearing capability, audiologists are involved in the entire process of treating hearing loss. Hearing aids, as well as the support of an audiologist, are available at multiple price points and most audiologists can help with advice on financial matters and payment plans, too.
If you’re experiencing hearing loss symptoms, need a second opinion on your current hearing aids, or would like to get new ones, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and schedule an appointment today!

Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D.

Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D. is the owner of Chicago Hearing Services and a Doctor of Audiology dedicated to empowering her patients and the public with greater knowledge and education around hearing health.

About Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D.

Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D. is the owner of Chicago Hearing Services and a Doctor of Audiology dedicated to empowering her patients and the public with greater knowledge and education around hearing health.