Glimpse: Tune In, Turn On

A peek at what a profoundly deaf musician can teach us about listening and tuning into our senses. 

illustration by Mariko Jesse/ Photo © A2SATS/OCEAN/CORBIS

When we were planning this issue and wanted to do a story on how to be a better listener, we knew one thing for sure: it had to include music. Finding percussionist Evelyn Glennie, then, was really fortuitous. Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist Katherine Ellison interviewed the profoundly deaf musician for Mindful, and found that Glennie doesn’t just have her own unique way of hearing, she’s on a mission “to teach the world to listen.”

And Ellison’s reporting didn’t stop there. She talked to others who aim to coax us to better tune into the world around us. We all spend a lot of time trying to block out sound—that’s natural, there’s a lot of it, and our hearing is one sense that remains active even while we’re sleeping. But when it comes to listening better—more intently, in a more focused way—Glennie says it best: it’s one great way to become more conscious and purposeful in our lives.

—Tracy Picha, Editor