by Dr. Levi A. Reiter
Professor Levi Reiter's Hip Serenade is Generating Raves Nationwide For Motivating Students and Building Interest in the Study of Audiology
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY : Dr. Levi Reiter, head of Hofstra University's audiology program and professor of speech-language-hearing sciences, was simply trying promote the audiology profession when he composed a rap song for freshman orientation and for his first day of classes in 2005.
However, this rapping grandfather of 17 was unprepared for the 'props' he received soon thereafter from students, colleagues and even the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). In fact ASHA, the national association for speech pathologists and audiologists, is using Dr. Reiter's rap, titled 'Say Whut?' in an ambitious program designed to recruit undergraduates across the country for careers in audiology.
'It's a great icebreaker,' said Dr. Reiter, a Chassidic Jew who also has a thriving audiology practice in Brooklyn. After initial positive feedback, Dr. Reiter recorded 'Say Whut?' in a professional studio with full instrumental backup. However, Dr. Reiter is not thinking about Grammys or Billboard rankings. Getting students to consider a profession in the hearing sciences is reward enough for him.
Some lyrics include:
It has been estimated by The National Institute on Aging estimates that the need for audiologists serving senior citizens will increase by 50 percent by the year 2020. The Americans with Disabilities Act mandates that workplaces and other services be made accessible to persons with hearing impairments, an obligation which audiologists are optimally equipped to meet. Demand for pediatric audiologists is also growing with the introduction of mandatory screening of newborns, the increased survival rate of premature infants who are at high risk for hearing loss, and the passage of legislation mandating early identification of hearing for infants and toddlers.