Any process that encourages a person to listen more discriminately, particularly to sounds of the environment. The term was originally used by R.M. Schafer in his book Ear Cleaning (Toronto, BMI Canada, 1967) to contrast with the traditional practice of ear training in music education which concentrates on the identification and reproduction of intervals, chords, melodies and so on. A set of ear cleaning exercises is given in the above publication.
(Source - Barry Truax - Handbook for Acoustic Ecology CD-ROM Edition. Cambridge Street Publishing, 1999 - CSR-CDR 9901)