Listening is a complex sound selection process thought to be located in the auditory cortex. A biophysically motivated Hopf model of the mammalian cochlea reveals that pitch, a main characteristic in the perception of sound, is already materialized at the level of the mammalian hearing sensor. Here, we provide evidence that major elements of listening may similarly be implemented at the auditory periphery by means of efferent connections to the cochlea that tune the hearing sensor towards an auditory object of interest. The cochlea model we use in our investigations is advocated by its performance quality, the simplicity by which efferent control can be implemented, and by the closeness of the control results compared to the biological data. We tune the Hopf parameters to target on a sound, using pitch as the guiding feature. How well we achieve our goal is tested on real-world sounds and measured by a specifically developed tuning-error measure. The results provide a first estimate of how much the peripheral hearing system can assist a listener in focusing on an auditory signal and, thus, what is contributed by the auditory cortex.