Musicians rock. Their songs bring us so much happiness. But music is so much more powerful when it’s loud, and that can be a hearing hazard. The musicians themselves are at an even greater risk of hearing damage since they are exposed to loud music just about every day.
Whether your livelihood depends on music or not, you’ll still want to be able to hear your favorite songs when you’re pushing 60, 70, or 80. The key to having an extended successful career, for musicians, is protecting their hearing. For the rest of us, hearing protection is the secret to a lifetime of musical fulfillment and enrichment.
Music is surprisingly loud
Most people would say that a jet engine is really loud.
But what about music? If you ask someone whether an acoustic guitar or a lone violin is noisy, they may not reply right away. Imagine their surprise when they discover the reality: That can also be loud music! Your ears can even be harmed by classical music which can get to relatively loud volumes.
Sounds higher than 90 dB can be created by a violin, for instance. A leaf blower is about this noisy. To put that into context, the European Union laws stipulate that any workplace noisier than 85 dB calls for the use of hearing protection.
And your hearing can be seriously compromised over time if you’re working with music every day, especially if you don’t wear ear protection.
Can you safeguard your ears from noise damage?
Okay, now you know that musicians need to safeguard their hearing (particularly if they want to continue rocking out for years to come). So how can musicians continue to enjoy their music while also protecting their hearing?
Well, here are a couple of easy things musicians can do:
- Track your volume: Knowledge is power, right? So being aware of volume levels of noises around you will help you protect your hearing. Monitoring the volume on amps and PA systems is part of it. But you can also monitor day-to-day volume levels of external noises using a volume meter app that you can download on your cellphone. You will need to make a few changes if the meter consistently reads louder than 85 dB.
- Take breaks: Your ears are the same as any other part of your body: they can become exhausted and will often benefit from rest. So take frequent breaks from the noise. In this way, noises won’t overwhelm and harm your ears. Duration is almost as relevant as volume with regard to hearing health. The difference between the perfect amount of stimulation and too much can depend upon taking regular breaks.
Wear ear protection
Using ear protection is the single most effective way to safeguard your hearing. Many musicians are unwilling to wear ear protection because they’re worried it will effect the quality of sound they hear, as well as dampening the volume. But depending on what type of hearing protection you use, that may not always be true.
- Ear plugs made primarily for musicians: Most people are likely acquainted with disposable ear plugs. They’re fairly good at stopping a lot of sound though they sometimes don’t fit very well. They’re cheap, easy to come by, and easy to throw away. And they aren’t ideal for musicians. But earplugs just for musicians are also available at a slightly higher cost. A specialized material and state-of-the-art engineering are utilized to help these earplugs fit snuggly in the ear and minimize external noise by around 20% while maintaining the audio clarity. For musicians who need a moderate level of protection on a budget, this solution is perfect.
- Electronic earplugs: Electronic earplugs work in pretty much the same way as high-quality, non-electronic earplugs. The earplug itself will block out the majority of the sound. But the earplug itself will pipe in the sound you hear. For individuals who work in really noisy environments and need better control of the volume, these earplugs are perfect.
- In-ear monitors: Electronics are a major part of modern music. A device, called an in-ear-monitor, is put in your ear and sends signals in electronically. Most monitors are little speakers that fit tightly and block out the majority of sound while playing sounds you want to hear at safe volumes. This means you can hear exactly how you sound, at a volume you control. For musicians who electronically amplify their instruments these in-ear-monitors are the perfect answer.
Safeguard your career by protecting your ears
It’s never too late to take measures to protect your hearing, but it’s definitely a good plan to begin sooner rather than later. Everybody can safeguard their hearing and future with hearing protection solutions for every budget. Remember that you’re investing in your career by using hearing protection for musicians. It’s one way to ensure you’ll be making amazing music for years (maybe even decades) to come!
Don’t really know where to begin? Call us today, we can help!