Musicians are cool! Their performances bring us so much happiness. The downside is that music is nearly always loud, in fact, many individuals prefer it that way. Since musicians expose themselves to loud music on a daily basis, their hearing is at greater risk of being damaged.
Whether your income depends on music or not, you’ll still want to be able to hear your favorite songs when you’re in your later years of life. The key to having a long successful career, for musicians, is protecting their hearing. For the rest of us, hearing protection is the key to a lifetime of musical fulfillment and enrichment.
Music is surprisingly loud
Most people would say that a jet engine is really loud.
Is music really that loud? People may not be so fast to answer that question if you ask them if a violin or acoustic guitar is loud. Usually, when they hear the answer, they’re pretty surprised: that music is indeed loud! Your ears can even be damaged by classical music which can get to relatively high volumes.
A violin, for instance, can produce sounds well over 90 dB. A leaf blower is around this noisy. To put that into context, the European Union laws dictate that any workplace noisier than 85 dB will require the use of ear protection.
And your hearing can be significantly damaged over time if you’re working with music every day, especially if you don’t wear hearing protection.
How can you protect your hearing?
Okay, now you recognize that musicians need to protect their hearing (particularly if they want to continue rocking out for years to come). So what can musicians do to safeguard their ears and still take pleasure in the music they love so much?
Well, here are a couple of simple things musicians can do:
- Take breaks: Much like any part of your body, your ears can become exhausted and may need a little break. So take regular breaks from the noise. By doing this, noises won’t overpower 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 frequent breaks.
- Track your volume: Everybody knows the old saying “knowledge is power”. So it follows that you should always be aware of what levels of sound you’re subjecting your ears to. Usually, this is as simple as monitoring your volume settings on amps and receivers. But you can also track 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 some changes if the meter regularly reads louder than 85 dB.
Wear ear protection
Using ear protection is the number one most effective way to protect your hearing. Many musicians are reluctant to use ear protection because they’re concerned it will impact the quality of sound they hear, in addition to dampening the volume. That’s not always true, depending on which type of ear protection you use.
- Ear plugs made mainly for musicians: Most people are likely acquainted with disposable ear plugs. They’re fairly good at blocking a lot of sound although they sometimes don’t fit comfortably. They’re cheap, easy to come by, and easy to throw away. And they aren’t best suited for musicians. However, by paying a little more, you can purchase high-quality earplugs made specifically for musicians. A specialized material and modern engineering are utilized to help these earplugs fit snuggly in the ear and minimize external noise by about 20% while maintaining the audio clarity. For musicians who need a moderate amount of protection on a budget, this solution is perfect.
- Electronic earplugs: The same general functionality found in non-electronic earplugs can be found in electronic earplugs. The majority of the sound will be blocked by the earplug itself. What you hear will instead be piped in by the earplug itself. For people who work in very loud environments and need better control of the volume, these earplugs are perfect.
- In-ear monitors: The majority of music is electronic these days, or at least amplified by electronics. An in-ear monitor takes those electronic signals and conveys them directly to a device placed inside of your ear (called an in-ear monitor). The majority of monitors are small speakers that fit tightly and block out most sound while playing sounds you want to hear at less harmful volumes. So you regulate the volume level and can hear sound in an accurate and clear way. For musicians who electronically amplify their instruments these in-ear-monitors are the ideal solution.
Protect your career by protecting your hearing
It’s never too late to take steps to safeguard your hearing, but it’s definitely a good idea to begin sooner rather than later. With options available at just about every price point, there are easy ways for everybody to safeguard their hearing and their future. Remember that you’re investing in your career by using hearing protection for musicians. It’s one way to make sure you’ll be making incredible music for years (maybe even decades) to come!
Contact us so we can help you get started.