Musicians are awesome! They bring so much happiness to our lives with their performances. But music is so much more powerful when it’s loud, and that can be a hearing risk. Since musicians subject themselves to loud music on a daily basis, their hearing is at an increased risk of being harmed.
As you get older, you’ll still want to be capable of enjoying your favorite songs whether you’re a musician or not. For musicians, protecting their hearing is the key to a long and successful career. Ear protection is also key to a lifetime of musical enjoyment for everyone.
Oftentimes it can be surprising how loud music can be
Most people would say that a jet engine is really loud.
But what about music? If you ask somebody whether an acoustic guitar or a lone violin is noisy, they might not reply so quickly. Imagine their surprise when they discover the reality: that music is indeed loud! Your ears can even be harmed by classical music which can reach relatively loud volumes.
A violin, for instance, can create sounds well over 90 dB. That’s around as loud as a leaf blower. To put that into context, the European Union laws dictate that any workplace louder 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, particularly if you don’t wear hearing protection.
How can you safeguard your hearing?
Okay, musicians who want to preserve their hearing for years to come need to protect their ears. So how can musicians continue to enjoy their music while also preserving their hearing?
Here are a couple of tips:
- Track your volume: Knowledge is power, right? So being aware of volume levels of sounds around you will help you protect your hearing. Monitoring the volume on amps and PA systems is one factor. But you can also keep track of day-to-day volume levels of environmental noises using a volume meter app that you can download on your cellphone. If the meter reads above 85dB regularly, you’ll need to do something about this.
- Take breaks: Your ears are like any other part of your body: they can become exhausted and will often benefit from a break. So take frequent breaks from the noise. This will help prevent your ears from becoming overwhelmed with noise (and damage). Regarding hearing, how long you’re exposed is nearly as significant as how high the volume is. Taking breaks can be the difference between just the right amount of stimulation and too much!
hearing protection is important
Of course, the single most effective thing you can do to safeguard your hearing is simple: using hearing protection of some kind. A lot of musicians are worried that ear protection will muffle the sound and effects its overall sound quality. But depending on what kind of hearing protection you use, that might not always be true.
- Ear plugs made primarily for musicians: Disposable earplugs are something that’s most likely very familiar to most people. They’re pretty good at stopping a lot of sound though they sometimes don’t fit very well. They’re inexpensive, easy to find, and easy to throw away. And they aren’t best suited for musicians. However, by spending just a little more money, you can purchase high-quality earplugs made chiefly for musicians. A special material and modern engineering are used to help these earplugs fit comfortably in the ear and decrease external noise by about 20% while preserving the audio clarity. This option is perfect for musicians who need a light to moderate amount of protection (and who don’t have a ton of money to invest in earplugs, or are likely to lose them).
- Electronic earplugs: Electronic earplugs work in essentially the same way as high-quality, non-electronic earplugs. Most of the sound will be blocked by the earplug itself. But the earplug itself will send in the sound you hear. This option is perfect for those who work in particularly loud settings, and who are looking for more options when it comes to controlling volume.
- In-ear monitors: Most music is electronic these days, or at least amplified by electronics. An in-ear monitor takes those electronic signals and sends them directly to a device placed inside of your ear (called an in-ear monitor). The majority of monitors are little speakers that fit snugly and block out the majority of sound while playing sounds you want to hear at less harmful 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 ideal answer.
Protect your hearing, and protect your career
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. With options available at just about every price point, there are simple ways for everybody to safeguard their hearing and their future. Don’t forget that you’re investing in your career by utilizing hearing protection for musicians. It’s one way to ensure you’ll be making amazing music for many years (maybe even decades) to come!
Don’t really know where to start? Contact us today, we can help!