Musicians rock. They bring so much pleasure to our lives with their songs. The downside is that music is nearly always loud, in fact, many individuals prefer it that way. Since musicians subject themselves to loud music on a daily basis, their hearing is at an increased risk of being damaged.
Whether your living 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. For musicians, protecting their hearing is the key to a long and successful career. Hearing protection is also key to a lifetime of musical fulfillment for everybody.
Oftentimes it can be surprising how loud music can get
If you ask the majority of people whether a jet engine is loud, they’ll likely say yes.
Is music actually that loud? If you ask somebody whether an acoustic guitar or a lone violin is noisy, they might not answer so quickly. Imagine their surprise when they discover the reality: that music is indeed loud! Even classical music can reach fairly high volumes that can easily harm your hearing.
A violin, for example, can create sounds well over 90 dB. That’s about as noisy as a leaf blower. To put that into context, the European Union laws stipulate that any workplace louder than 85 dB calls for the use of ear 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 protect their hearing (especially if they want to keep on rocking out for many years). So what can musicians do to safeguard their ears and still take pleasure in the music they enjoy 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 frequent breaks from the noise. This will help stop your ears from becoming overpowered with sound (and damage). With regard to hearing, how long you’re exposed is nearly as significant as how loud it is. The difference between the perfect amount of stimulation and too much can depend upon taking frequent breaks.
- Track your volume: Knowledge is power, right? So it follows that you should always know what volume of sound you’re exposing your ears to. Keeping track of the volume on amps and PA systems is one factor. But you can also track day-to-day volume levels of environmental 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 hearing protection
Using hearing protection is the number one most effective way to safeguard your hearing. Many musicians are unwilling to use ear protection because they’re concerned it will effect the quality of sound they hear, as well as muting the volume. That isn’t always the case, depending on which kind of hearing protection you choose.
- Ear plugs made mainly for musicians: Disposable earplugs are something that’s likely very familiar to most individuals. 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 dispose of. And they aren’t best suited for musicians. However, by spending just a little more money, you can purchase high-quality earplugs designed specifically for musicians. These earplugs use cutting-edge manufacturing methods (mostly they’re made out of very distinct materials and are designed to conform nicely to the ear) to maintain audio fidelity while diminishing the noise you experience by something like 20dB. This option is perfect for musicians who need a light to moderate level of protection (and who don’t have a lot of money to invest in earplugs, or are likely to misplace them).
- Electronic earplugs: Electronic earplugs work in essentially 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 send in the sound you hear. This solution is perfect for individuals who work in particularly loud settings, and who are looking for more options when it comes to volume control.
- In-ear monitors: Most music is electronic these days, or at least amplified by electronics. A device, known as an in-ear-monitor, is placed in your ear and sends signals in electronically. It’s like a special little speaker for your ear, and the majority of monitors can block out sound from the outside world (thanks to a fairly tight fit and specialized design). So you control the volume level and are able to 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 better to start protecting your hearing early, before any significant harm occurs. Everybody can safeguard their hearing and future with ear protection solutions at all price points. Remember, ear protection for a musician is an investment in your career. By doing so, you will be able to enjoy creating music for as long as you want to.
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