Musicians are cool! They bring so much joy to our lives with their performances. The downside is that music is almost always loud, in fact, many people like it better that way. The musicians themselves are at an increased danger of hearing damage since they are subjected to loud music just about every day.
Whether your livelihood relies 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. For musicians, preserving their hearing is the key to a long and successful career. Hearing protection is also key to a lifetime of musical fulfillment for everyone.
Music is surprisingly loud
If you ask most people if a jet engine is loud, they’ll likely say yes.
But what about music? People may not be so fast to answer that question if you ask them if a violin or acoustic guitar is loud. Imagine their surprise when they discover the reality: that music is certainly loud! Even classical music can get to relatively loud volumes that can easily harm your hearing.
Sounds higher than 90 dB can be produced by a violin, for instance. That’s about as loud as a leaf blower. In Europe, for instance, they have laws that require hearing protection for anyone who works in a setting where there is noise louder than 85 dB.
And if you’re working with music day in and day out, constant exposure to that sort of volume, particularly without hearing protection, can severely damage your hearing over time.
How can you safeguard your hearing?
Okay, now you recognize 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 it follows that you should always be aware of what levels of sound you’re exposing your ears to. Monitoring the volume on amps and PA systems is one factor. But you can also purchase a volume meter app for your cellphone to make it convenient to track the real-world volume levels your ears are experiencing from day-to-day. You will need to make a few changes if the meter regularly reads above 85 dB.
- Take breaks: Your ears are like 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 overpower and harm your ears. With regard to hearing, how long you’re exposed is nearly as significant as how loud it is. Taking breaks can be the difference between just the right amount of stimulation and too much!
Wear ear protection
Of course, the single most effective thing you can do to safeguard your hearing is simple: wearing hearing protection of some kind. Many musicians are unwilling to use hearing protection because they’re worried it will impact the quality of sound they hear, in addition to dampening the volume. That isn’t always the case, depending on which kind of ear protection you choose.
- Ear plugs made mainly for musicians: Most people are probably familiar with disposable ear plugs. They’re fairly good at stopping a lot of sound though they sometimes don’t fit comfortably. They’re inexpensive, easy to get, and easy to throw away. And they aren’t ideal for musicians. However, by spending just a little more money, you can purchase high-quality earplugs made specifically for musicians. These earplugs use cutting-edge manufacturing tricks (mostly they’re made out of very specific materials and are designed to conform nicely to the ear) to preserve audio fidelity while diminishing the noise you hear by about 20dB. For musicians who require a moderate level of protection on a budget, this option is perfect.
- Electronic earplugs: Electronic earplugs function in pretty much the same way as high-quality, non-electronic earplugs. Most of the sound will be blocked by the earplug itself. What you hear will instead be routed in by the earplug itself. For individuals who work in very noisy 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. A device, called an in-ear-monitor, is placed in your ear and passes signals in electronically. Most monitors are small speakers that fit tightly and block out most 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. In-ear monitors are beneficial for individuals who work chiefly with electronically amplified instruments.
Protect your career by protecting your ears
It’s better to start protecting your hearing early, before any substantial damage occurs. Everybody can safeguard their hearing and future with ear protection options at all price points. Don’t forget that you’re investing in your career by utilizing hearing protection for musicians. By doing so, you will be able to enjoy making music for as long as you want to.
Don’t really know where to start? Give us a call today, we can help!