Musicians rock. They bring so much happiness to our lives with their performances. The drawback is that music is almost always loud, in fact, many individuals like it better that way. Since musicians expose themselves to loud music on a daily basis, their hearing is at an increased risk of being damaged.
Whether your living relies 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, safeguarding their hearing is the key to a lengthy and successful career. Ear protection is also key to a lifetime of musical enjoyment 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 can also be very loud music! Even classical music can reach relatively high volumes that can easily harm your hearing.
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 work environment louder than 85 dB will require the use of ear protection.
And if you’re working with music on a daily basis, consistent exposure to that kind of volume, especially without hearing protection, can seriously harm your hearing over time.
Can you protect your ears from noise damage?
Okay, now you’re aware that musicians need to safeguard their hearing (especially if they want to keep on rocking out for years to come). So how can musicians keep enjoying 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. Keeping track of 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 decibel meter app that you can download on your cellphone. If the meter detects volumes above 85dB regularly, you’ll have to do something about this.
- Take breaks: Much like any part of your body, your ears can become fatigued and might need to get a little rest. So give yourself “hearing breaks” frequently. In this way, noises won’t overwhelm and damage your ears. Regarding hearing, how long you’re exposed is nearly as important as how high the volume is. Taking breaks can be the difference between just the right amount of stimulation and too much!
Use ear protection
Using ear protection is the number one most effective way to protect your hearing. Many musicians are hesitant to wear ear protection because they’re concerned it will effect the quality of sound they hear, in addition to dampening the volume. But depending on what kind of hearing protection you use, that might not always be true.
- Ear plugs made mainly for musicians: Disposable earplugs are something that’s likely very familiar to most people. They’re pretty good at blocking a lot of sound though they sometimes don’t fit comfortably. They aren’t hard to find, don’t cost much, and can be disposed of easily. And they aren’t best suited for musicians. But earplugs just for musicians are also available for a little more money. These earplugs use fancy manufacturing tricks (mostly they’re made out of very distinct materials and are designed to fit comfortably in the ear) to preserve audio fidelity while decreasing the noise you experience by about 20dB. 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 misplace them).
- Electronic earplugs: Electronic earplugs work in pretty much 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 pipe in the sound you hear. For individuals who work in very loud settings and need better control of the volume, these earplugs are perfect.
- In-ear monitors: Electronics are a major part of modern music. A device, known as an in-ear-monitor, is put inside of your ear and passes signals in electronically. The majority of monitors are little speakers that fit tightly and block out most sound while playing sounds you want to hear at safe volumes. So you regulate the volume level and can hear sound accurately and clearly. In-ear monitors are practical for people who work primarily with electronically amplified instruments.
Safeguard your career by protecting your ears
It’s never too late to take steps to safeguard your hearing, but it’s definitely a good plan to start sooner rather than later. With options available at nearly every price point, there are simple ways for everyone to protect their hearing and their future. 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!
Give us a call so we can help you get started.