Musicians rock. Their performances bring us so much enjoyment. But music is a lot more powerful when it’s loud, and that can be a hearing hazard. Since musicians expose themselves to loud music on a daily basis, their hearing is at greater risk of being harmed.
Whether your living 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. The key to having a long successful career, for musicians, is protecting their hearing. Hearing protection is also key to a lifetime of musical fulfillment for everyone.
Music is surprisingly loud
Most people would say that a jet engine is really loud.
But what about music? People may not be so quick 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 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. That’s about as loud as a leaf blower. To put that into context, the European Union regulations dictate that any work environment noisier than 85 dB requires the use of ear protection.
And if you’re working with music on a daily basis, continuous exposure to that sort of volume, particularly without hearing protection, can seriously damage your hearing over time.
How can you protect your hearing?
Okay, musicians who want to keep their hearing for years to come need to protect their hearing. So how can musicians keep enjoying their music while also protecting their hearing?
Well, here are a couple of easy things musicians can do:
- Take breaks: Your ears are the same as any other part of your body: they can become exhausted and will often benefit from rest. So take regular breaks from the noise. This will help stop your ears from becoming overwhelmed with sound (and damage). Regarding hearing, how long you’re exposed is nearly as important as how loud it is. The difference between the ideal amount of stimulation and too much can come down to taking regular breaks.
- Track your volume: Knowledge is power, right? So being aware of volume levels of sounds around you will help you protect your hearing. Keeping track of the volume on amps and PA systems is part of it. But you can also keep track of day-to-day volume levels of external noises using a decibel meter app that you can download on your cellphone. You will need to make some changes if the meter consistently detects volumes above 85 dB.
Use ear protection
Needless to say, the single most beneficial thing you can do to safeguard your hearing is easy: using hearing protection of some kind. A lot of musicians are worried that ear protection will mute the sound and effects its overall sound quality. That isn’t always the case, depending on which kind of ear protection you choose.
- Ear plugs made mainly for musicians: Most individuals are probably familiar with disposable ear plugs. They don’t always fit well, but they do reliably stop a lot of sound. They’re inexpensive, easy to get, and easy to throw away. For musicians, they aren’t a great solution. However, by spending just a little more money, you can purchase high-quality earplugs designed chiefly for musicians. A special material and state-of-the-art engineering are utilized to help these earplugs fit snuggly in the ear and reduce external noise by around 20% while maintaining the audio clarity. For musicians who require 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 earplug itself will block the majority of the sound. But the earplug itself will send in the sound you hear. For individuals who work in really loud settings and need better control of the volume, these earplugs are perfect.
- In-ear monitors: Most 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 snugly 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. For musicians who electronically amplify their instruments these in-ear-monitors are the perfect solution.
Protect your ears, and protect your career
It’s never too late to take steps to protect your ears, but it’s definitely a good plan to start sooner rather than later. Everyone can protect their hearing and future with hearing protection solutions for every budget. Keep in mind, hearing 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.
Give us a call so we can help you get started.