Musicians are cool! They bring so much happiness to our lives with their performances. The drawback is that music is almost always loud, in fact, many individuals prefer it that way. The musicians themselves are at an increased risk of hearing damage since they are exposed to loud music nearly every day.
As you get older, you’ll still want to be capable of enjoying your favorite songs whether you’re a musician or not. The key to having a long successful career, for musicians, is protecting their ears. Ear 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.
Is music really that loud? 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 reach fairly high volumes.
Sounds higher than 90 dB can be created by a violin, for instance. A leaf blower is about this noisy. To put that into context, the European Union laws dictate that any work environment 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.
Can you safeguard your ears from noise damage?
Okay, musicians who want to keep their hearing for years to come need to protect their hearing. So what can musicians do to protect their ears and still enjoy the music they enjoy so much?
Here are a couple of strategies:
- Track your volume: Knowledge is power, right? So it makes sense 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 buy a volume meter app for your cellphone to make it easy to monitor the real-world volume levels your ears are experiencing day in and day out. You will need to make some changes if the meter consistently detects volumes above 85 dB.
- Take breaks: Your ears are like any other part of your body: they can be overworked and will often benefit from a break. So take frequent breaks from the noise. This will help prevent your ears from getting overwhelmed with sound (and damage). With regard to hearing, how long you’re exposed is nearly as important as how high the volume is. The difference between the ideal amount of stimulation and too much can come down to taking regular breaks.
Wear ear protection
Using hearing protection is the number one most effective way to safeguard your hearing. Lots of musicians are worried that ear protection will mute the sound and impact its overall sound quality. But depending on what kind of hearing protection you use, that might not always be true.
- Ear plugs made mainly for musicians: Most individuals are most likely familiar with disposable ear plugs. They don’t always fit perfectly, but they do reliably block a lot of sound. They’re inexpensive, easy to come by, and easy to throw away. And they aren’t ideal for musicians. But earplugs just for musicians are also available at a slightly higher cost. A special material and modern engineering are used to help these earplugs fit snuggly in the ear and reduce external noise by around 20% while preserving the audio fidelity. 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 out the majority of the sound. But the earplug itself will pipe in the sound you hear. This solution is perfect for people who work in particularly noisy 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. An in-ear monitor takes those electronic signals and sends them directly to a device placed in your ear (called an in-ear monitor). It’s like a specialized little speaker for your ear, and the majority of monitors can block out sound from the outside environment (thanks to a fairly tight fit and special design). This means you can hear exactly how you sound, at a volume you control. In-ear monitors are beneficial for individuals who work primarily with electronically amplified instruments.
Protect your career by protecting your ears
It’s never too late to take steps to safeguard your hearing, but it’s definitely a good idea to start sooner rather than later. With solutions available at nearly every price point, there are simple ways for everyone to safeguard their hearing and their future. Remember that you’re investing in your career by utilizing hearing protection for musicians. It’s one way to make sure you’ll be making incredible music for many years (maybe even decades) to come!
Give us a call so we can help you get started.