Educate Students about Hearing Loss as Part of Ensemble-Based Instruction
Using scientifically derived protocols developed by the National Institutes of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and endorsed by the American Academy of Audiology (AAA), National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA), and National Institute of Deafness and Communicative Diseases (NIDCD), experts agree that music students are at risk for hearing loss and that they should be routinely informed and educated as part of ensemble-based instruction.
Research suggests that 30 to 50% of musicians report problems with hearing loss. For the musician, hearing loss can lead to very serious personal and professional consequences, including potential career-ending outcomes because of the potential perception problems and permanent tinnitus.
Daily sound exposures for most music students are composed of two or more periods of ensemble participation, together with other sound-producing activities, such as personal practice time, studio lessons, section rehearsals, academic and professional performances, and other academic and leisure listening activities. The combined effects of such exposures must be considered in establishing and minimizing risk, rather than focusing on the effects of individual events.