Health and Wellness Resources
Fredonia is committed to the health and wellness of each student. The Counseling Center offers many services that are valuable to the entire student population.
Musicians often experience a unique set of health and wellness issues, and Fredonia offers several approaches to help students deal with issues pertaining to their musical lives. While these approaches vary from studio to studio, examples of health and wellness practices that have been offered within the School of Music include:
- Alexander Technique
- Injury prevention
- Healthy practice techniques
Students are encouraged to talk with their studio teachers and/or advisors about any issues they are dealing with.
Note: Health guidelines and programs for wellness provided by the School of Music do not substitute for professional medical advice. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to seek medical professionals for definitive diagnosis and treatment of issues related to health and wellness.
MUSICIAN HEARING HEALTH
Adapted from: The National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA) Protecting Your Hearing Health - Student Information on Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Hearing health is essential to your lifelong success as a musician. Your hearing can be permanently damaged by loud sounds, including music. Technically, this is called Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). Such danger is constant. Noise-induced hearing loss is generally preventable. You must avoid overexposure to loud sounds, especially for long periods of time. The closer you are to the source of a sound, the greater the risk of damage to your hearing. Sounds over 85dB (your typical vacuum cleaner) in intensity pose the greatest risk to your hearing. Risk of hearing loss is based on a combination of sound loudness and duration.
Earplugs for musicians: Visit the Youngerman Center on campus at 716-673-3203 to schedule a hearing test to possibly receive a set of professional musicians ear plugs (for a nominal fee) or visit earplugstore.com/nasopl.
Recommended maximum daily exposure times (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health - NIOSH) to sounds at or above 85 dB are as follows:
· 85 dB (vacuum cleaner, mp3 player at 1/3 volume) - 8 hours
· 90 dB (blender, hair dryer) - 2 hours
· 94 dB (mp3 player at 1/2 volume) - 1 hour
· 100 dB (mp3 player at full volume, lawnmower) - 15 minutes
· 110 dB (rock concert, power tools) - 2 minutes
· 120 dB (jet planes at takeoff) - without ear protection, damage is almost immediate
Certain behaviors (controlling volume levels in practice and rehearsal, avoiding noisy environments, turning down the volume on your earbuds!) reduce your risk of hearing loss. When performing in either electric or acoustic ensembles, practice at safe volumes. Additionally, the use of earplugs can help to protect your hearing. Consider purchasing high-quality hearing protection such as custom molded earplugs.
Day-to-day decisions can impact your hearing health, both now and in the future. Since sound exposure occurs in and out of school, you also need to learn more and take care of your hearing health on a daily, even hourly basis.
When using headphones in labs or while recording, keep your monitoring levels low. This will protect your hearing and maintain your essential ability to notice detail. If your neighbor can hear the music from your headphones, you are monitoring with too much volume.
If you are concerned about your personal hearing health, talk with a medical professional. If you are concerned about your hearing health in relationship to your program of study, consult the appropriate contact person at your institution.