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                                          Hearing Protection Policy

The following is the Calhoun Music Academy Policy regarding Hearing Protection.


All Calhoun Music Academy Members, Instructors, Staff and Volunteers are highly advised to wear hearing protection at all rehearsals and performances.  

The best form of hearing protection for drums are  Noise-isolating headphones


Long-term exposure to loud noise can do a number on your ears. Over 57% of pro drummers and 44% of amateur drummers have ringing in their ears (tinnitus). You’re almost four times more likely to have tinnitus than non-musicians.  As for general hearing loss, one study showed that it affected almost 40% of percussionists compared to 9% of the reference population.


Symptoms of hearing loss may include buzzing or ringing in the ears, feeling like the ear canal is ‘full’ or stuffed up, raising your voice when speaking to someone near you, or hearing sounds as muffled.


Some types of hearing loss can be reversed, so it may not be too late to fix the damage.


Wear hearing protection


Whether you’re playing drums (over 100 decibels, or dB), rehearsing with other musicians (guitar amps can reach 120 dB), or hitting up a concert (rock shows can be 110+ dB), you should be wearing earplugs. Repeated exposure above just 85 dB can cause hearing loss. So if you don’t like how earplugs feel or you’ve convinced yourself it’s too late to protect your ears, think again. There are options!

  1. Foam earplugs: They’re cheap, easy to find, disposable, and can reduce volume by 20-33 dB*. One size fits most, and they’re effective in most situations.

  2. Triple flanged earplugs: A step up from foam earplugs, silicone plugs are reusable, easier to insert, and may have a filter that blocks certain frequencies. They come in a flanged shape and volume reduction ranges from 12-29 dB. Look for ‘high fidelity’ on the label to make sure the sound stays clear even with volume reduction.

  3. Custom-molded earplugs: Drummers might not like wearing foam earplugs when playing with other musicians because they cut out too much sound. Custom earplugs are perfectly fitted to your ear canal, and you can choose the ones that only cut out high frequencies (like cymbals) while still making it easy to hear everything else. These can get expensive, but they’re definitely worth it. You can also use these with in-ear monitoring systems.

  4. Noise-isolating headphones: If you really don’t like plugs, you can get noise-reducing over-ear headphones and still be able to listen to tracks if you need to.

  5. Earmuffs: If you don’t need monitoring or to listen to recorded music or click tracks, pick up some construction-grade earmuffs to physically block the noise.

*To get a more accurate number of how many decibels you’re reducing, take the rating on the product, minus seven and divide by two before subtracting from the decibel level you’re protecting yourself against.

We strongly encourage all Calhoun Music Academy members, instructors, staff and volunteers to get your hearing tested if you’re worried about it. It may not be too late. Look up your local audiologist and save your ears!

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