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Music Ed

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Music and music education begins and ends with hearing.  Learn here how practicing and performing can affect your ability to hear now and later on in life.  Music educators and musicians are at a greater risk for hearing loss because they are exposed to loud sounds for longer periods of time.  The Earlove Music Education initiatives gives you all the information you need, right here on this page, to start a hearing conservation program in your class or for your career.  Go over this website, click the links, share with other musicians, parents, music educators, administrators, anyone that you know that can help influence and educate. We proudly sponsor young musicians or groups that take the step to protect their hearing with Earlove®️ by offering the best price possible, $7.00 per pair if 10 or more are ordered.  Order quickly and securely on-line using the form below to acquire a discount code for the shopping cart or contact us at chaka@earlove.net or 312-493-1608.

Earlove®️ Founder, Carolynn Travis has established herself as a leader in hearing protection education and marketing. She served as Etymotic’s Global Brand Advocate and Social Media Specialist for four years, while reaching over 60,000 music students and educators as manager of the lauded “Adopt-A-Band” program. In 2008, she was awarded the Natalie Stukas Award for Hearing Conservation by the Illinois Academy of Audiology which acknowledges outstanding achievement in clinical practice, consumer education, research, or product development in the area of hearing conservation. She has given lectures and presentations throughout the United States focusing on hearing conservation in music education.  In October, 2013 she was an invited to present at INNOVATIONS IN NOISE-INDUCED HEARING LOSS AND TINNITUS PREVENTION IN KIDS hosted by 3M and Dangerous Decibels.

Carolynn is married to Bob Rummage,  Director of Percussion at Elmhurst College, and teacher ofjazz drumkit and jazz combos at DePaul University. Bob is one of the busiest musicians in Chicago maintaining a versatile schedule of performances with a variety of Chicago ensembles ranging from Rob Parton’s Jazz Tech Big Band to the Mark Colby Quartet to the eclectic styles of Howard Levy. He has performed with many internationally known musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Nat Adderly, Benny Golson, Buddy DeFranco, Bela Fleck and Mississippi blues man, Mose Allison. In July of 2015, Bob joined Frank Sinatra Jr. and a full orchestra paying tribute to Frank Sr. in a free concert in Park City Utah.  A highly sought-after clinician, Rummage has made appearances at high schools and colleges including the University of Illinois, University of Kentucky, Emporia State, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and the Music for All camp at Illinois State. Rummage educates all of his students about the importance of learning about their hearing and how to take care of it. Together, Travis and Rummage make a formidable force in the crusade for hearing wellness in the schools and music community at large.

During lectures, and by talking directly to thousands of people including middle school, high school, college and professionals musicians revealed that they regularly experience tinnitus and fullness in their ears after long practices and performances, which is an indication of a temporary decrease in hearing. Most music educators experience the same.

Brass players are taught how their embouchure should function.  Percussionists learn how to avoid tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Almost all musicians learn how to avoid overuse injuries. Yet very few music educators and musicians take the time to learn about how hearing functions and what habits can be formed to maintain healthy hearing. Any musician knows that being a good musician is as much about listening as it is playing their instrument.

Do you know how loud your own instrument is?  Do you know how loud your band room is? 

You use your hearing all the time, but how much do you know about how it works? If you are like most people, the answer is probably not that much. The process of listening to sounds from the physical world and processing them with our brains is among the most complex and precise of all of our senses. Unfortunately, it's also a sense that people are not educated about until they experience problems. The more young musicians, or any musician or music lover, learns about how their hearing works,  the more likely they are to take personal responsibility to protect it. We are a visual culture. Seeing is believing. We recommend watching Auditory Transduction, a seven minute video using 3D animation that explains how sound enters the ears and is processed by our brains. It's a fascinating anatomy lesson, put to music. Show it in class or share with other musicians, and they will learn one of the most important lessons in their music education. 

Know how loud your classroom, practice room, and your instruments is. Sound level meters are used to measure sound pressure levels (SPL). SPL meters are affordable and available online at Radio Shack and music stores. There are also Apps available for your Smartphone and, although they are not as accurate as the above mentioned, they can be useful for educators and musicians to empower and make educated decisions about their surroundings. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has a powerful report on this topic here.

Hearing loss is a function of exposure time, the average sound level, and peak level of very loud sounds.  Music from a player's instrument, or nearby instruments, can cause permanent hearing loss depending on the intensity and duration of the sound. Some people are more susceptible to high level sound than others.  And remember, just because it doesn't hurt or seem uncomfortable, doesn't mean that musicians are not at risk.

Once you know how loud your classroom or your own instrument is, learn what your safe exposure time is at that level.  Most music rooms exceed 85dB. The government has guidelines in place for the workplace. Hearing protection is mandatory if adult workers in a factory are exposed to noise above 85dB --yet directors and students are exposed daily to volumes that far exceed safe levels.

According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) damage risk criteria for the average person can be exposed to 85 dB, for 8 hours per week, 5 days per week without undue risk of developing permanent hearing loss.  The NIOSH standard uses a 3 dB time-intensity trade-off (also known as "exchange rate"): for every 3dB of increase in the noise level, the allowed exposure is reduced by half. At 100dB, the safe exposure time is 15 minutes before permanent damage to your hearing can occur. 

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Start a daily conversation asking yourself and your students if auditory fatigue or muffled sound is occurring. Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and temporary hearing loss can occur from a single concert, sporting event, performance or sudden loud noise like a firecracker. In rare cases, sudden, permanent hearing loss can occur. Even if the ears recover after a few hours or days, research shows that damage can appear later and affect your brain's ability to distinguish sounds. Studies at Harvard by Kujawa and Lieberman find that he nerve synapses that relay the sound to the brain swell and die. The hair cell recovers but the signal has nowhere to go. The results are devastating and there is no cure. Your hearing can be helped with hearing aids but it is never restored to its glorious, wide dynamic range.

Adding insult to injury, most musicians lose hearing in the 4K frequency range, or the 4K Notch.  Below is an example of no hearing loss, mild hearing loss and what it's like to hear through Earlove®️ founder's ears.

Find an audiologist if you don’t already have one and go for yearly hearing screenings. Encourage your students and their parents to do the same --especially those going on to college to major in performance or music education. You can find a list of audiologists that are certified Golden Circle Audiologists and specialize in working with musicians. You can also trust this network to make the highest quality Custom Musicians Earplugs that perform as advertised. http://www.sensaphonics.com/sensaphonics-audiologist-network.

Invite a local audiologist to your class to give a presentation to students, parents and administrators.  

Finally, start a hearing conservation program at your school by sharing all of this information with your students and parents and provide hearing protection when at risk. Earlove®️ supports music education by offering an education discount.  Price includes aluminum tube and cord. 

The human ear overloads at high sound levels, making it difficult to impossible to distinguish the blend with other instruments. High-fidelity earplugs not only protect from noise exposure, but they actually help educators and musicians hear and play better. We wouldn’t dream of letting football players on the field without wearing protective equipment. Broken bones and strained ankles heal, but there are no known cures for noise induced hearing loss or tinnitus. Prevention of hearing damage s the only viable treatment at this time.

Please take a minute to fill out this form so we can get you a discount code to order from the site. Thank you! Or speak to someone directly. 312.493.1608

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