Health and Safety

Certain kinds of repetitive motions, poor posture and incorrect movements are not just uncomfortable, they can cause injuries that are very difficult to heal!

Listening to loud music with ear buds can also be very dangerous.  In recent decades, hearing loss among teens has increased dramatically – about 30 percent About 1 in 5 teenagers has already suffered hearing loss.  Too much loud noise damages tiny hairs in the inner ear, and once they are damaged, they don’t grow back.  That means hearing loss is often permanent!  The closer you are to the source of a loud sound, the greater the risk of damage, and sounds become increasingly dangerous above 85 decibels (dB).  Here are some comparisons of sound levels and limits for exposure:

  • 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 take-off) – without ear protection, sound damage is almost immediate

The following  information is provided to help you enjoy music safely and comfortably, whether you are practicing, performing or just listening.

Protecting Hearing Health

NASM-PAMA Student Information Sheet on Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (pdf)
Music Induced Hearing Loss and Hearing Protection, by John F. King, Au.D.
OSHA: Noise/Hearing Conservation
Hearing Loss Decibel Levels
Noises and Hearing Loss

Avoiding Musculoskeletal Injuries

The Role of Rest, by Ralph A. Manchester (pdf)
A Painful Melody: Repetitive Strain Injury Among Musicians, by Tamara Mitchell (pdf)
Repetitive Stress and Strain Injuries: Preventive Exercises for the Musician, by Gail A. Shafer-Crane (pdf)

Preventing Performance Anxiety and Stress

Performance Anxiety
Conquering performance anxiety from inside out, by Helen Spielman (pdf)
A Soprano on Her Head: Right-Side-Up Reflections on Life and Other Performances, by Eloise Ristad

Valuable Information About Acoustics

OSHA Noise Standards

Decibel Chart

Noises Off (Excellent Article on Acoustical Safety)

Performing Arts Medicine Association Website

Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA)