Dear Mother Maple: SPEAK UP, WILL YA?!
No letter of advice this time, dearies. Mother’s concerned about something that she’s been seeing on that Maplepost e-mail list this week, and that’s hearing loss.
I know people who can’t hear certain frequencies any more because of a feedback incident on a stage or just from years of working as a musician.
Sure, most of us use acoustic guitars, and mandolins, and other instruments that aren’t “electric” by nature. But there are still speakers and microphones and power amps, and opportunities for us to damage our hearing.
It doesn’t matter what type of music you’re making – it can be loud enough to hurt your ears by being exposed to it for too long. How long? Depends on how loud.
Mother remembers when she went to the Rolling Thunder Revue in Quebec City. Her ears rang for two days, and she was proud of it. But that was a sign of damage, not experience. Another sign of damage might have been the tattoo saying “Bob’s Babe” that I found on my back the next morning, but that’s between me and Bobby.
So musicians – don’t damage the organs that help you to make the music you love intelligible to yourselves and others. Get advice, get assistance, and make sure you’re not hurting those swirly little devices that let us all hear the most beautiful sounds in the world.
Some light reading for you:
- Musicians Clinics Canada
- Musicians’ Hearing Centre at the University of Pittsburgh
- “Listen to your buds” – using audio gizmos wisely for kids
- Canadian Hearing Society
- American Speech-Language Hearing Association
- Music and Hearing Protection: A Call to Action
Do you have a question for Mother Maple? She’d be tickled to help. Just ask, dears!
Mother Maple’s home-made advice is also available on The Twitters.