Recently I was having a conversation with Mary Gallert, a doctor of audiology at Hearing Healthcare Associates, LLC.
in New York state about protecting children’s hearing. Many children are in some form of music instruction in school and Dr. Gallert’s review of available literature revealed that there appears to be no widely accepted protocols for protecting their hearing. When schools ask her for guidance, she does not have any protocols to fall back on. Hmm, seems like a problem brewing and especially for their instructors.
I went to an expert in the field for an answer. Marshall Chasin is the director of Auditory Research at Musicians’ Clinics of Canada. Marshall’s feedback is
I would suggest that the students get a pair of ER-20 (also known as Hi-FI ($12.95) from www.etymotic.com ). In many cases, serious music students get the ER-15 (except drummers who use the ER-25). All music teachers should be wearing the ER-15 and some school boards pay for their teachers to get these.
Thank you Marshall. Dr. Gallert, there you have it. For $12.95 children should be wearing the Etymotic HiFi earplugs while taking or practicing their music. Their instructors should be wearing a custom hearing protector (like a dB Blocker Sweet Tones) fitted with an ER15 Etymotic Research flat attenuation filter. As a side benefit to all of this, your children are learning to protect their precious hearing at an earlier age. And while we’re talking about age, HiFi earplugs are available in a number of sizes to fit any age, even you old time rockers.