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Music educators, ensemble conductors, and students who participate in musical ensembles are exposed to sound pressure levels which exceed the criteria for NIOSH. As such, this population should be enrolled in hearing loss prevention programs. Ensemble directors (many music educators fall into this category) have a direct role in influencing the sound pressure levels produced in rehearsals. Music educators have a role in influencing the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors of their students. Because of the health risks of noise exposure, and the role music educators (and ensemble directors in general) have in influencing their students, hearing loss prevention should be taught in college music education programs.
I suggest that this instruction should include hearing loss prevention materials from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM); information on current hearing loss prevention programs for school-age students; information on sound pressure levels in ensemble classes and the hearing and health risks associated with it; and information on ways to reduce sound exposure, including the use of personal hearing protection devices. Future research should further study sound pressure levels in rehearsals and classrooms; how the design of classrooms impacts sound pressure levels; the role of music educators in developing the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors of their students; the effect of hearing loss prevention programs on the long-term behaviors of students; and the levels of use of personal hearing protection devices by music educators and students.
Taurins, Jason, "A Call for Hearing Loss Prevention Programs in College Music Education Programs" (2015). Honors Theses. 2580.
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