I cannot overstate how important it is for musicians (and everyone for that matter) to protect their ears. Organizing a session for the students with an audiologist has been on my heart for over a decade, so I was over-the-moon when Dr. Urbanski (New Sound Hearing Center) said he would be happy to speak with us.
His patience and conversational yet engaging teaching style really put the students at ease. He taught them not just the anatomy of the outer, middle and inner ear, but also how we hear, explored how loud is too loud and gave us some strategies to lower our risk for hearing loss. One of the free resources mentioned was the app, Decibel X (available at the Apple Store and Google Play).
Dr. Urbanski said that sound is measured in decibels and that the ear can handle about 85 decibels for 8 hours. These charts give you a sense of how loud different sounds are and the amount of time you can safely be exposed to them before hearing damage occurs.
Calling the students by name, he fielded nearly 40 questions. You could practically see the students thinking, processing the information and making applications. They were totally engaged in the conversation. Speaking with him after the session, he mentioned how impressed he was with the children and their questions. I smiled and said, “I know! They’re brilliant.”