Hear The Music

Sep. 27, 2011

Should we shoot horses? Hearing protection modifications for musicians

Marshall Chasin
  Instrument Auditory danger Hearing Protection Reed woodwinds Brass section to rear ER-15 Flutes Flutes ER-15 Violin/viola Violin/viola ER-15 Cello/bass Brass section to rear ER-15 Brass Other brass/horns ER-15 vented Percussion Percussion/ high hats ER-25 Amplified instruments Speaker/monitors/drums ER-15 I made up this chart about 20 years ago and it has been copied (and sometimes modified) over the years.  
Sep. 20, 2011

So, you want to design your own home studio?

Marshall Chasin
Almost every audiophile I have ever met wanted to design their own studio for either listening to, or recording music.  Assuming that you have the appropriate equipment such as correct microphone(s) and audio to digital interface, you are “almost” ready to go.  An audio to digital interface takes many forms but is essentially an external component that replaces the function
Sep. 13, 2011

Use it or lose it… what musicians can teach us.

Marshall Chasin
“Older musicians experience less age-related decline in hearing abilities than non-musicians” is the reported finding of a newly published study that will come out in the next issue of Psychology and Aging.  This study was part of Ben Zendel’s PhD study the University of Toronto, just down the street from my clinic. Ben wanted to find out whether musicians and
Sep. 06, 2011

Which is the best music instrument for my hard of hearing child?

Marshall Chasin
From time to time, I receive telephone calls and emails from the parents of hard of hearing children asking about which musical instrument their children should play.  Actually I receive this type of communication almost weekly! This is really two questions in one- (1) which is the best instrument that would allow them to play, monitor, and gain some proficiency
Aug. 29, 2011

I would rather not mention specific hearing aids for music… here’s why.

Marshall Chasin
I received this recent reply to my “The -6 dB rule” blog entry and thought that I would reply in some semi-specific terms… Comment: I’m a musician (flutist), about to purchase a new set of hearing aids.  I’ve read several articles by Dr. Chasin and others that tell me that hearing aids are made for speech, not music, and that
Aug. 23, 2011

He removes his hearing aid for music

Marshall Chasin
This is from an August 14, 2011 article written by Mike Kepka of the San Francisco Chronicle in his column “The City Exposed”…. Dr. Ephraim Engleman takes out the hearing aid in his left ear. He slides his bow down the thickest string of his beloved violin. A faint smile moves over his face as his eyes dance over the
Aug. 16, 2011

The “-6 dB Rule” for music

Marshall Chasin
When fitting hearing aids with music in mind, one has to have music in mind. Of the many differences between speech as an input to a hearing aid, and music as an input to a hearing aid, is the crest factor.  Assuming that you have selected the hearing aid appropriately in order to ensure that overly intense music does not
Aug. 09, 2011

Some apps for sound level meters and reverberation times…

Marshall Chasin
Dr. Joe Smaldino put me on to some apps that can be downloaded onto your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.  For those of you who don’t know Joe, think “room acoustics”.  He, along with Drs. Carol Flexer and Carl Crandell wrote the seminal book on room acoustics for hard of hearing children. Normally I would simply reach up and pull
Aug. 02, 2011

Evidence based research and what actually works

Marshall Chasin
Recently the Performing Arts Medicine Association (www.artsmed.org) and the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) have collaborated on hearing health for the performing artists.  These documents have just been placed on the NASM web site for administrators, faculty and students.  This is an important step in the communication of evidence-based health care topics relevant to musicians from students to
Jul. 19, 2011

Are we wasting our time?

Marshall Chasin
If you look through the literature, there are literally tons (or in Canada, tonnes) of articles about the noise levels measured in an orchestra.  I am certainly guilty of this and have been doing this since the mid-1980s.  But, am I wasting my time? Does it really matter whether the sound level in a large string section is 104 dBA