Hear The Music

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. 26, 2011

Musicians, our medical colleagues, and the dose…

Marshall Chasin
I just returned from the Performing Arts Medical Association (www.artsmed.org) conference in Snowmass, Colorado, and I was the only audiologist there.   Of the hundred or so people, there were physiotherapists, occupational therapists, orthopedic surgeons, rehab. medicine/physiatry specialists, family doctors, and quite a few musicians and musician educators.  The conference underscored our duty to educate our colleagues in different fields about
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
Jul. 13, 2011

Weber’s Law…. well, almost… well, maybe not…

Marshall Chasin
I received this comment to an earlier blog on Weber’s Law from Dr. Brian Moore in the UK…. ‘Reducing the stereo volume from 60 dB to 55 dB may be quite noticeable, but barely noticeable if one were to reduce the stereo volume from 90 dB to 85 dB.’  … This is a mis-interpretation of Weber’s law. A reduction in
birdsong hearing benefits