By Kalie Falls

Nestled within the vibrant New Orleans music scene, the New Orleans Musicians Clinic serves to preserve the hearing of local musicians. Their partnership with the New Orleans Speech and Hearing Center helps provide musicians with custom-molded earplugs, ensuring accessibility for all. These earplugs are meticulously designed to meet musicians’ unique auditory needs at affordable costs.

Beyond earplugs, the clinic offers comprehensive hearing assessments and access to cutting-edge hearing aids, all crafted to cater to musicians’ specific requirements. This holistic approach reflects a commitment to the well-being of musicians, offering early detection and management of hearing issues.

Further reading: Music Industry Audiologist: The Human-First Approach

Hearing Care for the Community

The clinic’s impact extends far beyond individual care. Through community engagement initiatives like distributing free earplugs and providing vital health education materials, they foster a collective culture of hearing protection within the city’s music community. Furthermore, the clinic is gearing up to launch a series of workshops focused on knowledge and self-empowerment in hearing health, further equipping musicians to safeguard their auditory senses while passionately pursuing their artistic endeavors.

Some of the services offered are:

  1. Affordable Custom Molded Ear Plugs: In collaboration with the New Orleans Speech and Hearing Center, the clinic offers referrals for custom-molded earplugs. Musicians can obtain these earplugs for a low copay, through a service that ensures musicians can enjoy tailored hearing protection without financial strain.
  2. Comprehensive Hearing Assessments: The New Orleans Musicians Clinic also partners with the New Orleans Speech and Hearing Center to provide comprehensive hearing assessments. Musicians can benefit from regular check-ups, allowing early detection and management of hearing issues.
  3. Hearing Aids and In-Ear Monitors: The organizations also offer access to cutting-edge hearing aids and in-ear monitors specifically designed for musicians. These devices preserve hearing and enhance the auditory experience during performances.
  4. Community Programming—Safe Sounds/SNS: The New Orleans Musicians Clinic actively engages with the community through programs like Safe Sounds/SNS. They distribute free earplugs and provide valuable health education materials to musicians. These initiatives foster a culture of hearing protection within the music community.
  5. Encouraging Decimeter Usage: The clinic also advocates for the responsible use of decimeters among musicians. Musicians are encouraged to use decimeters to monitor their sound exposure, safeguarding their hearing health throughout their careers.

Further reading: Meeting Musicians Where They Are

Upcoming Workshops from the New Orleans Musicians Clinic

In addition to these services, the New Orleans Musicians Clinic provides workshops geared toward knowledge and self-empowerment around hearing health. These workshops are designed to provide musicians with the tools and insights to effectively advocate for their hearing health, further enhancing musicians’ ability to protect their hearing while pursuing their passion.

Further reading: Hearing Aid Frequency Response Characteristics for Music

These services and workshops, offered by the New Orleans Musicians Clinic in collaboration with various partners, form a holistic approach to hearing health care for musicians.

Kalie Falls is the program director of Save Nola Sounds within the New Orleans Musicians Clinic. She is in charge of outreach for the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic & Assistance Foundation in New Orleans.

This article is a supplemental piece to the January 2024 issue of The Hearing Review, which presented material from clinicians who specialize in hearing and music, working with clients in the music industry and performing arts.