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ERIC Number: EJ1102260
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: EISSN-2379-9021
An Analysis of Sound Exposure in a University Music Rehearsal
Farmer, Joe; Thrasher, Michael; Fumo, Nelson
Texas Music Education Research, p11-18 2014
Exposure to high sound levels may lead to a variety of hearing abnormalities, including Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). Pre-professional university music majors may experience frequent exposure to elevated sound levels, and this may have implications on their future career prospects (Jansen, Helleman, Dreschler & de Laat, 2009). Studies suggest that college students (aged 18-25) who participate in instrumental music activities are particularly vulnerable to hearing damage and NIHL (Phillips, Henrich, & Mace, 2010). The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards for sound levels were last revised in October 1974, and remain as the maximum allowable noise levels in the workplace as enforced by law in the United States (U.S. Department of Labor, 2009). The standards are based on a permissible sound exposure of 90 dB for a duration of up to eight hours. Currently, the OSHA decibel exchange rate is set at 5 dB, with exchange rate defined as the amount of decibels at which the permissible sound level is reduced by 50%. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), on the other hand, recommends no more than 85 dB for up to eight hours with a 3 dB exchange rate (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). The purpose of this study was to collect and analyze the sound load exposure of a population of university music students participating in instrumental music ensemble rehearsals. The subject venue is described as Fine Arts Center (FAC) 2007, located within the Cowan Fine Arts Center on the campus of the University of Texas at Tyler. This room serves as a rehearsal venue for a student jazz ensemble, a student jazz combo, and the university Wind Ensemble, all of which were recorded for this study. The Wind Ensemble and jazz combo met three times per week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 12:30 to 1:45 and 3:00 to 4:15, respectively, while the jazz ensemble met twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday from 2:00 to 3:15. All measurements were taken using an ExTech 407764 Datalogging Sound Level Meter. Data was collected every week and saved to an external memory storage device. The datalogger was then cleared and reset to collect subsequent data sets. The results of the study were based on data retrieved from the datalogger over a period of eight weeks, spanning September 19 to November 24, 2012. During this time, a total of 33 recordings were collected, each with an average duration of 1.28 hours (1 hour and 17 minutes). The lowest decibel values recorded fell below the minimum value of the range set for the meter (30dB), whereas the loudest recorded noise levels reached 130 dB, which was the highest value of the range set for the meter. Out of a total of 33 recording sets, none exceeded the mandatory OSHA values for safety regulations, and only one exceeded the recommended NIOSH values. This information suggests that the room in which the recordings took place is safe for the amount of sound being produced according to the legal OSHA workplace values; however, due to the proximity of some recording sets to the maximum allowable dosage level, it would be common in most manufacturing industries to implement a hearing conservation program. [Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Texas Music Educators Association (San Antonio, TX, Feb 2014).]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A