Hearing is a primary tool of music professionals, yet musicians are almost four times more likely to suffer noise-induced hearing loss than others. Even more concerning, the early signs of hearing loss can be very subtle, or even confused with other medical conditions. Auditory acuity and sensitivity are especially critical for music students and professionals, and even a small deficit in this area can detract from a musician’s practice and performance.Every new music student can receive a baseline hearing evaluation complete with audiometric testing by a certified healthcare professional. This initial audiogram provides a benchmark comparison for any future evaluations, enabling physicians to accurately assess potential hearing changes or concerns.This painless screening is done in August for incoming first year SOM students. Testing takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. A DePauw Health Wellness Center staff member will conduct a test to assess for hearing loss in either ear.
Health Services for Student Musicians
As a student musician, you have the opportunity to take advantage of a holistic approach to healthcare, which includes preventative screenings, primary care and educational programming about nutrition, physical activity and stress management. In most cases, these services are offered either at the DePauw University Wellness Center or within the School of Music. Here are the offerings available to you.
Hearing Screening & Auditory Health Education
Physical Health & Injury Prevention
Musicians may be at risk of musculoskeletal or repetitive use injuries from time demands of their practice and performance. Our team of healthcare providers works with SOM students to emphasize injury prevention, with special focus on the upper extremities and spine. If you experience an injury, schedule an appointment with Dr. Harsha for evaluation and treatment. If you need rehabilitation, athletic training staff professionals may be able to give a home exercise program. Some individuals need physical therapy services which are available in the Greencastle community. Staff will assist with referral arrangements when needed.
Vocal Screening & Education
A baseline voice evaluation is an important part of the wellness plan for student or professional vocalists. All student vocalists can take advantage of this opportunity, which includes an interview with a trained speech language pathologist (SLP) specializing in identifying and treating vocal pathologies. Lifestyle behaviors and habits are discussed and analyzed, while valuable information to help maximize vocal potential while limiting overuse injury is provided. Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) physicians are available by referral if recommended by DePauw Health providers.