Help Musicians UK (HMUK) has responded to unprecedented demand for its Musicians’ Hearing Health Scheme by launching more audiology clinic locations and opening up its eligibility criteria to include music journalists, producers, technicians and more.
The scheme gives musicians access to a specialist hearing assessment and bespoke hearing protection worth over £200 for the subsidised amount of £40.
Since launching in 2016, nearly 3,000 musicians have benefited from the scheme, with the charity forecasting around 21,000 more musicians to take part by 2021.
The scheme – delivered by audiologist partners Musicians’ Hearing Services and the Musicians’ Union – was launched following a 2015 HMUK survey that revealed that musicians are four times more likely to suffer hearing damage than the general population.
Joe Hastings, Health and Welfare Manager at HMUK said: ‘Hearing is critical for musicians, and the impact of losing it can be a profound and sensitive issue.
‘In the less than two years since the scheme began, we have seen incredible demand. It’s really exceeded our expectations. We’re thrilled to be expanding the scheme during Tinnitus Awareness Week and making it accessible to more people who work in the industry.’
Diane Widdison, National Organiser of Education and Training at the Musicians’ Union said: ‘We have been involved in helping our members protect their hearing for over 10 years and are therefore delighted to be partners on this scheme, which allows musicians to access the affordable ear protection which is needed and from specialist providers who understand the specific issues musicians face.
‘We would encourage musicians working across all genres of music and across the whole music industry to engage with the scheme to benefit from protecting their hearing before damage has occurred.’
In related news, three ravers behind the Watch the Hype music blog have teamed up with venues around the country to launch #AllEars, a campaign to tackle tinnitus.
Find out more about the Musicians’ Hearing Health Scheme and how to apply at hearformusicians.org.uk.
See also: Tinnitus Action Group #AllEars Launches