Hearing and listening are some of the most essential parts of any job in the music industry. If you have hearing difficulties it’s not the end of the day. However, good ears and more important trained ears can make the difference in a job where it’s all about music.
No matter if you are an A&R specialist or a booker. Being able to utilize your hearing skills can be crucial.
Humans already start hearing in the womb before we are even born. Hearing is part of our overall health.
What is more, you can train your ears! Just as any sensorial part of the body, you can practise your ears and increase your hearing.
Here are some tips to help you along the way of improving your hearing.
Improve the overall health of the brain for better hearing results
The ears and hearing are a big part of your overall health. The body isn’t a made off of individual parts.
Everything is connected. So, if you improve your overall health, your hearing will improve too!
Aim for gentle exercises like walking after work. The importance is to increase the blood flow in your body.
Because that will help the blood flow in the ear in return, bringing fresh nutrients to the ear as well as oxygen.
Do yoga exercises designed to increase blood flow to the ear
There are designated yoga exercises for your ears. This may be for you if you are already a yoga enthusiast. The special poses aim to help your muscles relax, for example in the neck area. That can help the blood flow to the ear in return. Also, reducing stress can help with preventing tinnitus to happen.
Meditate for better concentration skills and hearing
Hearing can be all about the right concentration. If you are stressed you are most likely to be hearing less well.
In addition, concentration can help your hearing by being able to focus on different sounds. For example, different instruments in music or the directions from which sounds come.
There are many meditation apps available. Take 5 minutes every day to switch your mind off and sharpen your concentration.
This is a more radical tip. Trying to stop is not easy as many smokers will tell you.
The University of Manchester has found out in a study that smokers are 28% more prone to hearing loss than non-smokers.
Nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarettes are having a negative effect on your veins. Hence they are reducing the oxygen in your blood, causing major problems in your ears.
Don’t use cotton buds or Q-tips for cleaning your ear
It appears that there is an obsessive cult around clean ears. A lot of people use cotton buds for their daily hygiene.
Important to realize, they do more harm than they actually ‘clean’ the ears. Worst case scenario, you harm your eardrum.
Best case you only push back ear wax, causing a blockage in your ears. If you are intensively scared that your ears appear dirty, you can clean the outer parts with soft flannel.
Protect your ears from loud noises
This advice should be a no brainer. However, a lot of people are afraid to appear uncool when using hearing protection while going to a concert or festival.
It couldn’t be farther from it. In my opinion, being unable to enjoy music because you got tinnitus or even lost your hearing is massively uncool.
You can have custom made earplugs that fit snug and protect your ears. What could be cooler than taking care of your most important asset with respect to music?
Change your diet for better hearing
If you want to treat your ears the good way, try changing your diet. It doesn’t have to be major changes like a Keto diet.
But try to incorporate more vegetables and healthy fats into your daily cooking routine. Especially look out for Antioxidants like Vitamin A, C and E.
Also, Vitamin B3 and B12 are said to have a positive impact on our hearing. Try to stay away from metals like mercury, arsenic and cadmium found in tuna fish for example.
They appear to be toxic to nerves, and at the end of the day, the most important part of the ear is the ear nerve.
Sing in the shower
When you hear something, your brain listens too. The eardrum inside your ear vibrates to sound, sending signals to your brain via the ear nerve.
A shower is an ideal place for novices to sign to their heart’s content. It’s an intimate space, your (mostly 😉 ) alone and it’s warm. Also, your voice sounds a thousand times better in the shower.
The humidity of the hot water is relaxing your vocal cords. If you are singing along to your favourite song, you are training your ear to listen to music as well as to your own singing. This constant comparison is perfect training for your ears!
Listen mindfully to music
Nowadays, music is around us most of the time. No matter if you take the elevator or your shopping at a supermarket.
We are streaming music on the way to work and listen to the radio while doing the dishes. However, when do we take the time to sit down and mindfully listen to music without side distractions?
Those Vinyl fans of you might do this already. For the rest, try to incorporate more of mindful music experiences into your daily routine.
Make yourself comfortable and work out the different instruments you are hearing or the layers of sound. After some practise you will hear things you never thought are there.
Musical ear training
Last but not least, here is a tip for the more advanced readers out there. Make a point of incorporating regular ear training into your day.
There are 1001 apps out there helping you to learn to identify different scales, chords, intervals and much more. In the beginning, it can be quite frustrating but after a while, it will come naturally to you as your hearing gets better.
Hearing is such an emotional sense for humans
Adequate hearing is such an important part of our everyday lives. You may be using it unconsciously to manage walking down a road and to hear for the traffic.
Or you need it for your everyday music industry work. Hearing can evoke the strongest emotions in us and makes us revive experiences within seconds.
I hope those tips helped you find new ways to take care of your ears.