As the new school year kicks off, Bach to Rock (B2R), America's music school for students of all ages, has teamed up with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's (ASHA) "Listen To Your Buds" initiative, a public education campaign aimed at preventing noise-induced hearing loss by helping adults teach children how to use personal audio technology safely. The collaboration is a natural fit as Bach to Rock and ASHA are both dedicated to helping more children develop safe listening habits to avoid the devastating, lifelong effects that can accompany hearing loss.
"Hearing is integral to making music and we intend to continue ferociously defending healthy ears," said Brian Gross, president of Bach to Rock. "We have always had protective ear plugs available at every one of our schools and at all Battle of the Bands competitions, and cautioned children about the dangers of hearing loss. Now, we're extending our commitment with the ASHA alliance and will provide each one of our teachers with the most updated materials so they can in turn educate their students on safe listening."
ASHA's Listen to Your Buds 2012 national poll results show that 84 percent of parents are concerned that the misuse of personal audio technology is damaging the hearing of children in general. 75 percent of parents say that teaching the proper use of this technology is important, yet only 50 percent of parents have discussed safe listening with their children.
"Studies show hearing loss can occur painlessly over time and is most commonly caused by exposure to loud sounds," says ASHA President Shelly Chabon, PhD, CCC-SLP. "For children, even mild hearing loss can lead to delays in speech and language development and affect their academic performance, social interaction and more. 'Listen to Your Buds' educates everyone to practice safe listening in easy, everyday ways, and we're proud to empower Bach to Rock families and staff with tips to do just that."
The "Listen To Your Buds" campaign provides tips such as keeping the volume down to half and taking listening breaks when using personal audio technology. It also provides parents with warning signs and resources on where to get help if concerns arise.
Co-founded by a Juilliard-trained middle school teacher, B2R transformed music instruction five years ago into a team sport by coupling rigorous individual instruction with "jam sessions" that keep students motivated by playing in a group. The first corporate-owned location in Bethesda, Md. opened in 2007 and B2R now has six corporate-owned schools, including two in Maryland and four in Virginia. Earlier this summer, B2R announced an agreement with its first franchisee, Amplified Capital Partners, LLC, to open a chain of Bach to Rock schools in New York and Connecticut. The first location plans to open in New York in the fall of 2012.
All Bach to Rock schools will immediately offer "Listen To Your Buds" literature and encourage students to actively participate and take the online safe listening pledge.