Why are Praise Bands so Loud?

Report
If God Can Hear Your Most Inner Thoughts…
Why are Praise Bands so Loud?
Jan Moore, Elizabeth Lewis, Courtney Smejdir, & Kassandra Johnson
University of Nebraska Kearney
Disclosures
• Jan Moore is a Professor at UNK
– Treasurer for Academy of Rehabilitative
Audiology
• UNK provided standard faculty and
student travel funding to attend ASHA
• No funding or support to conduct the
study
• No commercial ties to industry
• No conflicts of interest
Research Team
• Jan Moore
– Professor, University of Nebraska Kearney
• Elizabeth Lewis
• Courtney Smejdir
• Kassandra Johnson
– All undergraduate student researchers at the
time of the study
– All graduate students at UNK or UNL
Background
• Contemporary or Praise Band services
have been an increasingly popular
worship style for Protestant faiths over the
last 20 years.
• Gone are the days of an acoustic guitar
and “Michael Row the Boat Ashore”
• Now we have full-fledged rock bands at
worship services
Pertinent Background
• Noise-induced S/N hearing loss has been
well documented in
– Rock musicians
– Orchestral musicians
– Band musicians
– Just living in NYC
• Silva & Cabral (2011) found priests in
Brazilian churches were are risk for
hearing loss due to noise levels.
How Churches Respond to
Concerns about Sound Levels
• A quick search of the internet yields
considerable interest in this topic within
the Church community.
– Churches consistently tell members the
music level does not exceed OSHA
standards
• 5 dB rule (time/intensity trade off) in contrast to a 3
dB rule recommended by the NIOSH/CDC
• How do they know that?
• Do they monitor their members’ hearing overtime?
• Churches blame their members
– “If it is too loud for you there is something
wrong with your hearing.”
• Churches say “discomfort” does not mean
“harm.”
• Churches actually provide hearing
protection
• One church calculated that one service
was 13% of the daily OSHA dose
– Average dose was 9—11%
– Clergy and band was 35% of their dose for 2
services.
– Why would you want your service to
contribute anything to someone’s daily dose?
• On a very personal note, I wrote to my
church and expressed my concern about
the loudness level.
– If mothers are trying to cover their infant’s
ears during a service, it is just too loud.
– Minister exceeds 90 dB A during the sermon
– The wooden pews vibrate during the music
Public Health Issue
• We are interested in investigating the risk of
hearing loss in praise band members, clergy,
and parishioners (including children) who attend
these services.
• NIH’s It’s a Noisy Planet public health initiative
suggests any exposure above 85 dB (A) can
lead to hearing loss over time.
• Our team looks at exposure to noise in
churches as a public health issue
Noisy Planet
CDC—NIOSH
UNK Praise the Lord Project
• Does the noise level at contemporary
services suggest there is a risk for
permanent S/N hearing loss consistent
with noise exposure?
• What are the challenges in measuring
noise in the contemporary services
UNK Praise the Lord Project
• Do parishioners, clergy, and other worship
staff exhibit a change in hearing (TTS)
following these services?
• Is there long-term hearing loss over time?
• What is the best method to detect
change?
Method
• The noise levels of 3 Protestant church
services were sampled
– UNK Christian Student Fellowship (CSF)
– First United Methodist Church (FUMC)
– Evangelical Free Church (E-Free)
• Services were recorded in the fall during
the liturgical season of After Pentecost
– Covert recordings
– Multiple recordings at each site
Method
• No special services (Easter, Christmas)
• Catholic Church services were excluded
due to the standardization of their order of
worship
• Contemporary Services typically have
– More music
– Longer durations of continuous music
• Dosimetry
• LENA
Dosimetry
• Quest NoisePro Dosimeter
TM
– 2-hour run time
• Individual sessions for songs to try to isolate the
contribution of the music to the noise levels
measured
– Slow time response
– Calibrated
– Obtained Min, Max, Average and Dose
information for each service
LENA
TM
• Language Environmental Analysis
– LENA Research Foundation
– Boulder, CO
• Lena Pro digital recorder
– Application is in language development
• Adult words, child words, turn-taking
– Records time spent in noise and electronic
media
– 5-minute intervals for analysis
Dosimetry Results: Full Service Max &
Average
Church
Duration Maximum dBA
CSF
1:08:53
107.2
84.4
46:06
108.1
66.5
47:06
106:0
78:3
1:16:40
92:4
74.5
58:00
97.0
77.7
49:17
97.4
79.5
1:08:09
97.7
82.3
1:08:09
97.7
78.6
1:00:00
96.6
77.7
1:10:00
114.2
73.5
Efree
FUMC
Average dBA
Dosimetry Results: Individual Songs
Church
Duration Maximum dBA
Average dBA
CSF
6:15
93.1
78.4
Efree
11:13
103.2
91.8
7:54
100.1
67.6
7.26
106.0
75.8
6:59
94.2
78.8
5:37
93.6
79.3
5:12
93.2
72.8
4:18
93.4
80.1
2:07
112.6
94.3
Lena Results
• Lena was utilized in one service to look at
noise segments in 5-minute intervals.
• Over half of the service—30 minutes—
was music.
– Essentially a concert.
Lena Results
• Lena also allows the measurement of the
signal in the 5-minute intervals
• The dB levels as recorded by Lena
indicated levels exceeded 85 dB A for all
segments
• Compression within the microphone of the
digital recorder.
– Designed for speech not noise
Results
• Our results suggest the loudness levels in
contemporary services puts people at risk
for N/I S/N hearing loss
• Who is at risk?
– Clergy
– Band members
– Parishioners
• How often do you attend?
Challenges
• How to measure the parts of the services
which are loud?
• Duration of the music?
• How do we measure change in hearing?
– Which methods?
• Conventional audiometry?
• OAE?
– How often?
• Pre-Post
• Yearly
What is the Public Health
Message?
• We can’t control much of the noise we are
exposed to in our lives
• The environments that we can control
should be safe
• Institutions should be committed or at
least interested in not contributing to N/I
S/N hearing loss.
• Those environments would include
schools, churches, & public places
Comments?
• Suggestions?
• Questions?
• [email protected]

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