• “fascinating and entertainingly illustrated … [the musicians’ noise guide] should be consulted by musicians of every genre and non-musicians with an interest in the subject
” Graeme Kay, BBC Radio 3.
  • “the students were really attentive and took it all in. Several came up to me afterwards to say how thought-provoking it had been.” Prof Clive Williamson, University of Surrey.
  • “Ruth makes the technical side of the Noise Regs a lot less scary” Safety Advisor, BBC.
  • “I came across your guide to Noise and Hearing for Musicians recently, and it’s excellent – it’s so difficult to strike the right balance between precision, practicality and readability and I think you got it just right.” Mike Goldsmith, author of Discord: the story of noise (OUP, 2012).

I wrote Music, noise and hearing: how to play your part, the Musicians’ Guide and Managers’ Toolkit, published by the BBC in 2011 and based on a three-year study and cross-sector partnership project.

I deliver lectures and briefings about noise and sound, about how our ears work and what can go wrong with our hearing. I help musicians and music students to understand how to look after their ears for a long, healthy career. I advise managers of performing groups and venues on noise-control and hearing-preservation policies.

I can explain the technical side of noise and the Control of Noise at Work Regulations in an accessible and musician-friendly way. I aim to get people thinking about the importance of looking after their hearing, at all stages in their career, be they students, teachers or managers (or amateur musicians, or music lovers), people who might:

  • avoid parties and noisy restaurants because they can’t hear conversations
  • have to ask people to repeat things, or spell things out
  • find they need to crank up the volume on music, the TV or podcasts
  • worry they are playing / singing out of tune, or too loudly / too quietly
  • need to understand the Control of Noise at Work Regulations as they apply in the music sector.

Links to the Guide and associated articles:

  • Link to the Guide. The PDFs can be found by following the links in the right-hand column of the main Noise at Work page on the BBC Safety site. The sound files illustrating the effects of hearing loss and other reference material are further down this page. Use the CONTACT page to request copies of a literature review, Q&As on noise and musicians’ hearing, and the report of a seminar held in BBC Broadcasting House in July 2010.
  • BBC Radio 3 blog
  • BBC publishes guide for musiciansClassical Music magazine announcing the publication of the Guide.
  • And the band played onSafety & Health Practitioner, on how the BBC works in partnership with the sector.
  • Why noise matters to musicians: The Musician, cover feature in the Autumn 2010 edition of the MU journal [no link].
  • The Show must go on!: Express (HSE journal), covering the Noise Project from the perspective of the BBC and the HSE [no link].