Music to Your Ears report

Report looking at the impact of tinnitus on professional musicians in the UK and aiming to find out about the support they receive, or might need, to help them manage living with tinnitus.

Report looking at the impact of tinnitus on professional musicians in the UK and aiming to find out about the support they receive, or might need, to help them manage living with tinnitus.


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Dr Georgina Burns-O’Connell

David Stockdale

Dr Derek Hoare

2 3




A research study

conducted by the British

Tinnitus Association,

funded by Help Musicians

(the Musicians Benevolent

Fund) and developed in

collaboration with the

University of Nottingham.

To obtain a copy of this report:

Visit: tinnitus.org.uk/musicianswithtinnitus

Email: info@tinnitus.org.uk

Phone: 0114 250 9933

British Tinnitus Association

Unit 5 Acorn Business Park,

Woodseats Close, Sheffield S8 0TB

Registered charity number 1011145.

© British Tinnitus Association 2021. All rights reserved.

The authors:

Dr Georgina Burns-O’Connell

Research Officer, British Tinnitus Association,

Visiting Research Fellow, University of Nottingham

David Stockdale

Chief Executive, British Tinnitus Association

Dr Derek Hoare

Associate Professor, University of Nottingham


The authors 2

About the British Tinnitus Association 4

Forewords 5

Executive summary 6

Acknowledgements 7

Funders and portfolio managers 7

Abbreviations and key words 7

Anne Savage’s story 8

1. Introduction 9

Research focus 9

Research questions 9

2. What is tinnitus and why is it relevant to professional musicians? 10

3. Methods 12

Eligibility criteria and recruitment 12

Questionnaire development and administration 12

Data analysis 12

Ethical considerations 12

4. Findings 13

Questionnaire results 13

Demographic information 13

Tinnitus impact 16

Findings from open-ended survey questions 17

Theme 1: Impact of tinnitus on the lives of professional musicians: “Surrounded by sound” 18

Theme 2: Services/support previously accessed by professional musicians 20

Theme 3: What support do professional musicians want? 22

5. Conclusions and recommendations 24

1. “Mental health is key”: a tinnitus support group for musicians, by musicians 24

2. Tinnitus management: support focused on relaxation techniques 25

3. An understanding and informed approach: 26

encouraging knowledge, empathy and awareness of tinnitus

4. Music education evaluation: tinnitus prevention and promoting healthy hearing 27

Research recommendations 28

Learning from this research 28

Recommendations for future research projects 28

References 29

Appendix A 30

4 5




The British Tinnitus Association (BTA) is

an independent charity that supports over one

million people living with tinnitus each year, and

advises medical professionals around the world.

We are the primary source of support

and information for people with

tinnitus in the UK, facilitating an

improved quality of life. Through our

research programme, we want to

find better ways to manage tinnitus

and, ultimately, to help find a cure.

Our vision is for a world where no one

suffers from tinnitus.

Our support services are a vital

source of emotional support and

advice to help people with managing

their tinnitus. Services include our:

Confidential Freephone

helpline, web chat, text/SMS

and email support

Online information and resources

at tinnitus.org.uk and on social

media, and in print in patient

leaflets and our membership

magazine, Quiet

Support groups online and around

the UK, and our online forum

E-learning tool,

takeontinnitus.co.uk, designed

to help people newly diagnosed

with tinnitus

Public tinnitus information

events around the UK and

online, and awareness-raising

activities, including our annual

#TinnitusWeek campaign

Up-to-date information about

local NHS services available to


Developing, conducting and

contributing to a variety of

research projects

Training courses, annual conference

and information and resources for

tinnitus healthcare professionals

We commission research into finding

better treatments and, ultimately,

a cure for tinnitus; and improving

our understanding of the lived

experience of people with tinnitus.

Previous research includes work on:

Cognitive behavioural therapy

for tinnitus-related insomnia

The impact of tinnitus on military


The use of the cortisol awakening

response as a biomarker for tinnitus

Anxiety in children and young

people with tinnitus and


Eye-movement desensitisation

and reprocessing as a possible

treatment for tinnitus

Mindfulness behavioural

cognitive therapy for tinnitus.

Sign up to our e-newsletters to keep up to date with our activities and research

at tinnitus.org.uk/enews or visit:


British Tinnitus Association



British Tinnitus Association


Claire Gevaux

Director of Programme,

Help Musicians

Dr Lucy Handscomb


British Tinnitus Association

Musicians’ hearing health is vital

to sustaining a long and healthy

career, which is why we support

musicians at any stage of their lives

with hearing health assessments

and personalised hearing protection

to protect their health. Since 2016,

our pioneering Musicians’ Hearing

Health Scheme, in partnership with

the Musicians’ Union, has provided

over 12,000 musicians access

to affordable, bespoke hearing

protection and provided a much

needed space for discussion and

education about hearing loss.

As a lifelong amateur singer, I

encounter a lot of musicians in my life

outside work. Often, when I tell them

about my job as a hearing therapist

and my involvement with the BTA,

they will tell me about concerns

related to their hearing. If they don’t

experience tinnitus themselves, they

have almost always encountered

colleagues who do, and are worried

that their ears – on which they rely

totally for their livelihood – will one

day start letting them down.

Because I know that hearing and

tinnitus are areas of huge concern

to musicians, I know that this new

BTA report will be very welcome. It

is especially welcome because it

goes beyond prevalence figures and

investigates musicians’ experiences

of tinnitus and of seeking help for

it. It highlights the fact that we

have a long way to go in terms of

providing widespread timely and

helpful information, both in terms of

preventing tinnitus and in signposting

people to appropriate help if tinnitus

starts. As a therapist, I have seen

many musicians who – with some

help – have been able to continue

In addition, through our health and

welfare services and partnership

with British Association for

Performing Arts Medicine we can

provide further support for musicians

living with tinnitus or hearing loss.

The insights and recommendations

from this report are a timely reminder

to once again raise awareness and

encourage musicians across the

country to act now to protect their

hearing for the long term and know

that there is support out there for

those who are living with the condition.

with a successful musical career in

spite of tinnitus, but there must be

many more who have had to give up

their chosen profession through fear

and lack of accurate information.

I fully support the recommendations

contained within this report. I know,

through workshops I have facilitated,

how important it is for people

experiencing tinnitus to have contact

with others with whom they can fully

identify and share ideas. I also know

how crucial it is for people to be given

clear, helpful information early on

that feels fully relevant to them. This

report – clear and easy to read – should

be widely available not just to

musicians but to those involved in

training and supporting them. I hope it

will pave the way for hearing protection

and tinnitus education to become a

routine part of musical training.

6 7






To find out about the impact of tinnitus

on professional musicians in the UK

and to find out about the support

they receive, or might need, to help

them manage living with tinnitus.


Tinnitus is the experience of a sound

when an external source is absent,

primarily associated with the ageing

process, hearing loss and noise

exposure. Problems reported by

tinnitus patients include an effect on

listening ability, inability to concentrate

and reduced quality of life. Amongst

populations exposed to industrial

noise, noise exposure and noiseinduced

hearing loss (NIHL) have been

found to be the factors most commonly

associated with tinnitus. Musicians

can often be exposed to high levels of

sound when practising or performing

music, meaning many musicians

may be at risk of hearing loss. The

risk of NIHL amongst professional

musicians is greater than that

amongst the general population.


A mixed-methods questionnaire

was designed for the study, which

included the Tinnitus Functional

Index questionnaire plus open-ended

questions. Descriptive statistics and

thematic analysis of open-ended

qualitative responses were used to

analyse the data (n=74).

Over half (51%) of the musicians

reported getting tinnitus due to ‘sudden

or prolonged exposure to loud noise/

music’. Ineffective use/lack of hearing

protection devices was reported as the

second most common reason for their

tinnitus by 22%.

Three-quarters (75%) of the musicians

reported having additional and/or

comorbid conditions alongside tinnitus.

25% of musicians reported living with a

‘mental health condition’ as a comorbidity

followed by 11% of participants reporting

hearing-related comorbid conditions.

Almost half of the musicians (45%)

said that they either ‘always’ (19%) or

‘usually’ (26%) wore hearing protection.

In contrast, almost one-quarter (23%)

of the musicians said they ‘never’ wore

hearing protection.

The qualitative, open-ended data were

categorised according to three key themes.

1. Impact of tinnitus on the lives

of professional musicians

2. Services/support previously

accessed by professional musicians

3. What support/services do

professional musicians want?

It is important to highlight that there was

natural overlap between themes due to the

varied experiences of tinnitus, and also

because of the complexities experienced

by the professional musicians in their

everyday lives.

Based on the findings, four key

recommendations were developed:

Support, Management, Understanding

and Education. Our recommendations

are for the consideration of Government,

healthcare professionals and service

providers, including any charities working

with professional musicians:

1. Support:

tinnitus support groups for musicians,

by musicians

2. Tinnitus management:

support focused on relaxation techniques

3. An understanding

and informed approach:

encouraging knowledge, empathy,

and awareness of tinnitus amongst

friends, family and those who work

with musicians

4. Music education evaluation:

tinnitus prevention and promoting

healthy hearing

Our sincere thanks are given to the

musicians who participated in this

research, without them this important

work would not have been possible.

We would also like to give special

thanks to BTA research assistants

Victoria Knowles and Oscar Cassidy

for their valued input to this project.



This project was funded by

Help Musicians (also known as

the Musicians Benevolent Fund).



















Biomedical Research


British Tinnitus Association

General practitioner

Health care professional

Help Musicians

Hearing Health Scheme

Musicians’ Hearing

Health Steering Group

Noise-induced hearing loss

National Health Service

Professional Adviser’s


Patient and Public


Hearing protection device

Tinnitus Functional Index

Professional musician

Cognitive Behavioural


University of Nottingham

8 9



My music career began 28 years ago, 20

of which I have spent coping with tinnitus

and hearing loss caused by exposure to

loud sound, doing the job I love.

This report documents the experiences

of professional musicians with tinnitus

in the UK, and the impact that living with

tinnitus has on their lives.

The last decade has seen an increase

in my symptoms, heightened by long

periods of silence trying to study for

a degree. That’s when it first became

frighteningly noticeable. My ears used

to ring after a performance, but that

would dissipate after a few days, then

one day it just didn’t stop. The fear

that the constant ringing was now my

new silence sent me to some very

dark places. I still avoid or dread

social situations where there is any

background noise because I can’t

single out individual voices. This creates

feelings of embarrassment, isolation

and sadness because I can’t enjoy

special celebrations such as family

gatherings or weddings. Part of the

joy of being a musician is socialising

before or after a performance, but

now I leave as soon as I can to avoid

worsening my tinnitus.

I did seek medical advice: my GP

referred me to an ENT specialist for

tests, but the help offered was very

disappointing. Even though I knew

there is no cure for tinnitus before I

attended the appointment, I did

expect some practical advice.

However, I was simply asked if I was

coping and ushered out the door,

which left me feeling quite desperate.

I cut down on performances and

studio projects for fear of aggravating

the tinnitus or, worse, going completely

deaf. I considered giving up my job as

a musician completely, which left me

with an identity crisis as to who or what

I would be without my music career.

I eventually did find help by reaching

out to other sufferers and wonderful

organisations such as the BTA.

I am still surprised how, sadly,

some musicians are cautious of

discussing their tinnitus, as if ‘being

found out’ might jeopardise future

work engagements.

Currently I am happy to say that even

though I have tinnitus, I don’t ‘suffer’

from it as much, and this is due to

techniques I have learned, such as

relaxation, meditation and mindfulness.

I listen to soothing sounds of nature

whilst studying or going to sleep, which

really does help. Obviously, I wear

hearing protection and practise noise

safety, but I do still perform and

continue to write music! I passionately

campaign to raise awareness of

tinnitus and the dangers of noise in

order to try to help others to avoid

damaging their hearing.

— Anne Savage


To explore the impact of tinnitus

on professional musicians.


Three research questions were defined:

1. What are the expectations of professional

musicians regarding tinnitus prevention,

education and management?

2. How does tinnitus impact professional

musicians’ lives?

3. What support would professional

musicians like to have access to regarding

tinnitus prevention and management?

Image: Courtesy Anne Savage

10 11




Tinnitus is the perception

of sound in the absence of

an external source, which can

be permanent or temporary

(Cima et al., 2019).


It is experienced by 13% of people

(Genitsaridi et al., 2018), and for many

it can become bothersome. People

living with tinnitus report problems

including reduced quality of life,

fears, inability to concentrate, effect

on hearing ability and loss of peace

(Watts et al., 2018; Weidt et al., 2016).


Descriptions of tinnitus commonly

include experiences of hissing,

ringing or sizzling. These experiences

can be constant or intermittent and

can be perceived in one or both ears,

or localised to a source within the

head. (Baguley, 2013).


Tinnitus is categorised as objective,

usually resulting from a physiological

phenomenon that may be heard by

an examiner; or subjective, which

is a form of tinnitus perceptible

only to the individual. Diagnosis of

subjective tinnitus often relies on

self-reporting, with an emphasis

on the functional impact of the

condition upon the individual

(Halford and Anderson, 1991). Most

clinically administered tinnitus

questionnaires explore the presence

of other psychological conditions,

particularly anxiety and depression.


Professional musicians (PMs) perform

and practise music on a regular basis

and so are at a high risk of noiseinduced

hearing loss and tinnitus. They

are identified as a “high-risk group” who

are “in particular danger of developing

tinnitus” by the American Tinnitus

Association (2019). Musicians rely

upon their hearing for their profession,

and so may be more attentive to,

and concerned about, aspects of

hearing function (Zhao et al., 2010).


It is primarily associated with the

ageing process (Eggermont and

Roberts, 2004), hearing loss

(Ratnayake et al., 2009) and noise

exposure (Steinmetz et al., 2009;

Eggermont, 2012). The causes of

tinnitus are still debated, but tinnitus

is often viewed as a symptom or

comorbidity related to other conditions

such as psychological disorders

(including anxiety and depression),

as well as temporomandibular joint

disorders, and one that can be

experienced in a variety of ways.

12 13



This study used a mixed-method

questionnaire to gather information

about the lived experience of PMs

who live with tinnitus, including

demographic information and

measures of tinnitus’ impact on

professional musicians.



This project used eligibility criteria

agreed with Help Musicians.

To participate in the research,

professional musicians were

required to:

Earn 50% of their income

from music

Have experienced tinnitus

Be aged over 18

Reside primarily in the UK and

be eligible to work in the UK

The research topic was promoted

online via social media and on

musician and tinnitus online forums,

with details emailed to relevant

charities and organisations.




The questionnaire consisted

of three eligibility questions,

demographic information and the

Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI;

Meikle et al., 2012) questionnaire

to measure tinnitus symptom

severity. Participants then answered

10 open-ended questions which

were developed specifically for

this research. These asked about

general health, the impact tinnitus

has on them, and what support/

health care they received or would

consider helpful (Appendix A). There

was patient and public involvement

throughout the research process:

the questionnaire was developed

with advice from professional

musicians and people who live with

tinnitus. It was administered online

using SurveyMonkey. All data were

anonymised by the research team.


Descriptive statistical analysis

was used to gain an overview of

the findings from the close-ended

questionnaire responses. This

analysis was conducted using

Microsoft Excel software.

Analysis of TFI scores determined

which problems or domains measured

by the tool were particularly

problematic for musicians. Table 1

shows how the TFI scores were

interpreted using the classification

developed by Henry et al. (2016).

Findings from the TFI questionnaire

were cross-examined with the

qualitative results derived through

the thematic analysis (Braun and

Clarke, 2006) of the open-ended

questions in the questionnaire.

Thematic analysis was also used to

identify patterns and key themes

within the data.

Table 1: Tinnitus Functional Index score

classification according to Henry et al. (2016).



This study was reviewed and given

favourable opinion by the University

of Nottingham Faculty of Medicine

& Health Sciences Research

Ethics Committee (ref: 471—2001).

Participation in the study was

entirely voluntary. Completion and

subsequent return of a questionnaire

was taken as informed consent,

therefore separate written informed

consent was not required.

There was the potential that

participants could experience their

tinnitus in a more bothersome way

once they had participated in the

research and completed the survey.

The potential for negative

consequences of participation were

considered low and outweighed by

the potential positive experience of

holding an influential role in

informing future tinnitus services and

support for professional musicians.

Participants were signposted to the

resources available from the BTA and

Help Musicians.


Relatively mild tinnitus <25 Little or no need for


Significant problems

with tinnitus

25-50 Possible need for


Severe tinnitus >50 Qualifies for



This section reports the findings

from the mixed-method

questionnaire. Firstly, the results

from the demographic information

are presented, followed by the details

of the TFI questionnaire results, and

finally the findings from the openended

questions are reported.



Demographic information

The questionnaire was completed by

74 eligible participants: of those who

reported their gender, 70% (n=51)

identified as ‘male’ and 30% (n=22) as

‘female’ (one non-response). Age was

reported in six categories with 27%

(n=20) of musicians reporting being

40-49 years old making this the most

common age group. This was followed

by the age groups 30-39 years and

50-59 years with 24% (n=18) and 19%

(n=14) respectively. Only one

participant was aged 18-19 years,

whilst 10 were aged 20-29 years and

nine were aged 60 years or older; two

respondents did not report their age.

Figure 1: Percentage of participants in different age categories









20–29 30–39 40–49 50–59 60+ N/A or

didn’t say


Sixty-six participants (89%)

identified their ethnicity as white UK,

two from a different white background,

one musician was white and Asian,

one Asian/British, and one identified

as ‘Eurasian’. Three participants did

not report their ethnicity.

Participants also reported their

sexual orientation, with 72% (n=53)

identifying as heterosexual/straight,

7% (n=5) as bisexual, 4% (n= 3) of the

participants as gay woman/lesbian

and one participant as ‘gay man’. 12%

of participants selected ‘prefer not to

say’ (n= 9), and for the participants

who selected to ‘self-describe’ (5%;

n=3) the most common response

was ‘queer’. Of those who answered

the question, 18% (n=12) identified as

lesbian, gay, bisexual or queer.

The musicians were also asked if

they had experience of any additional

health conditions or illnesses. In

addition to experiencing tinnitus, the

majority of participants had

experienced and/or been diagnosed

with other health conditions. These

included mental health conditions

such as anxiety or depression, and

other additional hearing conditions.

Of the responses to this question,

three-quarters reported having

additional and/or comorbid conditions

alongside living with tinnitus. The most

commonly reported comorbidity was

‘mental health’, with one-quarter

(n=21) of the responses. 11% (n=9) of

the participants reported hearingrelated

comorbid conditions.

14 15

Figure 2: Number of participants diagnosed with another illness/condition

Figure 4: Number of participants and reasons for getting tinnitus









Mental health




7 6







Loud noise /

music exposure



hearing issues




Lack of /

ineffective HPDs



instrument use




Unsure /

Don’t know

Figure 3: Percentages of participants with tinnitus of different durations



1 year or less

2–5 years


6–10 years

11–20 years

21–30 years


30+ years




Participants also answered questions

specific to their profession, reporting

the type of musician they were in

seven categories. The largest category

was ‘group member’, with 34% (n=25)

of participants selecting this

response, followed by ‘other’ (n=11),

‘multidisciplinary artist’ (n=9), ‘solo

artist’ (n=9), ‘artist/producer’ (n= 7),

‘composer’ (n=6) and ‘songwriter’

(=6). One participant did not respond

to this question.

Participants reported on how often

they wore HPDs while at work.

Almost one in five participants (19%)

said they ‘always’ used HPDs, and

26% (n=19) stated they ‘usually’ wore

HPDs. However, almost one-quarter

(23%) of the musicians said they

‘never’ wore HPDs (n=17)

Figure 5: Percentage of participants within each specific type of profession


The sample included participants

who had lived with tinnitus for a

broad range of timescales: 1 year

or less (= 13); 2-5 years (= 31); 6-10

years (= 10); 11-20 years (= 11); 21-30

years (= 7); and over 30 years (= 2).

Sixty-seven participants reported

how they thought they got tinnitus.

These responses were grouped into

six categories which highlighted

that over half (51%, n=34) of the

musicians reported getting tinnitus

due to ‘sudden or prolonged

exposure to loud noise/music’.

Ineffective use/lack of hearing

protection devices (HPDs) was

reported as a reason for their

tinnitus by 22% (n=15), pre-existing

conditions or hearing issues by 18%

(n=12), personal use of specific

instruments or their proximity to

others by 15% (n=10), stress was

reported by 10% (n=7), and other

causes such as family history were

reported by 4% (n=3) of participants.

9% (n=6) were unsure of what may

have caused their tinnitus.

Solo artist

Artist / producer


Group member

Multidisciplinary artist










16 17

Figure 6: How often participants wear HPDs at work (as percentages)








The severity of tinnitus symptoms

differed across the range of potential

scores (0-99), with the average total

TFI score of 39.05 (SD = 22.12) being

interpreted as ‘significant problems

with tinnitus’ with a ‘possible need

for intervention’ (Henry et al., 2016).

Table 2 shows the average

participant scores on each subscale,

corresponding to specific tinnitus

problems, of the TFI in order of most






‘severe’. The three highest scoring

subscales for professional musicians

based in the UK were ‘relaxation’,

‘sense of control’, and ‘intrusiveness’.

‘Relaxation’ was the only domain

which was scored as ‘severe’ while

all other scores indicated a

‘significant problem’ with a ‘possible

need for intervention’ (Henry et al.,

2016). The domain the participants

scored lowest was ’quality of life’,

which was scored as ‘relatively mild

tinnitus’ (Henry et al., 2016).

Table 2: Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) mean total score and mean subscale scores


TFI TOTAL SCORE 39.05 22.12


Relaxation 50.86 31.83

Sense of Control 47.66 25.25

Intrusiveness 42.84 23.73

Auditory 40.45 29.75

Sleep 35.59 31.16

Cognitive 34.59 26.29

Emotional 34.01 27.33

Quality of Life 29.59 25.56


The TFI questionnaire scores show

that overall the musicians’ tinnitus

caused significant problems with

possible need for intervention.

Tinnitus had a severe impact on

relaxation, which means it would

qualify for aggressive intervention

within this domain. None of the

average scores for the musicians

were classified as having a ‘relatively

mild’ impact, indicating there is a

‘significant problem’ for musicians

who are living with tinnitus.

When compared with a general

research population, the PM

population scored lower than the

general research population, apart

from the ‘auditory’, ‘emotional’ and

‘quality of life’ domains (see Table

3). These findings are at odds with

findings from the qualitative parts

of the research which indicate

tinnitus could be a severe problem

for UK professional musicians who

participated in this research. There

are many reasons why the TFI scores

may differ to the data reported in

the open-ended questions in the

survey. Anecdotally, this difference

could be due to stigma around

hearing health in the musician

profession and PMs not wanting to

be categorised as having ‘hearing

problems’ given that their hearing

is arguably the most essential part

of their work. Another reason could

be that the TFI questionnaire is not

relevant to musicians’ lives. Fackrell

(2016) stated, “TFI scores may be

poorly responsive to change in a

research population,” therefore some

amendments to the TFI or a new

tinnitus questionnaire developed

specifically for measuring the impact

of tinnitus on musicians could be

beneficial in future work.

Table 3: Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) mean total scores and mean subscale

scores of UK professional musicians and a UK research volunteer population

TFI Domain

TFI Scores (mean average)

UK PMs a

General Research

Population b

Total TFI score (0-99) 39 41

Intrusiveness 43 53

Sense of Control 48 54

Auditory 40 34

Relaxation 51 55

Cognitive 35 36

Emotional 34 30

Quality of Life 30 28

Sleep 36 50

a. Present study; sample size n=74.

b. Fackrell et al., 2016; general UK research volunteer population sample size n=283.




The qualitative data collected

during this study were categorised

according to three key themes

(Table 4), and within these themes

there were also clear subthemes.

It is important to highlight that

there was natural overlap between

themes, due to the complexities

experienced by the professional

musicians in their everyday lives.

Table 4: Qualitative themes

Qualitative Themes:

1. Impact of tinnitus on the lives

of professional musicians

2. Services/support

previously accessed by

professional musicians

3. What support/services do

professional musicians want?

18 19



Within the theme ‘Impact of tinnitus

on the lives of professional musicians’

were two subthemes: ‘Impact of

tinnitus on professional life’ and

‘Impact of tinnitus on personal life’.

Each of the participants experienced

their tinnitus in distinct ways, and

different aspects of their lives were

affected by it; the impact tinnitus

has on their work is particularly

relevant, given the link between the

nature of their job and tinnitus itself.



Several musicians described how

tinnitus affects their concentration

and frustrates them when they rely

on their hearing to produce music:

PM2: It does get annoying and can have

an impact on concentration during solo

practice. It can also be incredibly

frustrating in quieter moments of the

music, in orchestra or chamber music

for example, to start hearing tinnitus.

PM66: Especially in a job with such

reliance on listening. My general

hearing loss is definitely also making

my job more difficult.

Many also discussed how tinnitus

restricted their ability to do their job,

and influenced the quality of the work

they produced, as they struggled to

navigate the varying sound inputs:

PM63: hard to concentrate and also

to notice nuances in a production.

PM15: I feel I can’t properly mix track[s]

and I miss certain information that

could impact the quality of my music.

PM42: I am sometimes unsure if I am

hearing a high-pitched note from

somewhere, or if it is in my head. This

can affect my perception of harmony.

Tinnitus can also affect the jobs that

musicians feel comfortable doing

and how they feel whilst doing their

work. One participant had refused

to work at certain events depending

on the noise exposure at the venue,

while another shared how tinnitus

could impact on their mood and, as a

result, they struggled to feel positive

about their work:

PM22: Turned down certain gigs if

too noisy.

PM58: After a certain [a]mount of time

each day it starts to bother me and

affect my enjoyment in writing music.

Some participants also described how

being a member of the music industry

can interact with their tinnitus and

hearing experiences. One participant

highlighted their regret and how

difficult tinnitus is to manage for

professional musicians given what a

high priority music is in their lives:

PM11: Wish I’d taken more care but

so easy to get carried away in the

music [which is really my life].

In contrast to the negative impact

experienced by musicians, a small

number of musicians reported that

their profession could be beneficial

in managing their tinnitus:

PM2: Fortunately being a musician and

being surrounded by sound means

that I often don’t notice my tinnitus.

PM72: Normally it has no impact

as I find playing music masks the

tinnitus. It’s when I stop is when it

starts to impact my life.



For many participants, tinnitus

hindered their social life and led to

avoidance of certain events or settings,

which in turn led to feelings of

isolation. One participant specified

that their tinnitus was often worsened

due to the levels of stress they

experienced in social situations. As

a result, their tinnitus could frequently

dictate how they navigated social

activities and events:

PM59: [I] tend to assess events in

terms of noise and [how] they might

affect my tinnitus. I am now more

cautious in engagements I take on

and the level of stress they might

generate – thus affecting my tinnitus.

For many individuals, tinnitus often

acted as a barrier to maintaining

conversations with others, disrupting

their social interactions:

PM50: I speak too loud. I can’t hear

what people are saying – when they

tell me their name for instance. I

cannot cope at all with having lots

of people in a room all talking at

the same time - networking events,

parties, etc.

PM24: I get frustrated easily because

I find it hard to follow conversation.

PM61: It [tinnitus] can exclude you

from conversations.

In addition, several participants

described their struggle with finding

peace and quiet, as well as feelings

of loneliness:

PM54: I am in mourning for the loss

of personal peace and quiet.

PM56: A lonely place to be in [yo]ur

head when no one can hear it but you.

PM72: At times the tinnitus can

make you feel very isolated, alone

and extremely drained.

Also apparent from the statistical

findings are difficulties faced by

participants with relaxation, as

indicated in the TFI scores. This is

reflected in the open-ended question

data, as individuals described problems

with being able to relax and/or sleep:

PM28: I never experience absolute

silence, which make it difficult to

relax, and/or sleep.

PM4: Struggle with watching tv,

relaxing, sleeping.

PM2: It [tinnitus] impacts my ability

to wind down and relax.

Many discussed how having tinnitus

could “isolate” them from others

who have no understanding of

tinnitus. One participant described

their head as “a lonely place” as

only they can hear their tinnitus,

which is especially relevant, since

tinnitus is often regarded as an

invisible symptom or condition.

Some participants also outlined

the general scope of negativity

attached to tinnitus, wanting more

understanding and awareness from

those who do not have it:

PM27: Just need understanding

that I really do need to leave/change

seats etc.

PM68: Some awareness would help

with stigma.

A number of responses further

described how tinnitus negatively

impacts mental health and

emotional wellbeing:

PM6: I have to hide my anxiety and

desperation all the time and I have

to continue to perform.

PM2: The inability to experience

complete silence can be quite


PM8: Anxiety affects relationship

with family.

PM54: [tinnitus] has been cause of

depression in the past.

As outlined in the statistical data,

participants struggled with mental

health issues which were closely

related to their tinnitus. Amongst this

sample of musicians, this was

predominantly portrayed as

manifesting in feelings of anxiety

and depression. One participant

disclosed that their tinnitus makes

them feel “drained physically,” as

well as mentally (PM72).

These data show the impact that

tinnitus can have on musicians’

professional and personal lives.

When talking about the impact it had

on their profession, the participants

highlighted the negative impact

tinnitus had on their ability to work

due to their listening skills being key

to their career. During work, tinnitus

impacted on their concentration,

trust in their hearing and listening

ability and their enjoyment of working

as a musician. Whilst participants

mostly highlighted the negatives of

living with tinnitus as a musician,

some participants recognised

that being a musician could have

a positive impact on managing

their tinnitus; being “surrounded

by sound” during their work offered

other sound as a distraction from

their experience of hearing tinnitus.

Being “surrounded by sound” during

their personal time however, resulted

in many of the participants finding

it difficult to achieve ‘peace and

quiet’. In turn, this acted as a barrier

to the participants being able to

relax and was seen as a contributing

factor in difficulties some musicians

faced with sleeping. The negative

impact the experience had on the

musicians’ mental health and

emotional wellbeing was reported

by the participants, with anxiety,

depression and the impact on

relationships being highlighted.

Another challenge of living with

tinnitus which was identified by

the participants was difficulties in

attending social events, particularly

when there were many people talking

in one room: this led to a reduction

in attendance and involvement in

events and conversations, with

some participants withdrawing from

socialising completely based on

the noise levels and the perceived

consequence of these on their

experience of tinnitus. Consequently,

for some of the musicians, their

experiences of living with tinnitus had

culminated in feelings of loneliness

and social isolation.

20 21



Participants described the support or

information they had already received

from various sources within different

stages of their career. This theme

contains three subthemes, which are,

‘Support/awareness in education and

employment’, ‘Healthcare/treatment

accessed’ and ‘Support from family

and friends’.




Participants described the support or

information they received whilst in

education, as well as their experiences

in the workplace. Many discussed how

this advice was frequently too vague,

and more of a general warning that

was not very useful in educating or

protecting their hearing health:

PM64: Just told to be careful.

There wasn’t much in the way of

actual education.

PM28: No specific remedies or

coping strategies were taught in

formal education.

PM8: Non[e] of the commercial venues

I have worked in have ever offered

hearing protection as part of PPE.

One participant shared that they had

received a lecture from a Musician’s

Union representative surrounding

tinnitus/hearing health, but the

presentation failed to engage them:

PM8: Musicians Union rep came

to lecture at BTEC course. Very

boring presentation which switched

everyone off the topic. If lecture had

been delivered in a slightly engaging

way may have paid more attention.

Whilst it was encouraging that some

education institutions had provided

information about tinnitus and hearing

health, the participant explained that

the way it was communicated was

imperative to the information being

acknowledged and any behavioural

advice being adopted.

Some individuals also stated that they

had received advice which was more

effective from specific organisations

or within a certain environment:

PM35: At [name of music college] we

were told about the causes, advised

about hearing tests.

PM51: In a [name of place] they did

regular ear tests.

PM28: I have worn earplugs since I

started as a professional (at 15, I’m

now 30), due to a drum tutor with

chronic tinnitus and other older

musicians with hearing loss, who

warned of the dangers.

Many participants received support

specific to HPDs at their place of work

and in education, including guidance

about use and where to obtain them:

PM4: Also, our employer provided

decent earplugs free of charge.

PM60: Lectures were given at the

beginning of each academic year

during postgraduate study on

tinnitus and ear protection.

Amongst the responses were

descriptions of experiences specific

to tinnitus management, including

advice from others as well as

personal management techniques:

PM6: Some guidelines about CBT.

PM56: Just about coping strategies.

PM22: I use moulded ear plugs and

foam plugs for very loud gigs.

PM28: I developed my own

management ideas (white noise,

podcasts) to help me sleep.


A common finding was the professional

musicians’ unsatisfactory experiences

with NHS healthcare they had

previously accessed. Many individuals

received basic healthcare support

limited to an initial diagnosis or GP

appointments which included

“assessments, information, referrals”

(PM59) and “hearing tests” (PMs 22, 35,

46, 69). Some individuals expressed

their disappointment with this level of

support from healthcare professionals

(HCPs), finding it inadequate. Many

also described their experience as

negative in tone and unhelpful due to

the conduct of HCPs and the dismissive

assumption that there was “nothing

they could do” for the tinnitus:

PM2: Have been to the GP a couple

of times but told there’s not much

they can do.

PM22: ENT. 10 years ago he was

useless. no empathy. no useful advice.

PM69: I was essentially told there

was nothing they could do and that

was that.

In contrast to this more general support,

some participants also accessed

support in a professional capacity from

organisations or individuals with a

specialist knowledge of tinnitus. This

included HCPs specialising in tinnitus

or hearing health, as well as the BTA

support groups or helpline:

PM46: A few calls to BTA helpline for


PM58: I have seen an audiologist

once a year for roughly 5 years and

have visited tinnitus support groups

in the past.

PM59: Consultants ENT, Audiologists:

testing, information and advice. MRI

scans BTA Tinnitus Support Group

BTA Tinnitus Information Day 2020.

The mental health conditions

associated with tinnitus, briefly

alluded to amongst the statistical

findings, were also highlighted by

individuals who reported accessing

different means of psychological

support. Although some participants

discussed their unhelpful experiences

with healthcare or tinnitus treatment,

one participant discussed how “useful”

their CBT had been:

PM23: He suggested that I looked

into Mindfulness Meditation and he

referred me to the local mental health

department. I had weekly Cognitive

Behavioural Therapy sessions with a

young therapist who had previously

treated patients with tinnitus. It was

a slow process but it was the start

of my recovery. Mindfulness became

more useful as I progressed (even

though I’m really rubbish at it!).

This participant acknowledged the

benefit of CBT and mindfulness-based

therapy to help them live well with their

tinnitus. Furthermore, they identified

the different steps taken in the process

of learning to manage their tinnitus.

Some participants received support

specific to the management of their

tinnitus, predominantly resources such

as hearing aids and hearing protection:

PM27: Hearing aids for the last 4

years – helps a lot if they’re tuned to

match the tinnitus.

PM71: I have hearing protection via

Help Musicians.

One participant described how they

followed professional advice to use

HPDs but expressed sadness that

no medical “treatment” was offered.

This suggests a desire for a ‘cure’ for

their tinnitus:

PM61: I was told there was nothing

that could be done, other than

recommending the app. And of course

they recommended ear protection, so

at that stage I purchased moulded ear

plugs for different decibel levels from

said hospital. The service was great, it

was just sad there was no ‘treatment’.



A large number of participants

discussed how useful their social

support networks were for helping

them in coping with their tinnitus.

Many mentioned how talking about

the tinnitus with family members

was helpful in lifting their mood and

dealing with feelings of stress:

PM58: Yes my wife is very

supportive and will always talk

about it if I need to. She gets quite

upset about me having tinnitus but

always wants to do whatever she can

to make me feel better. My mother is

also very supportive.

PM64: My partner is very good at

talking me down from stress and

anxiety. I find it helpful just to be

able to take your mind of[f] things.

Otherwise you become transfixed on

one thought pattern.

One participant also stated that their

family were “sympathetic” and “starting

to understand” how tinnitus can affect

their mood. Many others also described

how their families provided support

by accommodating their tinnitus,

including the impact it can have in

their social and everyday lives:

PM59: Yes. My partner is very

supportive. She has done her

reading and attends the tinnitus

support group with me. She also

came with me to the 2020 Tinnitus

Information day in Birmingham.

When I am very quiet she asks how

the tinnitus is and always considers

the possible impact of any social

events on my tinnitus – concerts,

cinema etc. This support is invaluable.

PM60: Yes – my family and friends

understand it can be frustrating for

me to ask them to repeat themselves!

They also know to give me space or

play white noise to help me cope.

Several individuals described

how this sort of understanding

and empathy was beneficial to

them when they received it from

others who have also experienced

tinnitus. They discussed how it was

“very reassuring” to share similar

experiences with fellow musicians

who have managed to limit the

impact tinnitus had on their career

and “still work in music”:

PM8: Other local musicians/artists

with tin[n]itus. Facebook groups.

Hearing other people stories and

realising there are many other

people going through the same

thing was very reassuring.

PM59: From the tinnitus support

group hearing about other experiences

does help even though it is usually

difficult [to] apply their approaches.

Know[ing] there are others with

similar problems always helps – the

group support and empathy etc.

PM46: Finding out about others who

suffer and still work in music.

22 23



The majority of participants explicitly

discussed the tinnitus support or

services they wanted access to in

the future. This largely addressed

improvements that should be made

to the means of support already

available, which has been accessed

previously by PMs to varying extents

with mixed results as reported in the

previous section of this report. Within

this third theme are two subthemes

which were identified: participants

wanted ‘Better awareness and

understanding’ surrounding tinnitus

and suggested improvements that

would be beneficial for ‘Healthcare/

professional support’.



Some participants stated that

general positive reassurance about

their experience of tinnitus could be

helpful to understand that they could

“habituate” (PM7) to the tinnitus and

that their situation could improve:

PM12: Simply understanding

tinnitus and knowing it is not the

end of the world.

PM31: Positive stories of improving

situation to provide hope for us.

Several participants reported never

discussing their tinnitus with other

people. For many this was largely

because they felt there was a lack

of understanding from other people

who do not have tinnitus. They

expressed frustration that some

people were unable to accommodate

the impact that their tinnitus could

have on their everyday life, or

appreciate how it affects them:

PM66: I haven’t really discussed it

with anyone else.

PM71: Not especially. I don’t

think people without it have any

understandable framework to

appreciate how disruptive it can be.

PM24: Not really, they find it hard

to understand. They also find it

frustrating that I can’t keep up with

conversation or hear them calling

my name.

Building upon this, a large number

of participants indicated that there

should be more awareness of tinnitus

and the negative impact it can

have. Many discussed the need for

preventative education in a range of

contexts, as well as advice about the

risks of working in their profession:

PM58: I think there needs to be a lot

more awareness about the harm of

noise related hearing loss that would

help young musicians look after

their ears.

PM67: Better understanding of the

risks, less expectation that musicians

should simply sacrifice their health

for everyone else’s enjoyment.

PM35: Educating about

preventative measures.

Some participants identified that they

were self-employed and highlighted

that some information and awareness

for those without employers would

be helpful:

PM23: Some input [about tinnitus]

as a self-employed professional

musician would be very useful.

To help ensure there was better

awareness and understanding of

tinnitus amongst the music profession

and industry, future work could look

to places of music education to

implement information-sharing

interventions. Ultimately these would

aim to encourage preventative

behaviours, aiming to reduce the

experience of tinnitus amongst

musicians and therefore decrease

the need for tinnitus support later in

the professional musician’s career.



Participants described the support they

want from healthcare services to help

manage the impact of their tinnitus

on their everyday lived experiences.

Many individuals discussed how they

wanted increased availability of

healthcare services and resources, as

well as improved access to these for

those who need support for their

tinnitus. This includes hearing tests,

HPDs, Government funding, and

“education of those on the front line,”

as some GPs have “Victorian attitudes

and zero knowledge or empathy”

(PM38) on the subject of tinnitus. One

participant also advocated for more

structure within the NHS to address

tinnitus amongst everyone, also

arguing for there to be more widespread

visibility of management support:

PM59: Support for tinnitus seems

rather fragmented and most often

not very structured. This would be

the same for all. Although the NHS

driven by assessing whether there is a

clinical reason for the tinnitus – which

they appear to do well – once the

life-threatening has been ruled out

the emphasis turns to management

and reducing its impact on normal life.

Although there [is] help available its

availability tends not to be clearly

imparted. There seems to be the idea

that because tinnitus can be very

different between individuals there

is no point trying to put together

some form of generic approach and

information provision.

They also listed suggestions as to

how the NHS could approach tinnitus

support, including a “Tinnitus

Handbook,” “group information” and

advice on where to look for the “more

attested sources” such as credible

books and websites.

While a limited number of individuals

mentioned their experiences with

tinnitus-specific services within the

previous theme, many others were

lacking support and expressed a

desire for access to tailored services.

This covers support for individuals

who have tinnitus, as well as support

specific to PMs who have tinnitus:

PM59: In each GP surgery at least

one GP that takes a special interest

in tinnitus patients – providing

information on support within the

practice, in the NHS locally and from

other local groups.

PM43: A more specialised group/

organisation that specifically deals

with performers/musicians. Giving

better help support and resources

for them.

Participants also want access to

support and advice that will help them

manage or cope with their tinnitus:

PM44: The treatment that is

supposed to match the whistle

in your head and is supposed to

alleviate the symptoms.

PM28: More information on effective

management and prevention.

In addition to management of

the tinnitus symptoms, several

individuals wanted support that

would address the psychological

effect that tinnitus could have on

their mental health:

PM14: Counselling. If tinnitus is

currently irreversible then the need

is to cope with living [with tinnitus]

and how to avoid thinking about it.

PM12: Mental health support is key.

A common request amongst

responses was for a tinnitus

“cure” and many individuals also

highlighted the need for more

tinnitus research, with some noting

appreciation for the attention this

project had given to this issue:

PM54: Further research is critical

as I am very aware that tinnitus can

destroy lives.

PM72: Thank you for researching

this awful condition.

PM4: This is important and useful.

Carry on the good work!

Several individuals highlighted a

lack of safety regulations within

professional environments. They

wanted better access to hearing

protection resources, as well as

“understanding and supportive”

(PM24) cooperation from employers

and venues:

PM8: More visible signposting in

music venues and nightclubs to

warn people.

PM45: Nightclub owners should

provide ear plugs for staff and


PM14: I did use to work at a huge

music venue which did have the bare

bones “safety” re hearing loss at

loud volumes – but in practice this

was never taken into consideration.

As the above highlights, there is a

lack of available support within the

industry, and those who have had

experience of hearing health and

safety procedures at work illustrated

the potential for discord between

providing information, support and

resources and such measures being

acknowledged and behaviours


24 25



1. “Mental health is key”:

a tinnitus support group

for musicians, by musicians


From the survey results, it is

apparent that musicians would

benefit from support with their

tinnitus and mental health; statistics

show that mental health conditions

such as anxiety or depression are

strongly associated with tinnitus,

and participants explicitly state

they would like more support in this

area. Furthermore, participants

indicated that they benefit when

receiving support from others who

also have tinnitus. The musicians

often felt reassured, and less lonely

or isolated, when hearing stories

from others in the industry who have

learnt ways to successfully manage

their tinnitus without it hindering

their music career.


With this in mind, the support

groups can run dedicated sessions

for musicians who have tinnitus to

address experiences with mental

health; this can involve peer-led

support and advice, including sharing

stories so individuals can hear from

others in similar situations.


PMs who have tinnitus to

encourage an open dialogue on

mental health and discussion

amongst peers with tinnitus

Collaborating with music groups,

organisations and charities who

work with musicians.


The BTA to facilitate tinnitus

support group(s) for musicians

Signpost to available services

for support:

BTA: helpline and resources

and using knowledge

learnt from establishing

over 100 tinnitus support

groups which are open to

all people to attend

Help Musicians: support

through Music Minds Matter.


First support group to be

established within six months of

launch of report. Following on

from the first support group for

musicians, and dependant on

need, further musician-specific

support groups could be developed.

2. Tinnitus management:

support focused on

relaxation techniques


From the TFI results it is apparent

that participants’ tinnitus impacted

them most in relation to their

experience of relaxation.


Development of workshop/webinar

sessions and resources giving

attention to relaxation techniques, to

manage tinnitus amongst PMs.


PMs who indicate they struggle

to relax with their tinnitus would

benefit from advice and support

surrounding management

techniques aimed at relaxation

Could be delivered by the BTA in

association with other relevant

organisations and charities

Work with HCPs and experts to

contribute their knowledge and

give advice on different types of

management techniques.


Develop an event which PMs

can join if they need advice and

support to help relax whilst living

with tinnitus

Signpost to already available

resources and produce a list

of recommended relaxation

resources for musicians with


Possible further research to

evaluate how effective different

techniques and resources are in

helping musicians with tinnitus

to relax. This could then be used

to refine and tailor sessions and

advice specific to musicians, etc.


First event to be delivered within

first six months of report launch.

26 27

4. Music education evaluation:

tinnitus prevention and

promoting healthy hearing

3. An understanding and informed approach:

encouraging knowledge, empathy

and awareness of tinnitus


Responses to the open-ended

questions highlight a lack of empathy,

amongst different sources, for

individuals who suffer with tinnitus.

This includes the ‘stigma’ and

negativity surrounding tinnitus among

the general public, as well as among

family and friends, and healthcare

professionals. In addition, a lack of

knowledge and understanding was

also an issue in healthcare settings,

with one participant saying HCPs

have outdated or “Victorian

attitudes” and are, therefore,

unhelpful during appointments.


Educate friends and family of

PMs with tinnitus through

signposting to established generic

information via the BTA and Help

Musicians, and/or develop

musician-specific resources

Provide training sessions for

HCPs to ensure they have

basic tinnitus knowledge and

accurate information about what

treatment is available.



Family/friends (social support


Employers and music venues.


Information-sharing event(s)

Signpost to BTA events open to

general population

Training for HCPs in tinnitus,

the challenges experienced

particularly by musicians, and

encourage a more hopeful

attitude towards patients who

have tinnitus.

Encourage HCPs to achieve

a basic level of knowledge by

signposting to available tinnitus

training, and to be aware of further

(external) support resources and

services people can access (e.g.

BTA and Help Musicians’ services).


Information-sharing to commence

immediately with the launch of

report and to continue via events

being delivered on a regular basis

via the BTA, which include training

events for HCPs.


Across the findings, it is evident that

this population of musicians have

experiences with tinnitus that are

exclusive to their profession. For

example, many identified issues

surrounding HPDs, which includes

finding appropriate methods of use

and how to access them. In addition,

the education they received during

their (music) education was frequently

inadequate, with some participants

highlighting the lack of warning they

were given surrounding noise exposure

and hearing protection advice.


Education evaluation. As the data

provided in this research about

the musicians’ experience of

education is retrospective and

therefore reliant on memory, it is

important to evaluate the current

situation in tinnitus prevention

and information education.

Development and implementation

of education intervention.

A module to educate young

musicians about how to protect

their hearing and reduce risk

of developing tinnitus. This

module could be implemented in

music colleges to share advice

surrounding relevant issues,

including using HPDs, where to

access them and how to use

them effectively.


Musicians’ Hearing Health Steering

Group (MHHSG) is facilitated by

Help Musicians and is a group of

leading professionals in this field.


Young musicians

Organisations that work with



MHHSG to plan and advise on

an education evaluation to look

at current practice of tinnitus

education for young musicians

Develop a hearing health module

which includes a session about

tinnitus (dependant on findings

from evaluation)

Implement intervention in an

online format (reassess once

COVID-19 restrictions are lifted

– could potentially deliver a

session in institutions)

Module topics could include

outlining preventative measures

to encourage behaviour change

rather than attitude change

regarding HPDs, including

information about types which

are best suited to individuals/

environments and how to use HPDs


Development of tinnitus

education evaluation plan by

MHHSG within one year of report

launch. Implementing an

educational intervention is

dependent on findings from

evaluation and funding availability.








Some research considerations were

highlighted when undertaking this

research which could be considered

when future work is conducted

with musicians about tinnitus. The

recommendations include:

Try to reach a more diverse

population (in particular try to

access more female musicians –

70% of respondents in this report

identified as male).

Allow time for recruitment and be

realistic with sample size aims.

This is a specific population who

may be hard to reach due to

feelings of shame about having

tinnitus/hearing health problems

as a musician.

Develop a further research tool

to specifically assess tinnitus

impact amongst musicians. The

musicians’ TFI results seemed

contradictory to their responses

from the open-ended questions,

which suggests a new survey tool

specific to musicians could help

to further explore the limitations

and challenges specific to this

population when aiming to measure

the impact of tinnitus on their lives.




The mixed-methods survey

approach was a suitable method for

gaining an overview of this issue,

however some additional qualitative

research would have provided more

in-depth insights. It is therefore

recommended that further research

is undertaken, taking a qualitative

approach to focus on developing

a more nuanced and in-depth

understanding of the complexities of

tinnitus and its impact on musicians.

Focus groups and/or interviews

could be conducted with a

purposefully selected choice of

professional musicians who have

lived experiences of tinnitus. This

would enable the participants to

provide more detailed descriptions

about their experiences of living

with tinnitus and allow the research

to follow up and interrogate their

experiences further than was possible

in the open-ended questions on

the survey. The contradictory

nature between the TFI results and

the open-ended responses could

be further explored, enabling a

greater understanding of some of

the hidden issues musicians living

with tinnitus experience. This would

enable a more detailed description

of the context of the musicians’

experiences to be heard and allow

the musicians’ opinions to be further

interrogated providing a better

understanding of the challenges this

unique population encounter.

American Tinnitus Association (2019). Understanding the

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7 & 14: Sam Moqadam / Page 8: Ian Maina / Page 10: Nathan Defiesta / Page 11:

Priscilla du Preez / Page 13: Raphael Nast / Page 15: David Vilches / Pages 16 & 17:

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1. As well as tinnitus (also known as ringing in your ears), what

conditions/illnesses (physical or mental health) have you been

diagnosed with?

2. How do you think you got tinnitus?

3. Did you receive any information about tinnitus during your

education? If yes, can you tell me more about it? If no,

do you think it would have been helpful, and how?

4. Did you receive any information about tinnitus during any

period of employment? If yes, can you tell me more about it?

If no, do you think it would have been helpful, and how?

5. How does your tinnitus have an impact on your work life?

6. How does your tinnitus have an impact on your life outside of work?

7. Have you previously accessed healthcare/treatment or other forms

of support for tinnitus? If so, could you please provide details?

8. What healthcare/treatment or other form of support do you

think would be especially helpful for you and other musicians?

9. Do you have support for your tinnitus from those around you

(e.g. family and/or friends)? If so, what do you find helpful?

10. Any other comments?




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