Central’s Band Room Could Be Louder Than Knoxville’s Neyland Stadium on Game Day

DID YOU HEAR THAT?– Central band students begin losing hearing in small band room.

Savannah Smith, Editor-in-Chief

A recent news article on WTVC says that the “Neyland Effect” at University of Tennessee football games is known for causing hearing loss due to crowd rowdiness. The amount of sound produced in Neyland Stadium is up to 102 decibels during one game. Over 110 miles away from UTK, band students at Central High School are comparing the sound in a 102,455 chaired Neyland Stadium to the 65 chaired band room.

With the small space covered in concrete walls, the sound from instruments ring out and cause some students, and even Bloodworth, to begin to hear ringing in their ears due to the noise. Most of these problems occur during marching band, but sometimes even concert band.

“The two worst possible places that a band could be playing is in a room with parallel walls and domes, which we both have,” said Bloodworth.

“The sound from the band room is so loud that my ears begin to ring. It’s not fair that other schools in Hamilton County get big and fancy rooms and our band room is so loud that it is even dangerous,” stated sophomore Lacy McKinney.

Based on the Wenger Corporation planning guide for school music facilities, in a band size of 60 to 75 students, the total band room should be 2,500 square feet for space between chairs and for safety of hearing. The Central band room holds a total of around 65 students in a 1,750.56 square foot room which is 750 square feet lower than the average standard.

With concert festival coming up for the Central Symphonic Band, the college level music is not only more challenging, but more loud and aggressive too.

“Basically every band rehearsal I lose hearing for about 30 minutes due to the loudness. I love band and I love playing my instrument, but I have been experiencing hearing damage since my junior year,” commented Jackson Dummer, who has been in the band for the past 4 years.

Up to 16 percent of teenagers experience hearing loss that is caused by excessive amounts of noise at leisure activities, including marching and concert band.

Based on the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), when a person is having a normal conversation the amounts of decibels given by the noise is 60. A lawnmowers noise can go up to 90 decibels. But in the Central High School Band Room the amount of noise created can go all the way up to 120 decibels everyday, depending on different dynamics in every piece.

“I think the best solution for students is to wear earplugs to quiet down the sound. I wish we could be like ‘oh we will just get a new band room’, but that isn’t the case, so we will have to make do and just keep doing what we are doing,” said Dummer.

Students are encouraged to wear earplugs to prevent hearing damage. Although the sound in the band room will keep growing for weeks to come, the Central Sound will not be stopped, even if it is harmful.