ISM Members Fund joins the Musicians' Hearing Health Scheme Jump to main content

ISM Members Fund joins the Musicians' Hearing Health Scheme

The ISM Members Fund has become a partner of the Musicians’ Hearing Health Scheme from Help Musicians to help protect musicians’ hearing.

On World Hearing Day, 3 March 2023, the Independent Society of Musicians Members Fund (ISM Members Fund) became a partner in the Musicians’ Hearing Health Scheme from Help Musicians, offering ISM members affordable access to hearing protection.

The Musicians' Hearing Health Scheme aims to make hearing protection an affordable and essential part of a musician’s toolkit. The national support scheme was launched in 2016 by Help Musicians in partnership with the Musicians’ Union.

The scheme offers all professional musicians in the UK affordable access to audiological assessments and custom-made hearing protection. The scheme is principally funded by Help Musicians and delivered by Musicians’ Hearing Services.

ISM members can now access a further 25% discount on the scheme, subsidised by the ISM Members Fund.

Hearing is a basic tool for musicians, but it is fragile and at risk of being damaged by the work they do.

Research shows that musicians suffer noise-induced hearing loss more than the general population. Of a 2015 Help Musicians’ survey of 693 professional musicians of all genres:

  • 40% have experienced some type of hearing loss
  • 82% believe that musicians should use hearing protection

Although noise-induced hearing loss is 100% irreversible, it is 100% preventable.

For a one-off payment of £37.50 (usual price £50), ISM members can now access:

  • An audiological assessment and check-up from a specialist in musicians’ hearing (worth up to £100)
  • A set of custom-made, ACS Pro Series plugs (worth £149)
  • Expert advice on referral routes and next steps to manage any problems
  • Option of wax removal, if necessary, at a subsidised rate of £50

On 27 April, 4-5pm, Fiona Butterworth, Senior Clinical Audiologist at Musicians' Hearing Services will deliver a free webinar on hearing health for ISM members. The webinar will explain how the ear and your hearing works, and explore how to understand the signs and symptoms of hearing problems, manage noise exposure, and maintain good hearing health, as well as details of how to access the Musicians' Hearing Health Scheme.

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the ISM, said:

‘Musicians’ ears are some of their most valuable assets. It is vitally important to get your hearing checked regularly and look after your hearing health in order to sustain a long-term career in music.

As a charity focused on improving the health and wellbeing of our members, The ISM Members Fund is delighted to join this valuable scheme in order to protect and support musicians’ hearing. We encourage all ISM members to sign up to the scheme to access discounted hearing protection.’

About the ISM Members Fund

The ISM Members Fund, the sister charity of the Independent Society of Musicians (ISM), has provided help and support to members or former members of the ISM and their dependants since 1917. Members can access a range of mental, physical and financial services through the Fund to benefit their health and wellbeing. This includes counselling services, physiotherapy and financial support.

James Ainscough, Chief Executive of Help Musicians, said:

‘At Help Musicians, we sadly see the impact that hearing damage has on musicians in later life, and in many cases, significantly curtailing careers. Investing in hearing protection is an investment in a musician’s future and during more challenging financial times it’s more important than ever to offer accessible services to protect health.

We are pleased to welcome the ISM Members Fund as a partner to the Musicians’ Hearing Health Scheme, supporting their members to access this vital support and help prevent issues before they arise.’

About Help Musicians

Help Musicians is a charity that loves music and for over 100 years has been working hard to make a meaningful difference to the lives of musicians across the UK. It offers a broad range of help to support music creators in times of crisis and opportunity - ensuring musicians across the UK can achieve their creative potential and sustain a career in music.

Paul Checkley, Clinical Director of Musicians’ Hearing Services, said:

‘Noise induced hearing loss is permanent but completely preventable and a very real issue for musicians. So far 15,000 musicians have benefited from this UK-wide scheme and we are excited to work with the ISM Members Fund to provide discounted hearing healthcare to ISM members all over the UK.’

About Musicians’ Hearing Services

Musicians’ Hearing Services – part of the Harley Street Harley group - have passionately served musicians and the entertainment industry for the past 25 years. They provide tailor-made services including audiological assessments, advice on hearing protection and specialist technology for those affected by hearing loss. For five years they have been audiology providers of the Musicians’ Hearing Health Scheme caring for over 15,000 musicians to date.