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Topic – Turn Down the Music!

Read the Following Selection

Read the following selection, or click on the play button below to listen aloud.

Turn Down the Music!

Do you turn up the music when a favourite song comes on? That might not be a good idea. Music that is too loud can damage your hearing.

How can loud music damage hearing?

Tiny nerves in your ears help you hear. When you listen to loud music for long periods of time, those nerves get damaged, so you will not hear as well. Your body will not be able to repair the nerve damage.

Why are cell phones and portable music players a problem?

Today, people can use cell phones and portable music players to listen to music through earphones anywhere they go. That means people can spend a lot more time listening to music—for example, while riding the bus, walking to school, or shopping. If you like your music loud, spending more time listening to music can lead to hearing problems.

How can you tell if your music is too loud?

When you are using earphones, choose a volume that lets you hear what is going on around you. For example, if you are walking down the street and you cannot hear the traffic, the music is too loud. You also know your music is too loud if people nearby can hear it.

How long can you safely listen to music through earphones?

The answer depends on how loud your music is. If you like very loud music, you might start to damage your hearing after just 10 minutes. If you play music at medium volume, you can safely listen for an hour a day.

Measuring Sound Volume

The volume of sound is measured in decibels. The chart below compares the volume of various sounds.


Number of Decibels

Normal conversation, a dishwasher


A blender, a blow dryer


A portable music player at full volume


A jet taking off, a police siren


Now, show what you know!

Complete some questions about the reading selection by clicking “Begin Questions” below.