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Health and Safety Guidelines

The following statements regarding Health and Safety issues are intended to be informational in nature to assist students in their conduct for which they are personally responsible. In order to prevent injury during the period that a student is enrolled in a music degree program at SC State University, students are advised to be mindful of their surroundings and to follow the instruction of faculty and other appropriate authority as recognized by the university. Specific methods for addressing these issues at SC State University are outlined in the Health and Safety Guidelines below.


Hearing is fundamental to the success of practicing musicians. Therefore, students are instructed to:

  • avoid environments where the decibel (dB) level of sound is uncomfortably high (above 80 dB can cause hearing loss) for a protracted period (approximately 20 minutes)

  • own a pair of earplugs as directed by their instructor and/or use earplugs when practicing/playing loud instruments in confined places

  • become familiar with physical structure of the ear, the mechanical/biological process of hearing, and the signs of diminished capacity to hear

  • learn to identify what the best practice is in order to preserve auditory health

  • avoid extended use of earphones both to prevent diminished hearing as well as to be better aware of the environment through which the student may be passing

  • seek appropriate professional aid if hearing problems occur

  • have their hearing tested for free at the Speech/Language/Hearing Center on the corner of Pinkney and Russell. They can also order musician's earplugs there.

Vocal health

Maintaining vocal health is important to all musicians and is best preserved when students:  


  • maintain the overall health of their body through adequate sleep, nutrition, and cleanliness

  • cultivate and maintain regular habits to safeguard one’s health

  • avoid excessive use of yelling or other stress inducing vocal practice

  • consume alcohol in moderation (if at all) in accordance with the law and university policy

  • avoid social use of drugs in any amount

  • become familiar with the vocal mechanism, proper breathing and posture

  • seek appropriate professional and medical aid if vocal problems occur


Musculoskeletal health

Musculoskeletal health is best maintained when the student:


  • regularly exercises. The major muscle groups and features of the human skeleton are introduced in physical education or health education, level one. Students may also participate in fitness activities that include Health awareness activities and health screenings at the university’s Fitness Center.

  • develops a working vocabulary to identify muscles and important features of the skeleton

  • understands his/her own physical strength relative to a given task

  • follows the instructions for properly lifting and lowering objects as directed by professors and/or appropriated authorities as recognized by the university

  • defers to professional help when certain objects have been designated as not to be handled by students

  • knows how to tend to minor physical discomforts and tension relief by following health tips sent from the SC State Brooks Health and Wellness Center

  • follows the instruction of their studio teachers relative to the handling, use and development of their instrument/voice

  • seeks appropriate professional help when required

  • maintains hours of practicing (private and in ensembles) that do not imperil their health due to their excessive duration and exposure to inclement weather and heat (i.e. 1 1/2 hour maximum practice time prior to a rest period; 4 hour maximum practice time in a 24 hour period). Practice/performance periods exceeding the recommended maximum should be supervised by the appropriate faculty member who will be accountable for this action.

Health and Safety Protocols for the Marching Band

  • Students entering the band program are required to complete medical forms listing all of their health issues. These forms are sent to SC State's campus health center and a copy remains in our band office.

  • When a crisis or incident arises concerning band students, they are first attended to by a certified First Aid Specialist - Ms. Shenise Ford. When necessary, they are taken to SC State’s Brooks Health Center and, if it is after hours, they then are taken to a local health center (Dr. Care, Urgent Care or The Regional Medical Center) where a band personal remain with them until they are treated.

  • Rehearsal time for the marching band is 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. In case of inclement weather rehearsals are held in the band room.


Protocols for Dangerous Materials and Equipment:

The proper handling and operation of potentially dangerous materials and equipment follows the protocol outlined in SC State’s Crisis Communication Plan.  It is the faculty members who determine the potential danger associated with any piece of  music equipment. Students must not undertake on their own to transfer or adjust any piece of equipment without the express direction and supervision of the faculty or other appropriate authorities as recognized by the university.

When entrusted with the movement or adjustment of a piece of equipment, the student must be instructed by the appropriate faculty member in the proper manner of its handling. Such items as may be deemed potentially dangerous include, pianos (electric/acoustic), electronic equipment (computers, monitors, amplifiers, and connecting cables), large percussion instruments (i.e. tympani, marimba, xylophone, chimes), any large brass or string instrument (i.e. tuba, cello, string bass).  

In the event of an accident, crisis or an emergency, campus police should be contacted immediately at 803.536.7188. The Crisis Communication Plan may be viewed at www.scsu.edu/files/crisiscommunicationplan.pdf