The CIM Associate Dean for Student Affairs coordinates general health issues with the Institute's partners at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) Health Services and CWRU Behavioral Health Services. See below for further information on the student health program or health and wellness resources from Case and other nearby providers.

In addition, CIM maintains staffing of counseling hours on the CIM premises by having psychologists available to provide both individual and group therapies to CIM students. These trained specialists also provide additional programming through our residence life program to new undergraduate students on issues facing students in the arts including special discussions on issues such as performance anxiety.

All medical treatment required by an individual is managed through professional medical providers.

Hearing Health

CIM provides NRR33 (soft foam) earplugs for use by any musicians. These are available prior to any rehearsal or concert and may be picked up by the Ensemble Manager or the student manager on duty.

Acquiring permanent hearing loss is an occupational risk for musicians.  As part of CIM’s health initiative, CIM has also partnered with the Cleveland Clinic Section of Audiology to promote healthy hearing so we can listen for a lifetime.

  • Audiologists offer hearing tests in August to any and all students. For new students, it is highly recommended that a baseline hearing test is obtained. For continuing students, follow-up hearing tests are recommend to monitor for any changes that may occur over the course of the year.

  • Protecting your hearing is critical as your ears will be your livelihood. Use of high-fidelity earplugs when playing your instrument will protect you against the cumulative effects of overexposure to music or sounds. The Cleveland Clinic recommends obtaining either ETY earplugs available online (Amazon) or obtaining custom musician plugs. The Cleveland Clinic will provide and fit individualized custom musician earplugs for $125 per set for students. Faculty and staff can purchase for $175.00. Contact Audiology at 216-444-5370 to arrange for impressions to be taken for the custom plugs.

  • Practicing with your new earplugs will be necessary in order for your ears to readjust. Obtaining earplugs earlier in your career is recommended to allow adequate adjustment time.

  • Be aware of your instrument’s output. Follow these steps to determine if high-fidelity earplugs are necessary.

    1. Consult Table 1 to see the estimated output of your instrument.
    2. Compare your instrument’s output with Table 2, the Safe Level Chart, to determine the maximum time you should play and remain safe from hearing loss.
      • A more accurate method is to use a dosimeter, a small instrument you wear on your collar that measures the dose of sound exposure.
    3. A dosimeter is available from the Clinic. Wearing it for a day or several weeks will determine if you are at risk for hearing loss. This is based on your playing output, playing time, and playing environment. Please contact Audiology at 216-444-5370 to inquire about using a dosimeter.

Table 1:  Approximate values associated with different instruments (Chasin, M. (2001). Hear the music: Hearing loss prevention for musicians. Publisher not identified.)

Musical Noise Decibel Ranges

  • normal piano practice: 60-70 dB
  • fortissimo singer three feet away: 70 dB
  • chamber music in small auditorium: 75-85 dB
  • regular sustained exposure may cause permanent damage: 90-95 dB
  • piano fortissimo: 92-95 dB
  • violin: 84-103 dB
  • cello: 82-92 dB
  • oboe: 90-94 dB
  • flute: 85-111 dB
  • piccolo: 95-112 dB
  • clarinet: 92-103 dB
  • french horn: 90-106 dB
  • trombone: 85-114 dB
  • timpani & bass drum rolls: 106 dB
  • average personal listening device on 5/10 setting: 94 dB
  • symphonic music peak: 120-137 dB
  • amplified rock music at 4-6 feet: 120 dB
  • rock music peak: 150 dB

Safe Levels of Maximum Time Exposure

  • 85 dBA: 8 hours in a day
  • 88 dBA: 4 hours in a day
  • 91 dBA: 2 hours in a day
  • 94 dBA: 1 hour in a day
  • 97 dBA: 30 minutes in a day
  • 100 dBA: 15 minutes in a day
  • 103 dBA: 7.5 minutes in a day
  • 106 dBA: 3.75 minutes in a day
Vocal Health

Protecting Your Vocal Health: A NASM-PAMA Student Information Sheet

  • Vocal health is important for all musicians and essential to lifelong success for singers.
  • Understanding basic care of the voice is essential for musicians who speak, sing, and rehearse or teach others.
  • Practicing, rehearsing, and performing music is physically demanding.
  • Musicians are susceptible to numerous vocal disorders.
  • Many vocal disorders and conditions are preventable and/or treatable.
  • Sufficient warm-up time is important.
  • Begin warming up mid-range, and then slowly work outward to vocal pitch extremes.
  • Good posture, adequate breath support, and correct physical technique are essential.
  • Regular breaks during practice and rehearsal are vital in order to prevent undue physical or vocal stress and strain.
  • It is important to set a reasonable limit on the amount of time that you will practice in a day.
  • Avoid sudden increases in practice times.
  • Know your voice and its limits, and avoid overdoing it or misusing it.
  • Maintain healthy habits. Safeguard your physical and mental health.
  • Drink plenty of water in order to keep your vocal folds adequately lubricated. Limit your use of alcohol, and avoid smoking.
  • Day-to-day decisions can impact your vocal health, both now and in the future. Since vocal strain and a myriad of other injuries can occur in and out of school, you also need to learn more and take care of your own vocal health on a daily basis. Avoid shouting, screaming, or other strenuous vocal use.
  • If you are concerned about your personal neuromusculoskeletal health, talk with a medical professional.
  • If you are concerned about your neuromusculoskeletal health in relationship to your program of study, consult the appropriate contact person at CWRU: Louise Matchett,
  • This information is provided by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and the Performing Arts Medical Association (PAMA). For more information, check out the other NASM-PAMA neuromusculoskeletal health documents located on the NASM website.
Neuromusculoskeletal Health

Protecting Your Neuromusculoskeletal Health: A NASM-PAMA Student Information Sheet

  • Neuromusculoskeletal health is essential to your lifelong success as a musician.
  • Practicing and performing music is physically demanding.
  • Musicians are susceptible to numerous neuromusculoskeletal disorders.
  • Some neuromusculoskeletal disorders are related to behavior, others are genetic, and others are the result of trauma or injury. Some genetic conditions can increase a person’s risk of developing certain behavior-related neuromusculoskeletal disorders.
  • Many neuromusculoskeletal disorders and conditions are preventable and/or treatable.
  • Sufficient physical and musical warm-up time is important.
  • Good posture and correct physical technique are essential.
  • Regular breaks during practice and rehearsal are vital in order to prevent undue physical stress and strain.
  • It is important to set a reasonable time limit on the amount of time that you will practice a day.
  • Avoid sudden increases in practice times.
  • Know your body and its limits, and avoid “overdoing it.”
  • Maintain healthy habits. Safeguard your physical and mental health.
  • Day-to-day decisions can impact your neuromusculoskeletal health, both now and in the future. Since muscle and joint strains and a myriad of other injuries can occur in and out of school, you also need to learn more and take care of your own neuromusculoskeletal health on a daily basis, particularly with regard to your performing medium and area of specialization.
  • If you are concerned about your personal neuromusculoskeletal health, talk with a medical professional.
  • If you are concerned about your neuromusculoskeletal health in relationship to your program of study, please consult with your principal teacher or the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
  • This information is provided by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and the Performing Arts Medical Association (PAMA). For more information, check out the other NASM-PAMA neuromusculoskeletal health documents located on the NASM website.

Wellness on Campus

Student Workers: Health & Safety Training

The Cleveland Institute of Music maintains a thorough departmental training program for students who may be employed to work in Student Work Study positions. In particular, students in the Library, Mail Room, Recording Services, Distance Learning Services, Concert Hall Stage Managers, Set-up Crew, and the stage crew for opera productions are all given instructions in proper use of materials and equipment.

CIM also makes available to all students (particularly those in orchestra) earplugs as a means of lessening the aural impact during orchestra rehearsals. Only students trained in the process for moving equipment are allowed to move said equipment.

Developing Balance: The Mind-Body Connection

Student wellness is essential for health, relationships performance and academics. At the Cleveland Institute of Music, and through its shared programming with Case Western Reserve University, students are encouraged to learn more about wellness and the mind-body connection, and to develop a personalized, life-long wellness plan.

Definition of Wellness

The National Wellness Institute uses this definition: The term wellness has been applied in many ways. Although there might be different views on what wellness encompasses, the National Wellness Institute - along with the help of leaders in health and wellness - shared many interpretations and models of wellness. Through this discussion, there appears to be general agreement that:

  • Wellness is a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential
  • Wellness is multi-dimensional and holistic, encompassing lifestyle, mental and spiritual well-being, and the environment
  • Wellness is positive and affirming

The definition of wellness, long used by the National Wellness Institute is consistent with these tenets. Wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.

  • Physical Wellness (including Hearing, Vocal, and musculoskeletal health) encourages regular physical activities, good nutrition, sleep and occasional connections with healthcare providers to prevent illness and disease. It discourages harmful behaviors that include tobacco, excessive alcohol, non-prescription medications and other drugs. It also encourages the use of preventive care, such as earplugs.
  • Emotional Wellness is having the ability to understand, acknowledge and accept a wide range of feelings in oneself and in others. It includes the ability to balance reason and emotion and it leads to improved self-esteem and confidence.
  • Occupational Wellness includes making positive career-life choices that lead to personal fulfillment and satisfaction in life.
  • Intellectual Wellness includes being open to new ideas and the desire to learn from challenges and experiences. It encourages ongoing intellectual growth, curiosity and creativity.
  • Social Wellness involves developing friendships, healthy sexual behaviors and meaningful social networks.
  • Spiritual Wellness is the willingness to seek meaning and purpose in human existence; being open and respectful of the diverse multi-cultural beliefs and backgrounds of others and building a set of guiding values and principles.

Student Health Program 

The Cleveland Institute of Music recognizes an obligation to assure the physical and mental well-being of its students. All full-time students participate in the Case Student Health Program, which includes care provided by the University Health Service and coverage under the Case Medical Plan. All students who have paid the Health Service Fee are eligible to make use of the services offered within the Health Service.

For more information on different aspects of the Health Program, click on the links below. For full details, visit CWRU University Health & Counseling Services or the CIM Student Affairs Office.

General Benefits
  • Visits are free to all registered CIM students
  • Students may choose a personal physician or nurse practitioner
  • MD specialties include internal medicine, family practice, pediatrics
  • Nurse practitioners for women's health, ambulatory care, allergies
Women's Clinic
  • Annual exams with Pap smears (at no extra charge)
  • Birth control
  • Emergency contraception (also available via on-call service)
  • STI (sexually transmitted infection) questions/check-ups
  • Other concerns: breast mass, infertility, hair growth, painful periods, pregnancy, sexuality/orientation, etc.
Men's Health
  • Visits to physicians in the General Clinic
  • Questions/concerns about STI (sexually transmitted infection), sexuality/orientation, sexual function, testicular irregularity, etc.
  • Questions about family history, cholesterol, hair growth, etc.
Appointments & Emergencies


Call 216.368.4539 to schedule an appointment.

Same-day appointments are available for acute illness; the earlier in the day you call, the easier it is to arrange an appointment time. If you have established a relationship with a primary care practitioner, you will also have access to that practitioner via e-mail. In some cases, it is possible to refill your prescription, for instance, without needing to be seen immediately.


On nights and weekends during the regular school year, call 216.368.2450 for emergency assistance. The answering service will reach the nurse on call or the physician on call, who can then assist with the emergency.

If you have a life-threatening emergency you should, of course, go immediately to the nearest emergency room and inform UHS (as soon as it is possible). All registered students at CIM, regardless of what insurance they use, are eligible for care at the Health Service and the on-call Emergency Service during the regular school year (Fall and Spring semesters). You'll be charged a small, one-time fee charged if you wish to use the Health Service during the summer. If you have the Student Medical Plan as your insurance, this fee will be covered by the Plan.

All services and records of the Health Service are confidential and may not be released to anyone without your signed written informed consent.

Medical Care for Performing Artists

Many specialized resources are available in the Cleveland area. If your teacher suggests such treatment, please contact the CIM Office of Student Affairs and/or UHS for assistance.

Medical Records

Medical information from your student record is available only to members of the UHS staff and may be released only with your written consent. UHS does not disclose any nonpublic personal information about students or former students to anyone, except as permitted by Ohio law.

UHS cannot disclose medical information to parents, professors, deans, future employers, or any other interested parties without a written Release of Information signed by the student.

Allergies, X-Rays and More

An allergy clinic is available so that you may continue to receive prescribed allergy shots while at CIM. You will need to provide bottles of antigenic extract, as well as information from the treating physician regarding administration of the extract.

Nutrition information and advice is available if you wish to lose weight or follow a special diet.

Services not provided at the Health Service itself (laboratory tests, X-rays, consultations, etc.) are often provided at University Hospitals of Cleveland. You will be billed for any such outside services you receive, and then you must submit those bills for reimbursement from either the Student Medical Plan or another health insurance plan. Further information about submitting bills for the Student Medical Plan is available within the Health Service.

Health Requirements

All new full-time students should fill out an Immunization History. This is particularly important if you may be traveling internationally. Be sure to keep a copy of this history with your passport.

If you live in on-campus housing, Ohio Revised Code Section 1713.55 requires you to submit a statement on your vaccination status for meningitis and hepatitis B before they can live on campus. (You need not be vaccinated to comply with this Ohio law. You simply must be informed that the vaccines are available, though they may be declined, if desired.) More information about the vaccines can be found on the Health Service website.

In addition, UHS requests that all students provide an Emergency Notification form. If you have specific medical information you would like to disclose to UHS, you may do so on this form. Both of these forms should be available directly from CIM. Additionally, all of these forms should be available from the Case Student Affairs website.

Student Medical Plan

The Student Medical Plan provides coverage, within the benefit guidelines, for medical services provided outside the Health Service. This includes such services as laboratory tests, X-rays, emergency room treatment, and hospitalization.

Dentistry and Eye Care

The University Health Service does not provide dental services or prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses, but will make referrals when needed.

The Dental Clinic of the School of Dentistry is available for routine care, and the Emergency Dental Clinic will provide immediate service as necessary.

The Case Medical Plan excludes coverage for expenses incurred for corrective lenses and eye examinations. The Plan does offer coverage for dental care that is provided by the Case School of Dentistry, and does cover injuries to sound natural teeth within the stated policy guidelines.

Dependent Coverage

Dependents (spouses and children) of full-time students are not eligible for care at the Health Service. However, elective medical coverage information is available.

CIM Counseling, Placement and Tutoring Services

The CIM Office of Student Affairs coordinates a variety of counseling services. Assistance is available for personal, academic and career matters.

CIM offers counseling to international students and assists them in making adjustments to campus life. The CWRU Office of International Student Services is also a supplementary resource for CIM international students requiring assistance with nonacademic concerns.

Students can log in to access placement assistance offered to graduating students, including an inventory of currently available job openings and by advising in such matters as résumé preparation, employment correspondence, and audition and tape recording preparation. Additionally, a placement credential forwarding service is available.

Tutoring is available to students who need assistance in music theory, sightsinging, and eartraining subjects. Case Western also provides assistance in certain liberal arts areas.

Educational and Disability Support Services

Students are never obligated to self-disclose their disability to Disability Resources, other staff members or faculty. However, students with disabilities who wish to obtain accommodations, auxiliary aids and/or services, must self-disclose their disability and direct their request(s) for accommodation(s) to the office of Disability Resources in the Office of Student Affairs at CIM. An appointment can be made by visiting Associate Dean for Student Affairs David Gilson, or by calling the office at 216.795.3163 or emailing To learn more about academic accommodation, view our policies and procedures