We are working hard to help ensure that your student, and everyone else involved in the program, remain safe. We are taking measures such as social distancing chairs for rehearsals, prohibiting the sharing of music stands (unless the students are from the same family AND playing the same instrument), and asking percussion to wear face coverings.
We are NOT requiring our wind players to wear masks. A study published this summer has shown it is safer for a wind player to play, unmasked and uncovered, than it is for a person to sing or hold a conversation. The wearing of a mask at this young stage of learning and growing can lead to incorrect use of muscles, creating habits that are not only difficult to break and cause problems with sound and playing, but also can lead to harm if certain muscles are continuously used incorrectly and not corrected.
"Consequently, aerosol number and mass generated during instrument playing is of similar magnitude to that produced by breathing and is lower than that associated with singing and speaking at high volume. Moreover, large droplets (>20 μm diameter, measured using water-sensitive paper) were not observed during instrument playing but were observed during singing and coughing. Taken together, these observations suggest playing woodwind and brass instruments generate less aerosol than singing or speaking at high volume levels."(https://www.doublereed.co.uk/news/new-research-on-covid-19-and-wind-instruments/?fbclid=IwAR38RsJzUQCi3CV4Yk3ELcPMoazqmPODErCtWRuK5F8X8PClz-dlyNp6Zf0 )
We ARE taking every step we can, to help ensure each student is safe. This includes:
* social distancing during rehearsals
*No stand sharing
* Percussion is expected to have their own set of sticks and mallets (NO SHARING OF STICKS)
*every student MUST have a bottle of disinfectant spray in their bag/case, and they MUST spray their mouthpiece down before removing it. This helps to limit the amount of germs they spread from touching the mouth piece, placing it in the case, and then touching the chair/door/etc.
*Double Reed players are REQUIRED to have a bottle of listerine or mouthwash to add to their reed water. When soaking their reed before playing, it will be disinfected. Then, replace the reed back into the water after playing to disinfect again before putting it away.
*We STRONGLY encourage single-reed players (clarinet and saxophone) use this method as well.
*We are asking percussion players to wear a face covering when possible
*Brass Players are REQUIRED to have an airtight container, lined with paper towels, to empty their spit valves into. This will help prevent the spread of germs caused by emptying their spit/saliva onto the floor.
*Air purifiers are running
*Disinfection happens following each rehearsal (students ARE expected to help return the rooms to their condition upon arriving, and they are expected to help spray lysol and/or wipe down anything they touched.)
*Each facility is professionally cleaned and disinfected to COVID standards (This is what the facility fee covers).