Preliminary Results Released – Aerosol Study

Colleagues:
Last night, Steve Selfridge and I had the chance to view a webinar on the preliminary findings from the much-anticipated aerosol study.    I highly encourage everyone to take a look at the full preliminary report.  While it does go pretty deep into the science, the visualizations and videos that are included are quite helpful.
While this is a scientific study, these are just preliminary results and have not been peer reviewed yet.   The results were released in an effort to aid schools across the country and world in their return to school plans for the fall.  The first wave of results focused just on wind instruments.    The next wave of results at the end of July will focus on singing, acting, and playing general music instruments such as recorders.
TAKEAWAYS:
  • Masking should be utilized by all students and staff in a rehearsal environment.    Masks that have a slit for mouthpiece access would be preferred.
  • The 6′ social distancing space should be employed as suggested by the CDC.
    • Trombones need an additional 3′ of space back to front.
  • Masking over instruments helps reduce the amount of particles that are expelled.
  • Straight lines in rehearsals as opposed to curved setups help minimize exposure.
  • Precautions should be taken for common place procedures such as spit valves and access to instrument storage rooms.
  • Teachers should consider using a portable PA system to help keep their voices at a conversational tone as opposed to projecting over a large group.
  • Existing HVAC systems should be fitted with HEPA filters that are appropriate to the size of the rehearsal space.
  • Rehearsal times should be limited to approximately 45 minutes.  After 45 minutes, a rehearsal room needs about an hour for the complete circulation/filtration of the air.
After going through the presentation, both Steve and I feel that this is better news than to be expected.  We all know that performing is going to look different this year: this, along with the other resources that are out there, should be one more tool that you can use to help maintain music education as much as possible within your school!
We also want to share one more document with all of you that can help in your discussions.  This comes from New Jersey, but is absolutely applicable here in PA as well.
This is an unprecedented time for education, and we realize that everyone has their own views and opinions on just what school is going to look like.   One thing that we hope you will keep at the forefront of discussions within your district is this: arts education HAS to be an integral part of the educational offering!
-Justin McAdams, D12 President
-Steve Selfridge, D12 President-Elect