The Iowa High School Music Association recently released its guidance to keep students safe while performing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Executive Director Alan Greiner is strongly recommending students wear masks all the time, even when they are playing an instrument or singing. He describes the best case scenario for a student playing an instrument is to wear a mask that has an opening for the mouthpiece to fit through and then overlaps again when the student isn’t playing.
“There are do-it-yourself designs out there for creating those face masks right now. There’s other designs out there that actually have a flap that comes down over the opening. You flip it up to put the mouthpiece in, and then when the mouthpiece isn’t in your mouth the flap comes down and then you have a covering as well.”
Greiner notes if parents can’t obtain those kinds of masks, a regular mask will work, but the student should pull it down to play and then pull the mask back up when they are not playing. Greiner also has mask recommendations for choir students.
“That actually take a larger zip tie and use it as ribboning inside the face mask to hold it away from your face. The face mask can expand as you sing and drop your jaw and you can comfortably sing within that.”
Greiner adds by wearing a mask, it will help to reduce the amount of droplets in the air and therefore reduce the possible spread of COVID-19.