How can schools safely conduct orchestra and vocal programs in the era of the coronavirus?   

Arts Ed NJ, an arts education resource, policy and advocacy organization, has released an update to its report, September Ready: Fall 2020 Guidance for Arts Education,” which offers practical guidance for K-12 school administrators and arts educators seeking to provide meaningful arts instruction for their students.   

The update details the preliminary results from research done on the distribution of respiratory aerosols that are released while playing wind and brass instruments, singing, acting, speaking, dancing, and during a simulated aerobic activity. It also provides guidance on measures to keep students and staff safe. 

Arts Ed NJ is part of a consortium of more than 100 organizations supporting the COVID-19 Aerosol Dispersion Study being conducted at the University of Colorado and the University of Maryland led by researchers Dr. Shelly Miller and Dr. Jelena Srebricand commissioned by the National Federation of State High School Associations and the Collegiate Band Directors National Association.

The study was designed to identify performing arts activities that generate respiratory aerosols including volume, direction, densityestimate the emission rates of respiratory aerosol; model the dispersion of these aerosols; and investigate mitigation strategies.  

The memo, which was sent to principals and superintendents in the state, includes links to the full study results and to a webinar on the topic.