It’s not just numbers of students that is an issue during COVID-19, but also what arts education entails, said Donald Nally, director of choral organizations at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music. “(In choir,) we sing and breathe deeply, and these are two things you don’t want to be doing right now,” Nally said. “It’s like a double-whammy.”

Northwestern won’t have in-person choir rehearsals until further notice, Nally said. He said the university decided online choir classes would be a proactive way to slow transmission of the virus — but not all music educators or students have this option.

To make in-person band, choir and theater safer for educators and students, the National Federation of State High School Associations and the College Band Directors National Association commissioned a study on the aerosolization of COVID-19. Research teams at the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Maryland specifically looked at aerosol production in areas of performing arts.

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  • Donald Nally
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