Flute + mask = ???

Band and Chorus learn how to operate safely during the pandemic.


JHT Staff

8th grader Gabriella Moore and Ms. Nuetzel practice chorus with the online students joining in.

Shaelee Fly-Schultz, JHT Staff Writer

When a person sings or plays an instrument, they are inhaling and exhaling particles in and out of their bodies, just like breathing, only more forcefully. According to the CDC, COVID-19 is generally spread from person to person through breathing. Well, how do you have a band class or even a chorus class in light of Covid-19? 

The short answer is, it isn’t easy. 

Ms. Nuetzel, the chorus teacher, explains the restraints around singing during a pandemic. “It’s a big challenge because we have severe limitations. So we aren’t allowed to sing for greater than 10 minutes at a time. We have to wear masks and maintain social distancing of six feet while we sing, and also have to keep it at a low volume.”

Singing at a low volume in a mask sounds like what you probably think it sounds like. “It’s difficult to hear students when they’re that far away, and you can’t see what their mouths look like!” says Ms. Nuetzel. 

Because wind instruments require less breathing than singing, they are able to play longer in class. Mr. Littlepage, the band instructor, explains, “Basically it’s restricted to 30 minutes at a time. What we want is to have the air circulate between playing sessions. Since our sessions are 80 minutes long, what we can do is play for 30 minutes, take a break in the middle, and then play some more.”