COVID19 has really thrown a wrench in all aspects of my life and I am sure, I am not alone. Professional orchestras are cancelling their seasons, Off-Broadway shows are not happening, and the church gigs are very few and far between. The musical world is hurting and I am right there with it. Its hard to stay motivated and practice, although I am forcing myself to do so.
Plans were to begin face-to-face teaching with my university students in a few weeks, but that was before I watched a very informative and clearly laid out webinar on Aerosols or droplets. The webinar was hosted through the International Double Reed Society (IDRS) which I had hosted this international conference last summer at The University of South Florida.
The webinar had a panel of three doctors:
Peter Chin-Hong, MD (University of California-San Francisco) Currently working with the San Francisco Opera on ideas and application with COVID and music making; Henry Hoffman, MD (University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics) Director of the University of Iowa Voice Clinic and Research into laryngeal Pathophysiology; and John Vokckens, PhD (Colorado State University) Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Research and studies on wind and voice aerosol production.
These three panelists clearly described aerosols production and spreading. They also had done numerous studies of aerosols (or droplets) when singing and wind playing. It was stated that wind playing produces five times the amount of droplets than speaking!
I did take very extensive notes and will plan to post more later on this topic.
I have made the decision to remotely teach my USF students and given myself a re-evaluation deadline of October 1, 2020. My hope is to return safely to face-to-face teaching as soon as possible!!!!! Stay tuned!