May 20, 2020 Update: Singing in the Time of COVID
The national and international singing community has joined with the medical community to determine if, when, and how we can move forward with in-person voice lessons, choir rehearsals, performances, etc.
We have been following these discussions intently. Research has shown that, due to how intensely we use our lungs during singing, COVID-19 can be far more easily spread during singing than normal speech or exhalation. Experts conclude that any singing – even in a one-on-one or social-distancing setting – is unsafe for the foreseeable future. (Please see below for specifc facts & reasons!)
Therefore, for the safety of our clients and staff, we have decided that Sing Orlando will remain virtual until further notice. We will stay on top of research and keep you updated accordingly. We are thankful that we can continue to work with you virtually in the interim.
1. During singing, we often exhale & inhale our entire lung capacity. This type of breathing expels 10,000 times more virus particles on the exhale than a normal exhale AND those particles are more likely to become aerosolized rather than falling to surfaces in larger droplets. Data has shown that aerosolized virus can remain in the air anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours. Therefore, sanitation efforts, a plexiglass barrier, and/or social distancing would not protect the singer from the teacher, the teacher from the singer, nor the singer from whomever was in lessons before him/her.
2. Data has shown that singing moves non-aerosolized droplets farther than the current “social distancing” guideline of 6 feet; in reality, it is closer to 27 feet.
3. The only mask that would prevent both aerosol & droplet spread is the N95 mask. However,
a) these are difficult to obtain,
b) these masks often cause headaches & lightheadedness since carbon dioxide has a hard time exiting the mask and oxygen has a hard time entering the mask,
c) it’s difficult to accurately hear the voice through a mask, and
d) the president of our vocal association tried a lesson with an N95 mask and it was soaked after only 20 minutes.
4. There is no proof that having antibodies makes you immune. In fact, research on other types of coronaviruses almost suggests the opposite. So having antibodies doesn’t mean you can resume in-person while others cannot.
So when can we resume singing in person??
Of course, nobody knows the answer to that yet. Currently, experts have a very bleak outlook. They claim that there are really only 4 options:
1. A vaccine… which would fix everything but of course takes a lot of time.
2. The development of rapid tests similar to a pregnancy test that a student can take the day of his/her lesson & receive immediate results. (Apparently being developed & tested right now but still not accurate enough.)
3. UV light installation, which is only 20% effective at killing virus and requires both very specific conditions and a lot of money.
4. Outdoor lessons/performances at a distance of 27 feet… which again, probably wouldn’t make more sense than online right now.
Hopefully this will change as more research is done and of course we’ll keep you updated with any new developments. 🙂
March 10, 2020 Update: Lessons Going Virtual!
Dearest Sing Fam,
The concerns over Coronavirus are mounting, and since our clientele is made up of world travelers, schoolchildren, and theme park employees, we’ve had to evaluate our own response as well.
While we have no reason to believe anyone at our studio had contact with COVID-19, we want to prioritize the health and safety of you, our Sing Family. That said, we have decided to temporarily transition to virtual lessons starting Monday, March 16.
Fortunately, having done Skype lessons for years, I can assure you it’s “virtually” the same (pun intended) minus a small delay which can easily be worked around. Lessons can be easily done on smartphones, tablets, and webcam-enabled computers.
We will miss having you around the studio, but look forward to helping you along your vocal journey virtually. Please respond with your Skype ID** to confirm that you read this, and, of course, feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
Kirsten, Ken, Saige, & Kelsie
**If you don’t have a Skype ID, you can download the app/software and create one here.