The Alabama Vocal Association is committed to the vital task of educating our students through the empirically tested medium of choral singing. The prodigious evidence that music is essential for the neurological, social and cultural development of our students not only suggests the continued instruction of our students is important but mandates we continue to do so. Current research from peer-reviewed journals and publications, as well as the endorsement of the Alabama Vocal Association Board of Directors, recommends the following for the safety of our students and teachers until such time a vaccine has been proven effective against COVID-19:
- Students and teachers should wear N95 masks for covering their nose and mouth while rehearsing in a closed space/classroom.
- Students and teachers should practice social distance protocols prescribed by the CDC and the WHO regardless of their rehearsal environment.
- Where possible, and with the safety of students as the primary concern, choral rehearsals should take place outdoors.
- If well-ventilated rehearsal areas are not feasible, an HEPA-type air purifier (such as a Winix 5300-2) is recommended for every 360 square feet of rehearsal space.
- Recommended rehearsals strategies should include wearing masks while singing or humming as a means for learning vocal parts.
- Finally, it is recommended that Fall/Winter concerts should not occur in a performance space where social distancing cannot be maintained for both the audience and the performers. Alternative solutions would include virtual concerts streamed live or recorded and made available via web services such as FaceBook Live or YouTube.
*These recommendations will be updated as more research becomes available.