Covid-19 Response

COVID-19 Protocols for Concert Bands 

National Association for Music Education

The International Coalition Performing Arts Aerosol Study, of which the National Association for Music Education is a member, has released updated guidelines for music education classrooms as school approaches this fall. The guidance updates previous mitigation tactics with the understanding that states need to consult local and state COVID-19 guidance and transmission rates for appropriate mitigation adoption and adjust accordingly. NAfME will continue working closely with The International Coalition Performing Arts Aerosol Study to ensure guidelines are up to date as we monitor the effects of the Delta variant and its impact on transmission rates across the country. Updated guidelines are as follows: 

Outdoors: No mitigation is needed for outdoor performances depending on the level of local and state transmission rates. Outdoors remain the safest space for performances 


  • Masking with appropriate material* remains the best way of reducing potential infected aerosol from circulating in an indoor space. Masks are recommended while singing and speaking. 
  • Bell covers made from appropriate material* remain the best way of reducing potential infected aerosol from circulating in an indoor space. Depending on your comfort level, instrumentalists can wear masks only when speaking and slitted performance masks are optional. 
  • In spaces with good ventilation rates and HEPA filtration, increased indoor rehearsal times of 50 minutes may be considered. A minimum of 3 air exchanges per hour should be used, if there are spaces with higher air change rates, you may consider longer rehearsal times. 
  • Physical Distancing may be decreased to 3 feet, adjusting farther or closer depending on local conditions. 
  • Continue good hygiene practice moving forward, including appropriate elimination of brass fluid. 
  • Plastic face shields only stop large droplets, not aerosol.
  • Room dividers inhibit the function of the HVAC system and are not recommended. 
    *Material should consist of MERV13 material or ASTM F2100 (or similar) standard.

Musicians Masks and MERV Vendors: MERV-13 for cutting into bell covers, SFP Filters through Musician’s masks: Band Shoppe for brass overlapping masks. Locally, visit Music World or Beacock Music for your bell covers and performance masks.

Please refer to the Association for Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
guidance on ventilation during COVID-19

Free Mask Pattern for making your own mask with flap. See below for making a flute mask. Flutes just have to be special…