• Musical instrument safety

Is playing an instrument safe?

Although singing has been implicated in several outbreaks of COVID19 (Hong Kong Karaoke 2020; Skagit Choir 2020), according to investigations compiled by University of Colorado, there have been no reports yet implicating the playing of musical instruments. This makes sense in the case of instruments that are struck, plucked or bowed….think drums, guitars and violins…but what about instruments like French horns and clarinets that require a lot of air to produce a sound? The same University of Colorado study now advises that although the design of the mouthpiece and instrument tubing constricts the airflow exiting the instrument, playing a wind instrument produces aerosols and droplets in quantities higher than normal breathing or speaking. Fortunately for students of schools around the country that are resuming band programs, mitigation recommendations were released in late August by Dr. James Weaver, Director of Performing Arts and Sports with the NFHS.  They include using instrument bell covers and face masks, improved classroom ventilation and limiting the size and duration of rehearsals that when combined can make playing as safe as other in school activities.

Musical Instrument safety

Safety Equipment for Instrumentalists

Bell Cover, Trumpet Cover

With many schools around the country getting ready to resume in person band and orchestra programs look to NEMC for the protective equipment needed to limit aerosol transmission and more safely resume in person instruction.

Why are aerosols important?  Scientific research now indicates that Covid-19 can be spread by aerosols produced when we speak, laugh, sing or even breath. 

Playing wind instruments, singing, and theatrical voice releases airborne particles (aerosol).
These particles are of the size range that may transmit the COVID-19 virus.
Performing with mask and bell cover reduces emissions.


aerosol study graph

Source: Internations coalitiion of Performing Arts Aerosol Study 8/6/2020 https://www.nfhs.org/articles/unprecedented-international-coalition-led-by-performing-arts-organizations-to-commission-covid-19-study/

The Instrument mask

Wind Instrument Mask

Unlike other masks with just a slit to accommodate the mouthpiece, this face mask was specifically designed for wind instrument players with a true embouchure opening making it easier to align the mouthpiece into proper playing position.  A unique front flap that automatically closes when the mouthpiece is removed provides superior protection during rests but does not impede the performer’s ability to take in enough air for even the most demanding musical passages. Now updated with a slightly thicker washable poly-stretch and adjustable elastic ear loops for a more comfortable fit. Made in the USA. Pair with our 2-ply MERV13 filter-compatible bell cover for a complete protection solution.

bell cover, Trombone Cover

Bell Cover
$6.95-$13.95 (
various sizes)

The same University of Colorado study found aerosol emissions near the bell of all wind instruments. Fortunately, those emissions can be materially reduced with the use of a properly designed bell cover.  Ours is constructed using 190-gram 80D polyester spandex jersey with a unique mesh pocket for our optional MERV13 filter, or comparable filter insert. Because the rubber in elastic can discolor lacquered brass and silver plating ours is embedded in a seam within the fabric for protection. Available in sizes to fit most instruments with up to 12-inch bell diameter.

Musical Instrument Bell Cover Filter

MERV13 Filter Insert
for Instrument Bell Covers

from $3.50-$5.00 (various sizes)

Provides enhanced filtration and significantly more mitigation than using bell cover alone, as recommended by University of Colorado aerosol study. Non-woven meltblown polypropylene MERV13 rated traps particles down to .03 micros. Available in sizes to fit bell covers for most instruments with up to 12-inch bell diameter.

Give a note foundation

 10% of the profits from all safety equipment sold has been pledged to the
Give A Note Foundation to help them provide safety equipment to those in need.

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NEMC proudly represents these and other fine brands:Please note that as part of our ongoing commitment to these companies, not all brands are available at each of our independently owned dealer rental locations.
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