As we learn more about the virus SARS-CoV-2, there are more discussions in the news, social media, blogs, and other places that cite scientific research. Some research is relevant, some is not; much is misinterpreted. Sometimes anecdotes are passed off as generalized observation themselves, or oddly as a way to disprove general observation; none excites more heated arguments than the case study of the Skagit Valley Chorale in Washington (Hamner et al., 2020), where this single case either proves or disproves the danger of singing. In other words, it can be dizzying to follow, at a time we need science for answers. This article tracks and summarizes the primary research on singing and choral teaching, in order to provide scientific evidence for organizations in an uncertain time.
Disclaimer: summaries and brief annotations are my personal understanding. It is not meant to be a prescription or recommendation. And because science continues to learn more about this virus even after this article is published, check back to the live version of this document for updates. As always, consult with CDC, state, county, and local health officials for best practices.
By Jerry Hui, Director of Choral Activities, University of Wisconsin-Stout