COVID-19 Performing Arts Aerosol Study

ASTA is part of a coalition of over 125 performing arts organizations which commissioned a study on aerosol rates produced by activities in music, speech, debate, and theatre. Over the last month, researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Maryland have been hard at work gathering preliminary results.

Preliminary Results

Disclaimer: All information provided through the study is to be used strictly for general consideration. The information will be updated when new data becomes available. When sharing this information, please use the web link instead of the PDF document.

  • Preliminary results for woodwinds and brass were received July 10. Go to the main coalition page for a PDF presentation with preliminary results and general considerations.

  • The PDF includes general considerations that are useful for all music programs, including strings. The information includes use of masks, classroom setup, teacher safety, and more.

  • Preliminary results for singing and theatre are expected by the end of July, with guidance expected to be released the beginning of August.

  • Additional ASTA COVID-19 resources, including ASTA planning guides on resuming instruction in the classroom and studio, can be found here.

We encourage you to share the preliminary study results with your colleagues and schools.


It is important to understand the risks of COVID-19 in performing arts settings. Although not yet proven, strong anecdotal evidence suggests that the COVID-19 virus can travel in the microscopic droplets expelled from a person with the virus, even when asymptomatic. The only way to determine what risk level exists or to create best practices for reducing infection risk is to understand how aerosol disbursement works in a performing arts setting.

Once the aerosol rates are better understood, the study will focus on remediation of aerosols in confined spaces like rehearsal rooms (both educational and professional), classrooms, and performance settings in order to develop better understanding, policy, and practice for the safe return to performance and education.