Wind instruments may spread coronavirus. Here's the science behind preventing that (2023)

The last time I played clarinet with my band was on March 10, 2020. It was a typical Tuesday evening rehearsal: About 10 musicians crowded into a small basement room, sipping beers and chatting between tunes. Brass instruments, woodwinds and drums blared, with bass lines audible from the stairwell.

Since 2004, the Rude Mechanical Orchestra has practiced in the same space, a couple of blocks from the East River in Brooklyn, N.Y. The room is cramped — chairs and music stands crowd every corner, shelves are crammed with instruments and sheet music. With no windows or AC units, air circulation is minimal.

When I walked up the stairs after practice, I had no idea that the space we’d filled with boisterous pop covers and protest tunes would sit quiet for more than a year. The COVID-19 pandemic shut down the world in March 2020, isolating musicians like me from the art we love. Millions of high school and college musicians were barred from their band rooms, children’s lessons were canceled and professionals lost performance opportunities and income streams.

Though restrictions are now easing, we still face questions about how our instruments play into infection risk. Wind instruments — brasses as well as woodwinds like my clarinet — produce sound through human breath. And human breath spreads COVID-19. So how can we perform while keeping ourselves and our audiences safe, during the pandemic and beyond? To find answers, wind musicians, including myself, turned to science.

An ill wind

The hazards of live music hit home when news broke of a superspreader event among members of the Skagit Valley Chorale in Washington state. On March 10 — the same day as my band’s final rehearsal — 61 members had gathered to sing. By the time Gov. Jay Inslee instituted a stay-at-home order two weeks later, 52 members of the choir had either tested positive for the new coronavirus or were assumed to have it. Three singers were hospitalized, and two died.

The group had been careful, avoiding physical contact such as handshakes and hugs, putting plenty of space between their chairs and using hand sanitizer. At that time, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health agencies were primarily telling people to avoid close contact and contaminated surfaces to reduce transmission risks. But many musicians quickly realized that something else was going on.

“When we saw the Skagit Valley choir spread, we knew right away that [the coronavirus] was spreading via aerosol,” says Mark Spede, director of bands at Clemson University in South Carolina. He is one of the lead researchers on a coalition that developed COVID-19 protocols for performing arts students. It was “pretty clear,” he says, that the virus was spreading through the air. On May 15, 2020, Skagit County health department staff reported in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that the “act of singing, itself, might have contributed to transmission through emission of aerosols.”

I quickly realized that wind instruments like mine had to pose a similar danger. To play it safe, most wind musicians stopped playing together. My band briefly entertained the idea of practicing outside, but as New York City shut down, we switched to virtual rehearsals. These meetings were a poor substitute for in-person sessions. As anyone who’s tried to sing “Happy Birthday” over Zoom can tell you, videocalling platforms just don’t cut it for music practice. These platforms are built to highlight one speaker at a time, creating a painful lag in sound when people try to sing or play simultaneously (SN: 4/24/21, p. 22).

“School band shut down,” recalls 16-year-old Hannah Scheuer, a bandmate of mine and a student in the New York City public school system. Unable to enter the school building for months, classmates who rented instruments from the school couldn’t bring them home to practice. A survey conducted in late April by Spede and colleagues revealed that out of 30,000 U.S. high school and college music programs, about one-third had no in-person rehearsals through the end of the 2020–2021 school year.

Wind instruments may spread coronavirus. Here's the science behind preventing that (1)

Musicians in studies

Facing a lockdown without the camaraderie of rehearsals, musicians wanted answers about the risks their instruments might pose in spreading COVID-19. Some went as far as becoming study subjects to find out.

The Minneapolis-based Minnesota Orchestra, for instance, reached out to Jiarong Hong, a mechanical engineer at the nearby University of Minnesota. A July 2020 release of his study on indoor transmission of the coronavirus had drawn media attention; the study was later published in the January 2021 Journal of Aerosol Science. Catching wind of this work, the orchestra asked Hong and colleagues to “provide scientifically driven guidelines to help them get back to their work safely,” Hong says. His lab set up experiments with the musicians, which led to one of the first studies on the subject.

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Engineer Lia Becher at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar in Germany had an experience similar to Hong’s. When a colleague’s video demonstrating how air spreads after a cough went viral, musicians asked Becher and her lab group how air would spread out of their instruments. So she worked with local musicians to meticulously track the dispersion of air from instruments with mouthpieces.

Meanwhile, Spede and James Weaver, director of performing arts and sports for the National Federation of State High School Associations in Indianapolis, convened a group of concerned music teachers and arts organizations. They worked with mechanical engineers at the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Maryland in College Park to study the risks posed by different performance activities, in the hopes of bringing students back to classrooms for fall 2020.

These studies and others like them fall into two categories, notes Juliette O’Keeffe, an environmental health scientist at the National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health in Vancouver. Some, she explains, visualize the air coming out of an instrument (a qualitative method), while others measure properties of the air particles that emerge, such as size, concentration and distance traveled (a quantitative method). O’Keeffe conducted a review of studies that examined aerosols emitted from instruments and she posted her findings on her institution’s website on September 23, 2020.

Becher and colleagues employed qualitative methods, visualizing the air with a special mirror called a schlieren mirror. Using the temperature and pressure differences between static air and exhaled air, the mirror turns air patterns into visual light patterns. Videos produced by Becher’s team show exactly how air comes out of different instruments, in what looks like roiling puffs of smoke.

Hong’s lab followed quantitative methods, using an aerodynamic particle sizer — a special spectrometer that measures the diameters of tiny particles. These instruments can determine the sizes of aerosols that may spread the coronavirus (SN Online: 5/18/21).

Spede and Weaver’s collaborators used both quantitative and qualitative methods. This included the schlieren mirror and measurements taken in a dedicated aerosol testing room with a ventilation system that allows engineers to isolate the aerosols that emerged from the various instruments.

Which winds pose the highest risks?

For singers, all air comes directly out of the windpipe. But for wind musicians, once the air leaves the windpipe, its travel pattern depends on the instrument.

Hong’s team measured these patterns with musicians from the Minnesota Orchestra. The study’s findings, which he also published in the January 2021 Journal of Aerosol Science, measured risk by comparing the size and concentration of air particles dispersed by musicians with those emitted when a person speaks. Tubas were lowest risk, producing fewer particles than a person speaking. Flutes, French horns and larger woodwinds released similar levels of aerosols as a speaking person. Oboes, trombones and especially trumpets were all higher risk, spreading more aerosols than a person speaking.

Hong’s research provides specific aerosol sizes and concentration measurements for individual instruments. But this work, like other studies in this field, used very small sample sizes of one or two musicians to characterize an instrument’s air dispersion.

Blowin’ in the winds

The air pushed out of a trumpet has the highest concentration of potentially infectious air particles compared with other wind instruments, according to University of Minnesota scientists.

Aerosols generated by wind instruments
Wind instruments may spread coronavirus. Here's the science behind preventing that (2)
Wind instruments may spread coronavirus. Here's the science behind preventing that (3)

Source: R. He et al/J. Aerosol Science 2021

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Such a small sample size can be particularly challenging when investigating woodwinds. While brass instruments are easy to evaluate, because all air goes straight from the mouthpiece to the bell, woodwinds get complicated. When I play my clarinet, aerosols have several escape routes: the flared opening at the instrument’s end, the keyholes and the space where my lips meet the reed — the thin piece of wood that vibrates against the clarinet’s mouthpiece to create sound. What’s more, small differences between clarinet players’ techniques can have a big impact on the speeds and concentrations of aerosols that players release.

In one trial by Hong’s team, one clarinet player produced five times as many aerosols as a second clarinet player. Hong hypothesizes that this difference is because one player used a “harder” clarinet reed, typically used by more experienced musicians. This reed is stiffer and requires more air to produce a sound. The way a clarinet player positions her mouth around her instrument may also affect aerosol generation, Hong explains.

Like Hong’s research, Becher’s work and preliminary findings from Spede and Weaver’s studies suggest that trumpets, trombones, clarinets and oboes spread more aerosols farther out into performance spaces, while larger instruments, particularly tubas, pose lower risks. The long, circuitous tubes in larger instruments trap breath-propelled particles and reduce the speed of those that do escape — in other words, you’re less likely to catch COVID-19 if you stand in front of a tuba player than if you stick your head into a tuba’s bell.

Although more research is needed, current studies nonetheless suggest that in most cases playing a wind instrument is about as likely (or even less likely) to transmit the coronavirus as loud talking or singing. The air is just traveling through your instrument’s tubing, rather than going straight out of your mouth. And there are ways to reduce risk.

Wind instruments may spread coronavirus. Here's the science behind preventing that (4)

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Safety tips

While Hong, Becher and other scientists researched particle dispersion from wind instruments, music nonetheless returned to the streets of New York in summer 2020, with many musicians inspired to support Black Lives Matter protests across the city. Eager to join the movement, the Rude Mechanical Orchestra began looking at studies, deliberating how to be safe. I and three other science-minded performers formed a COVID-19 committee.

Evaluating the literature was tricky. In an August 2020 e-mail exchange, committee member Phil Andrews sent the band a preprint from, which suggested that fabric covers be stretched over brass instruments’ bells — the flared openings through which sound emerges. I wrote back with caution, noting that the study included only eight participants. Everything seemed preliminary, and because many of our bandmates have health conditions or families to look after, we opted for more caution. Until we knew more, we’d play only percussion instruments — outside.

Other musicians I spoke with remembered scouring the CDC’s website for any mention of wind instruments and carefully reading preprints in subjects that they had never studied. Benjamin Yates, a trombone instructor at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, recalls an instance of intense research over the summer: “I was sitting at my computer and I had all these tabs open, and I’m looking up really basic terms, like ventilation — what does ventilation actually mean, scientifically?”

Yates’ and my efforts to align group practices with scientific recommendations reflected a broader trend across the nation to find safe ways to play music. While some musicians opted to stay in lockdown, others moved rehearsals and performances outside, often using makeshift bell covers or musician masks with space for a mouthpiece. A mask with a hole in it might seem odd, but research led by Spede and Weaver shows that these masks reduce aerosol spread from the sides of musicians’ mouths as they blow into their instruments. This is especially key for younger musicians who have less control over their mouth positioning.

Formulating safe strategies for musicians became especially important as U.S. school programs prepared for the 2020 fall semester. For Spede and Weaver, time was ticking on their project to build guidelines for student musicians. Preliminary investigations by engineers at the Universities of Colorado and Maryland provided the information they needed. This study, which included 12 performers playing nine different instruments, was published as a preprint on the University of Colorado’s website in April 2021. Before publication, however, Spede and Weaver’s team used the findings to devise detailed risk mitigation guidelines.

Safe schools

The vast majority of high school and college bands that followed five recommendations from the National Federation of State and High School Associations rehearsed without spreading the coronavirus between students.

Protocols to reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission
Masks & coversMasks on students
Bell covers on instruments
Surgical mask material or double layers for both
Distance6-foot distance between players
Trombone needs 9-by-6-foot distance
Applies indoors and outdoors
Time30-minute rehearsal limit indoors/60 minutes outdoors
Clear room for minimum of one air change before next rehearsal period
Air flowOutdoors is best; open windows and doors if indoors
HEPA filtration
Maximize air change rates
HygieneEmpty spit valves into buckets with alcohol solution
Wash hands frequently

At the end of the 2020–2021 school year, Spede and Weaver surveyed U.S. high school and college music programs. Of 3,000 programs that responded, about 2,800 reported using some or all of the guidelines for bands, choirs or orchestras. Among those schools that responded, coronavirus spread was almost nonexistent. Eight programs each reported a case of coronavirus spread between musicians: five in choirs, two in bands and one in an orchestra. Seven of the eight cases involved one person infecting a single other person; two of the cases occurred at schools that did not use any of the recommended safety guidelines.

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“With hundreds or thousands of hours of rehearsal and millions of people participating,” Weaver says, “the fact that we’ve had [so few] cases of spread, we’re pretty confident in the mitigations.” Spede and Weaver believe these protocols could be useful beyond the pandemic, for instance, during cold and flu seasons and other infectious disease outbreaks.

In addition to Spede and Weaver’s guidelines, musicians may consider reorganizing where they sit onstage. A modeling study by researchers at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, based on Hong’s measurements, suggests that moving percussion instruments toward the center of the stage and putting the highest-risk winds near vents that pull air from the room can cut aerosol accumulation. The Utah Symphony, which collaborated with the University of Utah researchers on this study, adopted this recommendation for its spring 2021 concert season (SN Online: 6/23/21).

O’Keeffe also suggests that musicians monitor COVID-19 transmission rates in their communities, so they know the likelihood that a person with COVID-19 is present. Disease-tracking metrics used by the Brown University School of Public Health in Providence, R.I., indicate that more than 10 new cases a day for every 100,000 people in a region constitutes higher risk. Musicians may feel safer, too, when more than 70 percent of their community is fully vaccinated, adopting the vaccination goal from the White House COVID-19 task force.

An industry transformed

When I asked musicians how COVID-19 changed their musical activity, their answers reflected both the economic and emotional fallout of last spring’s lockdowns.

“Before COVID, I was working at my [former] high school as a school aide while giving lessons there as well,” says Elijah Herring, a saxophone student who graduated from New York’s Brooklyn College this spring. “Because the school system closed down, I lost my job. I wasn’t able to get unemployment benefits until June or July.… I had to street perform to make ends meet, to pay bills, to take care of my mom.”

In the short term, COVID-19 was a blow to the music world. Musicians lost income as well as motivation to practice or compose; some left the industry altogether. But in the long term, the pandemic has transformed how many musicians think about their profession.

“Music is a privilege,” says Orion White, a saxophone student at the University of Idaho in Moscow. “It’s something that really sticks with you; it changes you. It can be almost religious if you let it be, and I took that for granted. Not anymore.”

This sentiment is heightened by the layers of added challenge needed to play — any performance, group practice or even informal jam session now requires intensive safety and trust. Before they can start playing, musicians must trust each other with their vaccination status and other health information. I’ve led discussions in my own band, developing practice guidelines that incorporate health needs and risk comfort levels.

Audiences seem to acknowledge the effort that goes into performing. Andrews and Herring both say that they’re getting more money from busking now than they did before the pandemic.

The Rude Mechanical Orchestra had our first pandemic practice that included wind instruments on May 18 this year. We gathered outside, by the river, a few blocks away from our old basement practice space.

We had agreed to strict guidelines — all wind players had to be fully vaccinated, with masks and bell covers on. So only four people opted to play a wind instrument. Still, a tuba, two trombones, a clarinet and a lot of percussion was enough to bring melodies to life. We played through some of our classic tunes, pausing to talk through song structure and enjoy the breeze.

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At one point, a small girl with a loose ponytail approached us and began dancing to the music. She didn’t know that we were out of practice or that half of the drummers were trained in other instruments. But her dance echoed our joy in being back together.


Should you play an instrument when sick? ›

Play as little as possible

Your body needs to heal, and playing or singing too much can slow that healing process. Even if you play piano, percussion, or a string instrument, you still shouldn't push yourself too hard. So if and when you have to perform while sick, don't play any more than you have to.

How far can Covid travel in the air? ›

When someone with COVID-19 sneezes or coughs, respiratory droplets are released into the air. Droplets typically don't travel far — no more than 6 feet (about 2 meters).

What are wind instruments called? ›

In this system, all wind instruments—that is, all instruments in which air itself is the primary vibrating medium for the production of sound—are called aerophones, whether or not the air is enclosed in a tube. The Sachs-Hornbostel system further classifies aerophones as free aerophones or as wind instruments proper.

Is a flute a wind instrument? ›

A flute can be described as a woodwind instrument, generally of a tubular shape, that is played by blowing across a specially-shaped opening (known as the embouchure) in such a way as to produce a vibrating column of air whose pulsations we hear as sound.

Does playing an instrument strengthen lungs? ›

improves your breathing! Musicians must utilize oxygen efficiently to reach difficult notes and hold them. Musicians are known for exceptional respiratory control, and like singers, most practice a variety of breathing exercises to improve their lung function and increase their endurance.

What do professional singers do when they get sick? ›

If you're sick and have a gig or rehearsal that night and the show must go on: rest your voice, drink fluids, inhale steam, hum. Unless you are really sick, the adrenaline of performing often will knock out most your cold symptoms for the duration of the gig. Take natural anti-inflammatories like turmeric and ginger.

Why do some people not get Covid? ›

The Link Between Your Genetics & COVID-19

Since the start of the pandemic, scientists have been investigating whether some people are genetically “immune” to COVID-19. This is actually the case with HIV: some have a genetic mutation that prevents the virus from entering their cells.

How long should you open windows for Covid? ›

Then open windows wider for short, sharp bursts of 10 to 15 minutes regularly throughout the day where it's possible to do so. If people are working in or visiting your home, try to let as much fresh air in: for a short time before they arrive. while they are there.

Can you filter Covid out of the air? ›

Use a portable air purifier.

A portable air purifier with a HEPA filter can be used in rooms when you cannot open windows or use fans. If you use an air purifier, follow these recommendations: Get a purifier that is the right size for the room where you are going to use it.

What are the 5 wind instruments? ›

Wind instruments are typically grouped into two families: Brass instruments (horns, trumpets, trombones, euphoniums, and tubas) Woodwind instruments (recorders, flutes, oboes, clarinets, saxophones, and bassoons)

What is the best wind instrument? ›


The saxophone tops this list as possibly the most popular wind instrument being played today among young students and adults alike. And it's a great choice for beginning players. Saxophones are best known in jazz bands.

What is a 7 letter word for wind instrument? ›

The crossword clue Simple wind instrument with 7 letters was last seen on the July 14, 2020. We think the likely answer to this clue is OCARINA.

Why is it called a wind instrument? ›

A wind instrument is an instrument that makes a sound thanks to the vibration of air. The scientific term is aerophone.

What is the biggest wind instrument? ›

The bassoon: a guide to the orchestra's largest wind instrument | Classical Music.

What do you call someone who plays flute? ›

(North American English flutist) ​a person who plays the fluteTopics Musicc2. Word Origin. (superseding 17th-cent. flutist in British English use): from Italian flautista, from flauto 'flute'.

Does playing a wind instrument help sleep apnea? ›

Playing a wind instrument and singing may have a small but positive effect on sleep disorders. Considering the practicality and investment of (rehearsal) time, didgeridoo and singing are the most promising interventions to reduce obstructive sleep apnea and snoring, respectively.

Are wind instruments good for health? ›

One of the best advantages of playing a wind instrument is better breathing. As you play, your inhalation and exhalation are improved that'll open up your lungs. This is one of the best and easiest respiratory workout that strengthens your lung health as you use cent percent of your lung capacity.

How do you keep your lungs strong? ›

How can you keep your lungs healthy?
  1. Stop smoking. You knew this was coming. ...
  2. Get regular exercise. Staying active makes your lungs (and your heart) stronger. ...
  3. Eat healthy. ...
  4. Keep your weight in check. ...
  5. Practice deep breathing. ...
  6. Keep the air inside your home clean. ...
  7. Keep up with yearly health checkups. ...
  8. Get vaccinated.

How do singers clear phlegm? ›

Water, in both its liquid and vapour form, is the main tool when you want to thin the mucus. Hydration and the power of steam, are both powerful agents in the fight against mucus. Dr Dan also discusses the benefits of Bromelain (an enzyme found in pineapples), as well as Dr Gould's salt gargle.

Why does my voice get so deep when I'm sick? ›

With a cold comes inflammation of the structures around the vocal cords. With the inflammation comes swelling of those structures. As stated previously, thicker vocal cords vibrate more slowly and give a lower pitch.

Can you create immunity to Covid? ›

Getting COVID-19 offers some natural protection or immunity from reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 . It's estimated that getting COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccination both result in a low risk of another infection with a similar variant for at least six months.

Can you get Covid 3 times? ›

A growing number of people are getting COVID-19 twice, 3 times, even 4.

Can I get Covid on purpose? ›

In short, the answer is NO. Some people have been wondering if it's really that important for them to avoid getting infected with COVID-19. Some have even wondered if they should try to get infected. The thinking goes something like this: “I'm healthy.

Why shouldn't you sleep with windows open? ›

Sleeping with the window open could inadvertently trigger allergies, asthma or potentially cause illness in someone with an already-weakened immune system. But for most people, it's relatively risk free. Aim to keep your bedroom around 65 degrees with 65 percent humidity.

How do you air out a room after Covid? ›

Use fans to improve air flow
  1. Place a fan as close as possible to an open window blowing outside. This helps get rid of virus particles in your home by blowing air outside. ...
  2. Point fans away from people. ...
  3. Use ceiling fans to help improve air flow in the home whether or not windows are open.

Should I stay warm or cold with Covid? ›

Keep warm and rest as much as possible. If you feel like resting, you should. Drink plenty of fluids. Food is not as important since appetite will return when you are well.

How long does coronavirus stay in the air 2022? ›

Another person can breathe in these aerosols and become infected with the virus. Aerosolized coronavirus can remain in the air for up to three hours.

How can I purify the air in my home? ›

Even the chemicals from paint, nail products, cleaning equipment and detergents, all contribute to polluting the air inside our homes.
Here's a list of 6 natural ways to purify the air at home.
  1. Salt Crystal Lamp. ...
  2. Beeswax Candles. ...
  3. Houseplants. ...
  4. Activated Charcoal. ...
  5. Proper ventilation. ...
  6. Essential Oils.
17 Jan 2017

Are air purifiers a waste of money? ›

So, it's only typical that you may be wondering are air purifiers a waste of money. They're worth it, according to the EPA, as they're an excellent way to enhance your Kearney residence's indoor air quality.

What is the newest wind instrument? ›

The Venova is a single-reeded woodwind musical instrument, currently produced by the Yamaha Corporation.

What is the hardest wind instrument to play? ›

Another very difficult instrument to play is the Bassoon which is often cited as the most difficult orchestral wind instrument to learn.

What was the first wind instrument? ›

Dating back to 7,800 to 9,000 years ago, the Jiahu bone flute is the oldest Chinese musical instrument discovered by archaeologists, as well as the earliest known wind instrument in the world.

Do wind instruments make your lungs stronger? ›

Regression analysis of pulmonary function tests in wind instrument players demonstrate a significant link between FEV1 and FEF50 and length of employment. Those wind instrument players with longer employment had the greatest increases in lung function.

Does playing a wind instrument make your lungs stronger? ›

1. Strengthen your breath. Playing a woodwind instrument will force you to become conscious of every facet of your breath, from relaxed and open inhalations to sharp and controlled exhalations. Woodwind instruments will absolutely give your lungs a serious respiratory workout.

What is the least popular woodwind instrument? ›

The most popular instruments they sell are the saxophone, flute and clarinet, with the least popular being the tuba, French horn and the bassoon.

What is another name for woodwind? ›

What is another word for woodwind?
woodwind instrumentsax
brass instrumentsingle-reed instrument

What is a 4 letter word for wind instrument? ›

The crossword clue Wind instrument with 4 letters was last seen on the September 11, 2022. We think the likely answer to this clue is OBOE.

What are all the 7 letter words? ›

7-letter words
  • ability.
  • absence.
  • academy.
  • account.
  • accused.
  • achieve.
  • acquire.
  • address.

What is the oldest instrument ever found? ›

The oldest musical instrument in the world, a 60,000-year-old Neanderthal flute is a treasure of global significance. It was discovered in Divje babe cave near Cerkno and has been declared by experts to have been made by Neanderthals. It is made from the left thighbone of a young cave bear and has four pierced holes.

What are three wind instruments? ›

Wind instruments include the woodwinds, such as the flute, the clarinet, the oboe, and the bassoon. Wind instruments also include brass instruments, such as the trumpet, the horn, the trombone, and the tuba.

What instrument uses the most air? ›

The tuba, along with the flute, is at the top of the list for instruments that take the most air to play. To put it in a brass context, tuba uses air three times faster than the trumpet or French horn, and the lower you play within the tuba's range, the more air it takes.

Which wind instrument is easiest? ›

Three easy and popular woodwind instruments for beginners are flute, clarinet, and alto saxophone because of their size, weight, and complexity.

What are wind instruments also called? ›

In this system, all wind instruments—that is, all instruments in which air itself is the primary vibrating medium for the production of sound—are called aerophones, whether or not the air is enclosed in a tube. The Sachs-Hornbostel system further classifies aerophones as free aerophones or as wind instruments proper.

What is a wind instrument called? ›

A wind instrument is an instrument that makes a sound thanks to the vibration of air. The scientific term is aerophone.

How much do professional flute players make? ›

An entry level flutist (1-3 years of experience) earns an average salary of $57,073. On the other end, a senior level flutist (8+ years of experience) earns an average salary of $98,559. Data powered by ERI's Salary Expert Database. Quickly search for salaries in other careers and locations in our salary database.

Who is the most famous person to play the flute? ›

Popularly referred to as the man with the golden flute, James Galway has experienced success like no other flute player; he has headlined myriad shows and still continues to tour successfully. He is also credited with his intricate performances that have resulted in over 30 million albums sold.

Does listening to music while sick help? ›

The study found when people with colds listen to music, it increases the level of antibodies in their bodies, which boosts the immune system and helps decrease the level of stress hormone cortisol. "The pop music we play on 95.7 The Party makes you feel good; it's fun its bubbly," Nina says.

Is music good for you when you're sick? ›

Relaxation is an important side effect of music. When people relax they are better able to heal. It boosts immunity. As their stress reduces, their immune system responds, and there is less pressure on their body to pour energy into managing discomfort and illness, and so more energy available for healthy functioning.

Should I play my instrument with a sore throat? ›

Yes but back off a bit trying not to aggravate, prolong or escalate the issue. If experiencing pain or illness is escalating just rest/medicate for now until you get over the issue. Be sure to wash/disinfect the equipment after each session so that any possible reinfection does not occur.

Is it okay to play while sick? ›

If all you have is a light fever (still below 100 Fahrenheit or ~37 Celsius), a gentle cough, a runny nose, and/or slight aches, you should be just fine to play a while. Once the fever rises, you get watery eyes, strong aches/chills, nausea, etc., it's time to stop.

Is having the fan on good while your sick? ›

Circulating air from a fan can dry out your mouth, nose, and throat. This could lead to an overproduction of mucus, which may cause headaches, a stuffy nose, sore throat, or even snoring. While a fan won't make you sick, it may worsen symptoms if you're already under the weather.

What to listen to while sleeping? ›

Soothing sounds, mellow voices and bedtime stories
  • Sleep With Me. ...
  • Sleep Whispers. ...
  • Deep Energy and Dark Ambient Podcasts. ...
  • Daily Meditation Podcast. ...
  • Nothing Much Happens. ...
  • Slow Radio.
18 Jun 2020

What happens if you wear headphones while sleeping? ›

This can cause bacteria to grow and lead to external ear infections over prolonged periods. You can also build up too much earwax if you leave the in-ear headphones in for too long.

What sounds good to eat when you're sick? ›

Although not super exciting, very plain and bland foods can help ease symptoms. Try pasta, dry cereals, oatmeal, bread and crackers. But bland doesn't mean you can't add protein or veggies into the mix if you're feeling up for it! Try eating rice and baked chicken breast or cheese and crackers.

What does music do to your brain? ›

It provides a total brain workout. Research has shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory.

Why is music so powerful? ›

Music is all around us intersecting our lives, regulating our moods and bringing good vibes to those who are listening. It raises your mood, bringing excitement, or calming you down. It allows us to feel all the emotions that we experience in our lives.

How do singers not get sore throats? ›


Both Taverner and Ainsworth say that drinking lots of water throughout the day before a performance is crucial. They also swear by humidifiers for keeping their throats and vocal cords moist and healthy. "Singers love steam," says Taverner, who keeps a humidifier by her bed.

Are wind instruments harmful? ›

Players of wind instruments, such as bagpipes, trumpets, and trombones, are at risk of getting a rare lung condition if they don't clean the instruments regularly. The condition is called hypersensitivity pneumonitis, or HP.

What do professional singers use for their throats? ›

Throat Lozenges for Singers: VocalZone & Thayer's

Two of the most popular lozenges are VocalZone, which claims to help “keep a clear voice,” and Thayer's, which has been used by professional singers since 1847.

What should you not do during a cold? ›

Avoid salty foods, alcohol, coffee and sugary drinks, which can be dehydrating. Ice chips are another simple way to stay hydrated and calm a scratchy throat. Gargle with salt water. A saltwater gargle with about 1 teaspoon of salt per cup of warm water can help reduce the pain and swelling of a sore throat.

Should I go for a walk if I have a cold? ›

Mild to moderate physical activity is usually OK if you have a common cold and no fever. Exercise may even help you feel better by opening your nasal passages and temporarily relieving nasal congestion.

When you are sick do you lose muscle or fat? ›

Unfortunately, you can't even lose body fat while you are sick, as fat metabolism is impaired during infections. This causes the sick person to rely more heavily on muscle as an energy source than it normally would during times of physical stress (e.g., starvation or heavy training).


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