An annotated list of the research and news I've been reading

There's nothing fancy here. Pretty much just a list of info that I will update regularly.

Links will be loosely organized into topics, and will be listed in reverse chronological order, with the most-recently published articles at the top of the section.

Speech and Singing Research

The CDC released a review of the Skagit Valley Chorale outbreak, which posited that the social aspects of the rehearsal, such as stacking chairs together and sharing snacks may have been probably modes of transmission, while singing may have augmented the transmission. Published online May 15, 2020

Aerosol emission and superemission during human speech increase with loudness.

This study in Nature from February 2019 is one of the most fundamental to helping us understand the potential dangers of our current situation.


Masks Against COVID-19: An Evidence Review

Non-peer reviewed preprint, available online May 13, 2020

Masks are found to be effective in transmitting COVID-19. Fabric masks are recommended in order to keep surgical masks available for healthcare workers.


What Do Science and Data Say About the Near Future of Singing?

Webinar hosted by NATS, ACDA, PAMA, Barbershop Harmony Society, and Chorus America on May 5, 2020

Micro droplets suspending in air

What Other Churches Are Doing


An infectious disease expert lists common activities and discusses their relative risk. Religious services are ranked as "high risk."

Helpful Ministry Resources

The CDC Reopening Guidelines for Faith-based Organizations

The CDC guidelines for reopening schools. While this doesn't necessarily pertain to churches, the guidelines could be a helpful guide for how to work with larger groups, and with children's programs.

Webinar archive from NCCO with ideas for continuing choral music online. It's mostly from a collegiate perspective, but may have some ideas for churches.

NATS COVID Resource Page

Includes links to webinars, financial resources, best practices, etc. Updated regularly.

I found this podcast helpful and encouraging: COVID-19 and Calling.

Likewise, the next episode deals specifically with working with teams.

Additional Issues/Considerations

NCVS writers and researchers suggest turning off ambient noise, including music in restaurants and stores. Because of the Lombard Effect, ambient noise can make people speak louder without realizing it. Churches may want to consider this when thinking about pre- and post-service music when people are more likely to converse.

Heather in the Media

Interview with Australia Broadcasting Company "The Drum" May 11, 2020

© 2020 by Dr. Heather R.Nelson. Proudly created with

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