An excellent video to illustrate what’s happening with your air and saliva when playing the flute.
I’m excited about San Francisco re-opening with precautions during the Covid-19 pandemic. During my downtime #ShelterInPlace I have been keeping busy and throughout these odd and trying times occasionally bemused. Please read about what to expect at an appointment.
- I’ve Kon-Mari-ed my office. Nothing beats a once in a century global pandemic to make one tidy. The primary motivation for tidying was to clear closet-space for my new UV-C germicidal sterilization light and housing cabinet. While I may not be able to see the SARS-CoV-2, Novel Coronovirus, I can however zap it.
Cleaning out closet space triggered a domino effect that resulted in two weeks of chaos, multiple trips to the dump, and a whole lot of shredding and recycling. I also unearthed some surprises.
- I’ve also updated my wardrobe. And to think I thought my magnifying visor was the ultimate in geek-chic. Visor 2010, I introduce to you Clear Face Shield 2020.
- And after six weeks of persistent hunting I finally tracked down and reeled in two bottles of 70% rubbing alcohol.
Take care all, continue to #ShelterInPlace, and I hope to see you soon from a masked and tasteful distance of six feet!
For the past two weeks I piloted video flute repairs and had a surprisingly good time. In many instances the consultation can certainly help the flutist, so I’m going to open this service to the general public. Please contact me at email@example.com if there is an issue you wish to discuss and we can determine if this might be useful for you.
For EXISTING CLIENTS ONLY I am offering videoconferencing appointments to discuss concerns about your instrument. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss your general issue and determine if conferencing would be helpful.
This could be done on Google Hangouts, Facetime, Signal, or Zoom.
If I can help you I’d appreciate a small payment. It’s your decision. Maximum time 15 minutes a consult.
SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus, is affecting everyone in the SF Bay Area and beyond. Students are home. Concerts are cancelled. Teachers are scrambling to maintain a remote studio. And lots of people are out of work.
On the flute repair-side it has been lonely. Mine is not an essential business. And then there’s the issue of contact. For indepth repair there is no part of an instrument that I don’t touch with my hands or breathe on. When someone hands me a flute they are certainly within six feet of me. Flute playing is a lot of breathing and blowing and flying droplets.
So in addition to finishing up an overhaul — the one I call The Hostage — I’ve been researching the implications of SARS-CoV-2 on my work. These are my thoughts on what changes I need to make to continue working once restrictions on work and physical contact are modified or lifted:
- Purchasing a hospital-grade UV light fixture and building a flute-cabinet for sterilization. The reasoning behind this is:
- It takes 120,000 microwatts per second at a distance of one meter to kill SARS. SARS-CoV-2 is like SARS.
- If I buy a unit that emits 117 microwatts per second, then it will take about 1,025 seconds or 17 minutes to kill SARS.
- Time will be reduced if distance is reduced.
- This will be particularly useful on metal surfaces and potentially wood. I would not want to put key work under UV light, however, because of likely damage to pads.
- Wiping down with alcohol. 70% isopropyl alcohol is great for killing coronaviruses. Unfortunately isopropyl alcohol had disappeared from store shelves. And I cannot get it on ferrous parts (i.e., your rods) and directly on the skins of flute pads or on felts or cork pieces.
- Everyone wears a mask. #Masks4All.
- Letting the flute sit. Say someone infected with SARS-CoV-2 plays a flute. In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine an aerosolized version of the virus was detectable in a degraded form for up to three days on stainless steel. Let’s extrapolate stainless steel to other metals. And let’s also call blowing into your flute an aerosol. The implications are that your flute can harbor detectable traces of SARS-CoV-2 for up to three days. So the new normal may be unless the flute is thoroughly cleaned to not to play the instrument for three days after another person has played it. And unless it’s a simple repair, I will play your flute. And most people play their flute before bringing it into me.
- Don’t be in the same room as someone playing the flute. Playing the flute is like talking or coughing: it sends an aerosol into the air and aerosols are some of the primary means of transmission. Believe me, I’ve sat next to people when they’ve played and felt their breath and droplets of moisture hit me. It’s an aerosol. My new normal is to always wear a face mask when leaving the house. And because of my contact with the instrument I should also wear a mask while repairing a flute. And there are risks when I’m in the room while someone’s playing the flute. Maybe there’s no longer play-testing after a repair. Unfortunately, a Mr. Vernon choir practicing outside of Seattle has proven that SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted relatively easily in the air. Flutists are not singers but we inhale and project outward a lot of air.I’m wondering if one could make a flute-mask that can fit over the face and mouth of the flutist and also cover part of the headjoint. Face masks – even cloth ones made at home – are very likely to stop transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in casual settings. As I write this the United States is probably going to follow guidelines used in other countries and recommend wearing face masks in all public places. Simple face masks won’t help stop the spread during invasive medical procedures, but I’m going to say that flute repair does not fit beneath that category. A flute-mask is something else to ponder after I build the sterilizing cabinet.
And in the meantime there are new challenges and small victories to be embraced on a daily basis. Take care all. #Shelterinplace, #Masks4All, wash your hands frequently, and keep practicing.
I’ve found this to be a helpful article: “The Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief”, Harvard Business Review.
Junior and adult competitions. Deadline for applications is May 1, 2019
Floot Fire will host masterclass, electives, chamber music, flute choir, and recitals for students of all proficiency. The event will be held in Walnut Creek, CA.
Masterclass and performances. Half Moon Bay, CA.
Saturday, October 3, 2015 at 8:00 pm
“Romantic Impulses”, works by C.P.E. Bach, Ravel, Jean-Jean, and Demersseman. With Isabelle Chapuis, flute, and Dmitriy Cogan, piano.
Piedmont Center for the Arts
801 Magnolia Avenue
Tickets: $25/$15 at stallman.brownpapertickets.com
Saturday, October 17, 2015 at 7:30PM
“New Music by Old Masters”, works by Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Schubert, Ravel, and Verdi. With Isabelle Chapuis, flute, and Dmitriy Cogan, piano.
Private House Soiree at the home of Paul and Min Xu
After concert wine reception
1315 Benedict Court
Tickets: $35 or $25 for students payable at the door.
Limited Seating. For reservations call 925.586.1864 or write email@example.com.
Saturday, October 10, 2015
2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Orange Music Studio
996 Saratoga Avenue
San Jose, CA
Robert Stallman will give a master class with Pianist D. Cogan. This event is sponsored by Gala Yaroshevsky.
Sunday, October 11, 2015
Style and Character: 11:00 am to 1:30 pm
Bringing the Music to Life: 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm
Capp Street Concert Hall
Community Music Center
544 Capp Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Performing participants: $85
Mr. Stallman welcomes advanced high school, college, and pre-professional level flutists to consider performing in the classes. For information or to sign-up contact Diane Grubbe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415.792.2575.
Alice Lenaghan, DMA, Principal Flute with the Oakland Symphony will be conducting a masterclass on practicing and performing flute and piccolo orchestral excerpts.
Sunday, October 18, 2015 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm
Performance fee: $40. Flute club members may audit for free.
Register at: sacramentofluteclub.org.
If you haven’t joined the flute club yet, do check it out. They have a number of fun events planned: a flute festival, choir reading sessions, masterclasses and special guests. There is a wonderfully supportive flute community in the Sacramento area and now we have more opportunities to hang out together!