Professor creates masks for singers

Published: Aug. 21, 2020 at 6:04 PM EDT
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - The COVID-19 threat has hit a sour note with the director at West Virginia University as well as around the state.

Dr. Kym Scott is more than just a doctor. She also has experience in fashion design.

“One of my colleagues actually spoke to me about the idea of a singing mask,” Scott said.

And, from that, the mask was born.

“Interestingly, I used a lot of the skill I had from making wedding dresses to be able to construct something that was useful in terms of being able to make a resonating sound,” she said.

Senior Voice Performance student Juwan Johnson is thankful to be able to continue his passion.

“We didn’t know when we would ever be able to do this again and these masks just really open up a whole lot of opportunity,” Johnson said.

Regular face masks are not suitable for singing. The fabric gets sucked in, and the audio is muffled.

“We were all struggling in terms of a lot of the mask options out there,” Johnson said. “I know I struggled in general day to day situations where people struggle to understand me when I was wearing a mask.”

The singing mask is also backed by science.

Johnson says he’s OK with being one of the masked singers.

“it just really allows us to feel a little bit normal even though it’s still not normal but it’s a new opportunity,” he adds.

Scott said the masks aren’t limited to choirs, but can even be used in other professions in the medical field. They can also be used at construction sites.

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