Two sisters in the Hicksville School District have added an extra layer of protection for their district's flutists during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hicksville High School sophomore Samantha Mason and Hicksville Middle School seventh-grader Lauren Mason have designed and donated face masks specifically for students who play the flute in their district.
The girls, who are flutists themselves, wanted to enhance protective measures during band classes to reduce the possibility of transmitting the virus through respiratory droplets. They saw other flute masks online, but the prices did not make it feasible to ask students to purchase on their own, the district said.
"Lauren and I have been playing the flute since fourth grade," Samantha said. "That's basically what we do in our free time is practice for auditions, so it's more important that we play constantly and keep it going."
The sisters started by creating a template for the fabric, which was shaped like a football, and then sewing the masks together while leaving a slit to slide in the flute. They created enough masks for the district's 78 in-person flutists and individually packaged each one with instructions on how to use, wash and wear them.
The district has also implemented other safety measures for music students such as creating bell covers for brass instruments.