Music Instruction Fall 2020
Music teachers, students and parents are all partners in the music education journey, and this back to school season the band hall will probably look different.
Both the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) believe it is essential to the physical, social, emotional and mental well-being of K12 students across the nation that students return to regular, face to face music activities as soon as it deemed safe to do so.
We need to continue a distance learning environment in some capacity for the foreseeable future.
Every school district will have to plan to address transportation challenges to accommodate for social distancing while transporting students to school, field trips, and other events.
Classrooms and entire buildings will need to be cleaned and disinfected regularly, and everyone will need to be responsible for maintaining proper hygiene habits. Anyone tasked with cleaning will need proper PPE equipment and instruction on how to properly clean.
Music Room and Band Hall Set Up
Where students and teachers are permitted to meet for in-person, indoor instrumental ensemble classes, teachers may structure classes with smaller groups of students due to social distancing constraints.
On a positive note, learning in smaller groups provides great educational opportunities for each member of the group. Music education develops personal discipline and leadership, and also provides social time for students who are tired of being in quarantine.
The band hall will probably be set up differently to adhere to social distancing requirements. Straight rows may allow for more space between students than the traditional arch shape.
Teachers may create and use a spacing template to meet CDC, state and local guidelines for social distancing, and mark spaces on the floor where chairs and stands will be placed.
If possible, class doors and windows may be left open or classes might be held outside to provide improved air circulation.
Certainly teachers will define the process for how students will enter and exit the classroom, and processes for how materials such as instruments, sheet music, and stands are used.
Prior planning and effective communication among teachers, parents and students including visual aids can help reduce person to person contact outside of the recommend social distancing.
Many classrooms including band halls will be set up to accommodate video instruction for students who choose to participate in remote learning.
In band class, instruments are not to be shared without proper cleaning between each use. Each student will need to have their own instrument.
Percussion students should wear gloves and not share sticks and mallets without properly disinfecting them.
Students must not share music stands or share music. Students may need to bring their own folding music stand.
The school may need to purchase additional stands and sheet music to ensure all students have their own materials.
School Music Performances
If school performances are permitted, they may be streamed online without live audiences.
In most cases, a performance license held by the school is sufficient to allow for streamed online performances, provided the video is only streamed live and is unavailable for viewing after the conclusion of the live performance.
Local and state health department social distancing directions should be followed for all student performers and other participants.