Teaching during the coronavirus outbreak
We as Music Tutors should first and foremost follow the hygiene guidelines as set out by the NHS. The Musicians’ Union (MU) already advises music tutors not to use physical contact with their students for safeguarding reasons. This advice also applies in the context of coronavirus, and any one of us Tutors will not be using any physical contact as part of our teaching. Best practice in teaching hygiene should be followed with care. Tutors should: > We will avoid passing or sharing instruments during any of the lessons, this includes student to student tutor to tutor or a mix of the two; especially where instruments come into contact with the mouth > We have already implemented a system of cleaning shared instruments and equipment between uses. We stop lessons 5 minutes early to allow time for staff to disinfect where possible, e.g. wiping the piano keyboard and drumsticks, etc. > We allow a sensible space of approximately 1 metre between teacher and student and avoid standing or sitting directly opposite each other in close proximity, especially our vocal students. > We air the teaching rooms between lessons where possible and ensure that everyone washes their hands. > We have put in place guidelines and procedures for all tutors to follow in the workplace, please follow their advice and instructions. The MU advises that if either teacher or the pupil is unwell with any potentially contagious symptoms, the lesson should not go ahead. Teaching via Skype
We may have to teach remotely via Skype. Safeguarding is just as important when teaching via Skype (or FaceTime, or any other equivalent) as it is when teaching face to face. We will be protecting ourselves from accidental inappropriate contact with students by restricting our profile so that it does not automatically accept contact requests and is not accessible to students. We will use a business-like profile picture if required and establish a serious and professional manner when using Skype. We emphasise here to students and their parents that Skype is to be used for lessons only and not for any other contact, e.g. sharing photos or general messaging. We will encourage students to restrict their own profiles so that they can only receive calls from us. When we teach via Skype, expect us to dress appropriately and smartly and with a neutral background. It may be necessary for us to widen the frame depending on the musical instrument, so care will be taken to ensure the frame is well chosen and appropriate. We will not allow students to wear excessively informal attire or present against a messy background. If this happens, we will terminate the call and communicate the reason afterwards. The same applies if a student behaves inappropriately, and it may be necessary for us to take further action if this happens, just as we would with a face-to-face lesson. Skype may require us to alter our teaching approach. If there is time, we may trial it with a suitable student to test out both the technology and our teaching before using it more widely. Some employers and tutors may feel that that the safeguarding risks of Skype are too great. However, the MU’s experience is that malicious accusations can unfortunately occur in both face-to-face and online teaching, so there is no particular reason to avoid Skype, as long as careful safeguarding procedure is followed. Many MU members teach regularly via Skype without problems. Skype will have different implications for employed and self-employed tutors at IPM. Employed tutors may be requested to use it and they will be given precise instructions if so. Self-employed tutors should be clear on their own Skype policy and communicate this clearly to parents and students. Self-employed tutors who work in schools will also be expected to observe school policy. Using our discretion, we may request that a responsible adult remain in the room during the lesson as an added precaution, although this may not always be possible or desirable. In all cases, parents should be fully informed that Skype teaching is happening and given information about appropriate practice relating to it. We may ask parents to sign consent form.