Teaching Band in times of Covid-19
We have been back to school (in the building) for four weeks now and it is wonderful to see our students again. Our school has developed very strict regulations to keep our students and staff safe. I am such a lucky person to work in a caring environment.
We have a great Extra Curricular Music Program, but we have been hit hard by the limitations. First, I thought we cannot teach practical instruments at all. After quite a bit of research, and communication to the authorities, we have permission to teach band, as long as the Corona traffic light is on "yellow". As soon as the school switches over to "orange" we will go online with the performance groups.
Here are some of the rules:
We can only teach students in small groups who are in the same grade. Usually, we have a Middle School band and a High School band. Quite a bit of changes were necessary for this.
We record the small groups and combine them for a virtual band for the October Concert.
Everybody disinfects the hands before entering the music rooms.
Students may only use their own instruments or rent them for the academic year. No more borrowing of instruments.
We can only teach with both doors and windows open. This will be fun in November!
Students must keep a distance of 2m from each other.
No more sharing of music desks, music or pencils.
Everybody wears masks.
Condensation is collected in sealable containers.
All instruments have bell covers.
We worked with a seamstress to create the special mouth and nose covers which have an opening for the mouth piece and yet has a flap over it.
We are also using bell covers.
(My fabulous colleague Andreas is modelling here)
When we work on embouchure, we take the students outside.
For condensation, we have given our students jars like this.
I am absolutely thrilled to hear that our plans have been officially commended by the Austrian ministry of education and our system will be used in several schools across Austria.