Well - the government! The latest Department for Education guidance says that singing in schools is now permitted and singing in larger groups like choirs should take place where social distancing or other mitigations can be put in place. Mitigations recommended by the DfE include:
Even OFSTED are keen to ‘rebut the myths’ around what schools can and can’t do - including singing in their report on visits to schools this September.
If the DfE advice is not detailed enough Music Mark - the UK Association for Music Education offers more detailed guidance on how choirs and ensembles can now rehearse both within bubbles without social distancing and in wider groups with social distancing.
Not as much as initially thought! In August 2020 scientists at the University of Bristol compared the impact of speaking, singing and breathing and found that singing was no more dangerous than speaking. It suggested that quiet singing was least risky.
In fact compared to what children are doing in primary school in other lessons, singing is really no worse if mitigations are in place as discussed in this report commissioned by Sing Up and Music Mark and written by our friend Professor Martin Ashley to decipher how this research should be applied to singing in schools.
The vital role of music and the wider arts in supporting mental health, social engagement, and learning in children is well recognised globally, backed by high quality scientific data. This role of music is more important now, during a global crisis, than ever, given the wide-ranging challenges being faced by children and families. Dr Daisy Fancourt, University College London
#Candomusic is the national campaign to get music going in our schools in a Covid safe environment - there is a blog with entries from a number of schools and organisations discussing what they are doing to keep music going.
As the global situation around COVID-19 is changing all the time, we are constantly reviewing the government guidelines for the performing arts as they evolve.
We are in regular contact with all the arenas and will work with them in conjunction with the latest government guidelines nearer to the time of the concerts to produce risk assessments and Covid-Safe policies for welcoming our schools and audiences.