2020-21 Coronavirus Plan for Belliston Music Studio

Belliston Music Studio Families,

What a crazy year 2020 has been so far! With news reports all over the spectrum, from “it’s not that bad” to “we’re in real trouble,” it’s fair to say that Coronavirus sure has shaken the world. I feel like Rapunzel in Tangled sometimes, trying to make decisions for this studio, with so little data and so much potential risk for your children and families if I do it "wrong." Cases in our county have been spiking much higher than when we were on “lockdown” and with more research coming out about how it can affect those in the high-risk categories (which I fall into, unfortunately), Belliston Music Studio will implement the following changes for the 2020-21 school year:

We will follow the South Central Public Health District guidelines that they are offering for schools this year. Students will wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before coming to class, students will have assigned keyboards that they’ll use every week, that will be sanitized before and after class each week, and students will not share instruments unless they’re sanitized between uses. Depending on the spread of COVID-19, we will also implement the following:


Green: Minimal COVID-19 community spread. We will meet in-person, with safety protocols in place. Students, parents and teacher will wear a mask or face shield to class when we are at keyboards, as we do not have space for 6’ distance between each student, and it will be nearly impossible to keep these children from singing. The studio has moved to my garage, and the garage door will be left open to allow for maximum ventilation. We will use both the garage and part of the driveway to allow for maximum amount of social distancing. When we are not at keyboards, we will be spaced in the driveway 6’ apart and students will not be required to wear masks. On parent weeks, it is expected that parents wear masks the entire class. Students should plan for inclement weather, and dress appropriately.

Yellow: Some COVID-19 community spread. We will follow protocols listed above in green, but on parent weeks, parents will stagger attendance (some will come one week, some will come the next week, essentially creating 2 parent weeks), so we can keep the number of people down.

Red: Significant COVID-19 community spread. We will meet online via Zoom for up to 4 weeks. If we have more than 4 weeks of online instruction in this Red phase during the school year, we will temporarily pause classes, and will resume in-person when we move back to Yellow or Green.


Here are a few additional guidelines and decisions.

  1. I will not take 1st Year LPM students this year. The first year is where class norms and relationships are established. So much of the curriculum involves touching shared instruments and holding hands with other students or other physical interactions. This is normally an exciting, interactive experience, and much of that excitement will be lost with needed precautions for Covid-19. Most students who have expressed an interest in beginning Let’s Play Music this year are young enough, that to wait for a year will not cause them to age out of the program. I will revisit this decision in January, when more data is available about students in a school setting, and/or when a treatment or vaccine becomes available.

  2. 2nd and 3rd Year classes will continue, with modifications. They also have had a year or two of pre-Covid experience with me to know that it’s ME(!!) behind my mask. Class times may be adjusted to account for more or less students, or for safety measures as new data comes out. Regardless of protocols in place, your children will learn the entire curriculum.

  3. I will not take Sound Beginnings students until more data is available. There hasn’t been much time to collect data with Coronavirus and young children in a school setting since the pandemic began, and very few schools have opened in person yet. For now, I will not teach this curriculum, but I will revisit that decision again in January, and will keep you apprised of any changes. If there is enough demand, however, I will teach Sound Beginnings online. I need 10 families to commit in order to offer this option, as the adjustments to online will take significant time and effort.

  4. Older piano, ukulele, and voice students will continue in-person during Green or Yellow phases, and will pause instruction if we move into Red. Voice students will only be taught privately and it will be expected that the garage door stay open the entire lesson for proper ventilation.

...So what do you need to do? I've created a list below of action steps, things to do. Please let me know what your plan is no later than Friday, August 7, so I can get scheduling worked out and materials ordered.

Action Steps:

  1. Please look through this document and contact me with any questions you may have. I am here for YOU and your child! If you decide not to continue in my studio, please contact me to let me know. There are no hurt feelings - I just need to make plans! If your family has a financial situation and needs help, there are some scholarships available. Please contact me for details.

  2. If your child is entering LPM 2nd or 3rd Year, please visit www.letsplaymusicsite.com and enroll for the proper class. The Enrollment ID is 38125. If you've already enrolled, thanks! You're ready to go!

  3. If your child has enrolled for a class that will be canceled, I’ll contact you to work on a materials refund or change the class start date to January, and hold your materials.

  4. If your family would like to enroll in Sound Beginnings as an online option, the cost will be $200/semester per family, plus materials fee. Your entire family is allowed to join the class, but this is NOT to share with neighbors, friends, or family who do not live in your home. It will include 15 lessons, 30-minutes long, via YouTube that will be uploaded and shared once per week, and that you can watch as your schedule allows, as many times as you’d like for that week. I need to know if you’re ready to enroll no later than Friday, August 7, so I can set up the class, let you enroll, and get materials shipped here before class starts. I’ll have the first video uploaded for you on August 24.

  5. For students 6-18 years old, who would like to enroll in small group ukulele or private voice lessons, please send me a text (435) 690-0416 and Matt and I will work you into the schedule. Enrollment for current studio families is August 5-15, and it will open to everyone else August 16.

Thank you for your willingness to include music education in your child’s life. Everyone - no matter their age - is dealing with significant change this year. I remain committed to the music education of children, and I hope that with the safety measures and changes in place, that this year can be one filled with hope and exploration and learning!

Sincerely,

Michelle Belliston

(435) 690-0416

embelliston@gmail.com

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