Although our original plans were to open today given the definitions that were offered by the government for those businesses that should open today we feel that we do not fit within these guidelines.
While we are a small business; our appointment system and the duration of the lessons being over 15 minutes, this puts us more in line with businesses due to open at the beginning of July, as technically we are service providers and not a shop.
Providing the R rate has been maintained in its position below one we should be opening on 4th July.
In the meantime, we are adjusting the calendar to permit socially distanced entry and exit for in person lessons and maintaining our online lesson service for those who have chosen to avail themselves of this provision.
Piano and singing lessons continue to be problematic as teaching with face shields and masks is awkward and without it would be considered to be unsafe. Therefore unfortunately at this time piano and singing lessons will only continue online. On our websites and YouTube channels there are a plethora of videos, educational and otherwise, provided to enable anyone to be able to learn a new piece, and to progress, albeit at a slower pace.
Inline with guidelines there must be a no cash payment system now to protect desk staff. All booked lessons will be 'pencilled in'. These will be considered a firm booking, and the teacher advised to attend, when paid in advance of the lesson. Should a payment not be received by the day of the lesson we cannot advise the teacher to attend and therefore a lesson will be missed. Invoices can be paid via credit or debit card, paypal or bank transfer.
Considering the possibility of missed lessons due to track and trace instructions for self isolation, payments will be individually charged per lesson at £16 or payable by 12 monthly standing order payments for 48 lessons. (If you take all 52 by standing order you receive 4 free).
The block of 6 has been removed but if you wish to book, by date a number of lessons you may do so. Should one of these require cancellation we ask that you provide the new date of this lesson. All lessons may be booked online at www.stalybridgemusicacademy.com where you may select date, day and time that is convenient for yourself and where the tutor of choice is available. These bookings are on a ‘first come first served’ basis.
As an Academy we do not want to go to the lengths of a health questionnaire, either in person or by form, however this is our teachers only income. If one person falls ill, all teachers will have to quarantine themselves for 14 days and all students that teacher has taught. In effect we would be required to return to online lessons for 14 days.
The administrative burden of this would be extensive, we are therefore taking as many precautions as possible in the time delay to re open and continuing with online lessons keeping everyone updated.
It is noted the lack of advice for person to person tuition providers in the government guidelines therefore we are taking advice from general education (for educational issues), beauticians (for appointment duration) and standard dental appointments (for singing and piano tuition).
The government's current advice is
Stay at home as much as possible.
People who can work from home in England should continue to do so "for the foreseeable future".
Limit indoor contact with other people but outside you can meet up to six people two metres (currently) apart.
Keep your distance if you go out (two metres apart where possible)
Wash your hands regularly.
On the BBC website (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/explainers-52530518) from 10 June it states
Pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, hotels and cinemas (also read guitar, drums, violin, cello lessons) will open from 4 July at the earliest in England, as long as they can meet social distancing measures.
However, indoor public spaces such as beauty salons (also read piano, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet and cornet lessons), where social distancing may be difficult, could reopen ''significantly later", depending on when the rate of infection goes down.
We hope this helps to explain our rationale for what we are doing, we will be back up and running 'in person' as soon as it is safe for everyone to do so. Please rest assured that the teachers and ourselves miss our pupils and our weekly contact with them and look forward to an establishment of a new norm when we can all meet again.
Kind Regards Chris & Dru