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How are we responding to Covid-19?

As of September 2020, Fortismere Music Centre will re-open physically to the public. We have taken a number of steps to make this safe for our students and our staff. You can read the full Risk Assessments here. At a glance, here are the headlines of how things will be different at FMC in future:

Instrumental Lessons

  • Singing and month-blown instruments will not be taught face to face

  • Practice Rooms allow for 2m distance

  • Keyboards will be removed or placed against the wall

  • Tutors sit nearest window; students enter and take seat by door

  • Air-con will be turned off

  • Practice rooms will have windows and doors open at all times

  • MU1, MU2 and MU3 will not be used for instrumental teaching

  • MU4 will be converted to a piano teaching room

  • Online lessons for singing and mouth-blown instruments can be taught and taken onsite in separate rooms, or remotely, via Google Classroom

  • Tutors and students will be required to wear masks during lessons

  • No breathing/singing demonstration exercises used for teaching of any instrument

  • All lessons will be for 30 minutes only

  • Lessons for more than one instrument or longer lessons for more advanced players will be split across the day

  • Tutors and students will have separate copies of sheet music

  • Recommended that students use electronic copies of sheet music for home practice (iPads / paper copies made at home)

  • Two stands per practice room, after lessons students will be asked to wipe their stand down

  • Students will be asked to bring their own instrument; if they forget to bring an instrument, rather than borrowing one, they must forfeit the lessons

    • Strings: own instruments

    • Piano: latex gloves will be worn by teacher; instrument will be wiped down after each lesson

      • Drums: own drum sticks; seat and drums must be wiped down where appropriate after lesson

      • Tutors and students will wear masks during lessons


  • 1m grids will be created within the rehearsal space so that distancing can be observed

  • The ensemble will be divided into sections (eg. upper and lower voices), which will rehearse separately

  • Tea breaks will not be provided

  • There will be a one-way flow-through to avoid crossover between rehearsals

  • The purpose of all rehearsals is learning repertoire, so loud dynamics, and diction work will not be part of rehearsal; diction will be part of homework

  • When possible, warm-ups will take place outside at a further social-distance; if not possible, warm-ups will be encouraged at home before the rehearsal

  • When possible rehearsals involving singing will take place outdoors

  • Indoor rehearsals will have all doors and windows open

  • Participants will use their own copies and no spares will be handed out

  • All sheet music will be made available online

  • By default rehearsals involving singing will be standing; by specific requirement chairs will be made available

  • Any equipment used (including chairs) will be wiped down before and after use

  • A PVC screen will protect the conducting podium

  • The room will be reoriented so that the conductor is closest to the open fire escape

  • Vulnerable participants will be advised not to attend (at their own discretion)

  • All rehearsals will be live-streamed so that vulnerable participants are still included

  • Rehearsals involving singing will be limited to 20 participants


  • 1m grids will be created within the rehearsal space so that distancing can be observed

  • All participants will wear a face mask

  • Conductors will stand in a designated area, closer to ventilation

  • A permanent orchestra set up of 1-player per stand will be installed; these will not be moved, but will be wiped down after every rehearsal

  • Players will bring their own sheet music, printed at home

  • No hired sheet music will be used until further notice

  • Repetiteurs and accompanists will wear latex gloves where possible

  • Keyboards and percussion instruments will be wiped down after each rehearsal

  • These rehearsals are for learning repertoire, and will lead towards online performances or recordings

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