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By Rhys Lett

ESSM COVID-19 Plan and Policy

Hello ESSM family,

How is everyone doing? Hopefully safe, healthy and enjoying your music and lessons. It is unfortunately necessary to touch base with students, parents and teachers of our amazing music school due to the Corona virus pandemic threat. This post will outline the framework for the expected upcoming disruptions.

The welfare of our music community is of the highest importance. There are currently well over 400 students taking lessons each week at ESSM, ranging in age from 2 to into their 80s. I love that we teach every age, every background and every musical ability from beginner to advanced. On a personal note, I also have to be particularly vigilant being in the at risk category due to my stage 4 cancer diagnosis (of which my treatment program through Peter McCallum Cancer Hospital continues to produce fantastic stable results).

As of Monday 15th of March classes will be continuing as scheduled. This is in accordance of advice from Australian health and government organisations. As this advice is changing by the hour, for all immediate information regarding lessons please follow our Facebook page.  This can be found at https://www.facebook.com/easternsuburbsschoolofmusic. I will also add updates to this page as plans need to shift based on the advice of these organisations and what I personally feel is best to protect the staff and students of our school.

As is foreseeable, there will be a period of upcoming interruption to help minimise the covid-19 virus spread. The following precautionary measures will be taken by ESSM during the period expected to be the peak wave of transmissions:

  • vigilant compliance with personal hygiene and student safety. Schools are having a through cleaning Monday (thank you Paul and Jessie-May for this) and will be up kept by teachers through the week. We have wipes for pianos, cans of Glen 20, toilet paper to see us through the next couple weeks. Students must stay home if unwell.
  • Please only students to enter the school for lessons at this time.
  • We will close completely for the school holidays where catch up lessons are usually held. These lessons will be held over to be made up at the soonest available time.
  • It is likely that we will also close for the scheduled first school week of term 2 being Monday 13th of April to Sunday 19th April. The state school term 2 is 11 weeks in length, so if need be delaying start to term will not stop us being able to deliver a 10 week school term.
  • Stay in communication with myself, your teacher and through the Eastern Suburbs School of Music social media platforms for correct information.
  • ESSM will adhere to advice to the public by government bodies

We also understand there will be financial strain caused by the covid-19 virus during the 2020 teaching year. I have advised teachers that we will work with students and families upon our return for term 2 to offer instalment payments when requested. We will work to support students to continue to their regular lessons. Please maintain the support for your teachers that will be facing extremely uncertain times as our industry will be particularly impacted financially during this health event.

While we may be off delivering lessons for a period of time, please be aware of our excellent YouTube channel that teaches not only students of Boronia and Carrum Downs but also the world. We have almost 2500 people subscribed to our channel found at https://www.youtube.com/user/essmboronia. With time off I will be adding many videos daily to the channel aimed to keep students improving on their instruments and musical knowledge. If we are forced into taking a period of time off please use it wisely, grab an instrument and get playing!!

My thoughts are with everyone that makes up the ESSM community at this time. I hope this illness will have minimal impact upon yourself and loved ones. We will get through this together.

Always add some music to your day

Rhys Lett – owner, Eastern Suburbs School of Music