Following the success and popularity of Jump Up Join In, our free weekly online singing sessions, we’ve had a number of questions relating to singing in school. Everyone in the current situation wants to do the right thing as well as make sure pupils and staff also enjoy school life once again. Our singing team have put together a guide to singing safely in school to hep explain the current guidelines.
Singing is a vital part of a balanced curriculum life. It helps children to be more calm and focussed, and increases their enjoyment and engagement across school.
Singing in school is not banned (as some people may have interpreted). The Government has not updated the guidance on singing in school since November 2020. With a few simple precautions, singing can safely take place in school.
Volume –The louder your voice, the more mass of aerosol you produce. Using the voice LOUDLY can produce up to 20 times the mass of aerosol than using your voice at a normal level. Therefore, if you can limit the volume of your singers in a classroom situation, singing produces similar levels of aerosol as speaking. Ask them to use their own volume control and to set it at 5/10.
Space – The Government guidance suggests singers should be 2 metres apart in all directions. However in the guidance on Performing Arts rehearsals it says this can be reduced to 1 meter with additional risk mitigation, such as wearing face coverings or opening windows to increase ventilation. It is worth remembering that singing sessions could be done outside on warmer / drier days.
Number of Singers – There is no upper limit to the number of singers you can have but this is dependant on your ability to socially distance as the above point in space suggests, so first consider and map out the space you plan to use and take numbers from that.
Ventilation – Much the same as current teaching guidelines, keeping windows/doors open removes the aerosol produced and minimises its concentration in the air.
Length of Time – Keeping singing sessions short is a good way to keep engagement high as well as producing less aerosol. Each “Jump Up and Join In” session on the LMS YouTube is between 15 and 20minutes. This is ideal.
Face Coverings – Singing with face coverings is not ideal but it is suggested it can reduce the aerosol mass produced. It may be an option to consider as many students are wearing masks in classrooms but this does only currently apply to secondary pupils and not primary.
Conducting – Standing alongside, rather than facing your singers makes sure you are not on the receiving end of the aerosol mass produced in class.
If you are still unsure, would like further advice or help with what, when or how to sing contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Jump Up Join In singing sessions will start up again every Wednesday 10am from 21st April. The FREE weekly online sessions are on our YouTube page and you can see previous episodes there too. The sessions are designed to be done in order but you can participate at any time of day as the videos remain on our YouTube channel – you can view episode one HERE