There have been many music, yoga, dance and martial arts studios reopening these past few months, and while it depends on the country, we are getting closer to a post lockdown era, this means being extra safe.
Studios reopening after the worst time of the pandemic does not mean that there is no virus, so there are a few things to consider when getting back to work.
It’s a studio, and a lot of people will be going in and out, not to mention that teaching may be a bit different.
To help you get your things in order, here are a few tips to get you on the right track with a safe and clean teaching environment.
According to musiciansunion.org.uk a risk assessment must be taken into account in order to help with the proper management of your studio.
The key elements of this are distancing (including at your workstation, access around building, breakout areas), the cleaning regime for the venue, handling of equipment and music, and finally ventilation which is a key in dictating how many people can be in the same room, for how long, how frequent air changes need to be etc.
This should encompass many details including the cubic capacity of the areas being used and the specific ventilation being used, flow rates, renewal rates etc. This critical factor requires a complete technical report signed off by a qualified person. There needs to be an integrated mitigation approach which requires balance between different measures (e.g. ventilation and distancing). The DCMS have acknowledged that as a major part of the risk management process.
Taking it Seriously
Unfortunately we all know that many people don’t take this matter seriously enough, that is why you need to let your customers, staff, teachers and students know that you do.
This is important because everyone expects clear communication in uncertain times, so that there is a real sense of safety and everyone knows that things are going to be a little weird at first.
There are a few things that you should remember before anything else:
- Masks: The use of masks or facial coverings at all times is necessary. This of course includes teachers, students, parents and anyone else who enters the studio. There are a few types of masks, and, while N95 masks and respirators offer excellent protection, they are typically exclusively for health care workers who need them most. The public should use cloth masks with two to three layers. You can also add a filter. Make sure masks cover the entire lower two-thirds of your face, from the bridge of your nose to below your chin.
- Hand sanitizer and Taking Temperature: Everyone coming into and going out of the studio should have their temperature taken and use hand sanitizer. Consider reapplying a few times during class.
- Social distancing: They say that 6 feet apart is enough, but it depends on the discipline of the studio. When we are talking about dancing for example, you’ll need a lot of space due to all the body movement and heavy breathing, which could sometimes apply to singing as well. So maybe consider extending those 6 feet to 10 feet apart in order to be extra safe.
- Disinfect Surfaces and Instruments: Clean the floors once or twice a day. If it is a dance studio, sanitize ballet barres, doorknobs and all surfaces dancers and teachers may touch before and after all classes. If you are dealing with music maybe you used to have your students play instruments that you own and share, and while it’s a good thing, you should avoid this for now if possible. If it comes down to playing piano then follow Steinway’s instructions to disinfect a piano which instructs Over-the-counter hydrogen peroxide available from any pharmacy, is safe for piano keys. Dampen a cotton pad with hydrogen peroxide and use the pad to wipe down the piano keytops (back to front) between players.
The idea of social distancing is that you avoid direct contact with other people, this can be a bit harder when there are groups of people in closed spaces.
This has a very simple solution, less crowded classes.
Teachers will have to arrange their schedules in a way that every student gets their lesson but it’s worth it since teachers will be able to have their lessons without any worries.
Safe Outdoor Events
This is a great idea, as it gives the students a lot more space and fresh air to enjoy their lessons in a different way than they are used to while also making it safer.
It’s great that the world is finally getting ready to resume with all activities and studios are reopening again, but bear in mind that this should be a transition so things will be a bit different than you remember.
Remember to check out Studio Helper if you wish to make your job easier a bit more organized as a studio manager.