Update: June 22, 2020
Colleagues of the Ontario Registered Music Teachers’ Association,
ORMTA recognizes that some teachers and students are quite eager to resume in-person lessons, while other teachers prefer to continue on-line lessons, or take the summer off.
The following is an update on Stage 2 reopening plan. Based on the information provided by the Province of Ontario, we offer the following clarifications:
• On-line lessons are currently preferred.
• In-person lessons must maintain social distancing, and masks are suggested (required in some regions). If your activity does not permit wearing masks in close proximity, on-line lessons should be continued.
• Health and Safety guidelines for disinfecting spaces should be implemented.
• Individuals residing and working in a Stage 2 region who want to resume in person lessons should contact their municipal bylaw officer and regional public health unit for final approval.
• Music lessons, even with safety measures implemented, pose a risk of virus transmission.
We have an update on the reopening of music studios. Please read carefully. This is not a blanket statement of approval to all music studios.
ORMTA has reached out to the office of the Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade and received this response:
Thank you for your inquiry and for taking the time to understand how the Emergency Order on business closures applies to music lessons. Your patience has been appreciated.
Private in-person music lessons may be considered as a personal service and are permitted to reopen under Stage 2 of Ontario’s Framework for Reopening if they are conducted in locations that have already reopened or are conducted in-home.
Instructors should implement proper health and safety protocols when engaging with clients. This includes modifying operations to enable clients and instructors to maintain a 2-metre physical distance at all time (such as limiting the number of people in the same areas at one time), disinfecting common areas and objects, and reducing the amount of shared equipment. Clients should use their own instruments and shared equipment must be sanitized between uses, such as instruments with mouth pieces.
Virtual or outdoor lessons are encouraged where possible. Activities that do not permit the use of masks when in close proximity should be practiced using virtual means.
COVID-19 is a new virus. According to Public Health Ontario, it spreads by respiratory droplets of an infected person to others with whom they have close contact. Music lessons, including the playing of instruments and vocal lessons pose a risk of virus transmission.
We appreciate the support from Ontarians and Ontario businesses that are helping us contain the spread of this new virus to ensure the health and safety of all Ontarians.
Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT) - Office of the Minister
In response to the letter from the Ministry of Economics, we contacted the Ministry of Health, and received this response:
Thank you for your email to the Ministry of Health.
As you are aware, based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the province has enacted a declaration of emergency to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the public.
To help stop the spread of COVID-19, the government asked businesses to temporarily close non-essential workplaces. You can learn more about the temporary closures and the list of essential services. If you have questions about impacts to your business, read our frequently asked questions or call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659. They will have the latest information as it pertains to your sector.
Correspondence and Corporate Support
Ministry of Health
Please remember that ORMTA is not a business; you are the individual responsible for your business practices, choices, and consequences.
Ontario has made progress in the reopening stages, and we have offered suggestions on what measures you might take in your private studios to help keep students and yourself safe when the time comes for you to resume in-person lessons.
ORMTA’s recommendations are taken from Public Health Ontario, https://www.publichealthontario.ca/ and Ontario’s Resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace, and Reopening the Province, https://www.ontario.ca/page/reopening-ontario, https://www.wsps.ca/WSPS/media/Site/Resources/Downloads/covid-19-personal-services-health-and-safety