Policies for COVID

Reopening Plan for
The Pittsburgh Music Academy, Inc.

Update May 14, 2021:  During this period of transition, please continue to follow ALL safety protocols listed below regarding in person instruction.  Questions and concerns can be directed to the Academy Director at info@pghma.com.

The state of Pennsylvania has moved into the Green Phase of recovery! We can begin to see each other again in a new way.

According to the Work and Congregate Setting Restrictions published by pa.gov for the Green Phase, “Continued Telework is Strongly Encouraged.” In addition, PMA performed a survey of teachers, and most do prefer to continue to teach virtually at this time. Please consult with your teacher to determine what is best for you. If you and your teacher cannot come to an agreement, please contact the office at info@pghma.com for a temporary reassignment. Finally, we have not been given the option to return to PMA East for in person lessons as of this writing.

For those who prefer to return to face-to-face lessons, “In-Person Operations Must Follow Updated Business and Building Safety Requirements.” In addition, “Schools are Subject to CDC and Commonwealth Guidance.” The following information will address these two conditions.

PMA COVID-19 Response Plan

Please stay home if:
You have recently had contact with a person with COVID-19; or
You have tested positive for or are showing COVID-19 symptoms.  Please consult your health care provider regarding when you may return to face-to-face lessons.
You have a fever greater than 100.4.  You may continue face-to-face lessons if you show no further symptoms and your fever lowers without the use of fever reducing medications in 24 hours.  

Prior to your lesson:
Take your temperature at home to determine if you are eligible to meet with your teacher.
Check for other COVID-19 symptoms.
Gather your materials: instrument, music, music stand, pencils, note-taking material, mask, and sanitizer.
Consider bringing disinfecting wipes to assist the teacher in sanitizing before and after your lesson.

Please do not plan to use the restroom at PMA:
Use the restroom at home prior to your arrival.
Do not eat on the premises.
Bring your own bottled water to the lesson.

Waiting areas at all locations are closed:
Please remain in your car until your teacher texts or calls you to enter. This will be after the current student has left the building (if there was a previous lesson) and the teacher has begun to sanitize the shared objects between lessons.
Only the student and one parent may attend the lesson. No siblings, friends, or extended family will be allowed.  All participants should try to remain 6 feet apart.
In smaller studios (at South and East), only the teacher and student may attend and others should remain in their vehicle.
You must have a pre-arranged lesson appointment to enter the building. No drop ins are allowed.

Upon entry to the building:
Sanitize hands at the entryway sanitizer.
Sanitize hands again upon entry to the lesson studio.
Try not to touch any surfaces other than the instrument and accessories needed for the lesson.

Wear a face covering:
Only those wearing a mask can be admitted to the building.
Flute students are allowed to remove the covering during the lesson, but must remain 6 feet away from the teacher. All others should continue to wear a face covering for the entire time at PMA.
Do not touch exposed areas of the face, especially the eyes.

Guidelines for the private lesson:
Pianists will play a separate piano from the teacher.
String, flute and guitar lessons will be conducted from a distance of 6 feet.
Students and teachers will not use the same music stand.
Students must provide their own pencils and copies of the music and ideally their own music stand.
Students and parents should take their own notes during the lesson regarding the practice assignment. Please use technology to share information.
So not shake hands, hug or touch during the lesson in any way.
If an instrument needs to be tuned, adjusted, or accidental contact has been made, sanitize hands.

Group Classes:
Classes will be held in the largest rooms to allow for adequate distancing (6 feet between participants).
Parents must observe all student guidelines and will only be allowed to remain if space permits.

Guiding Principles to Keep in Mind

The more people a student or staff member interacts with, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. The risk of COVID-19 spread increases in school settings as follows:
Lowest Risk: Students and teachers engage in virtual-only classes, activities, and events.
More Risk: Small, in-person classes, activities, and events. Groups of students stay together and with the same teacher throughout/across school days and groups do not mix. Students remain at least 6 feet apart and do not share objects (e.g., hybrid virtual and in-person class structures, or staggered/rotated scheduling to accommodate smaller class sizes).
Highest Risk: Full sized, in-person classes, activities, and events. Students are not spaced apart, share classroom materials or supplies, and mix between classes and activities.
COVID-19 is mostly spread by respiratory droplets released when people talk, cough, or sneeze. It is thought that the virus may spread to hands from a contaminated surface and then to the nose or mouth, causing infection. Therefore, personal prevention practices (such as handwashing, staying home when sick) and environmental cleaning and disinfection are important principles that are covered in this document. Fortunately, there are a number of actions school administrators can take to help lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure and spread during school sessions and activities.