COVID-19 update for members - rehearsals at home

Date: 15 May 2020
Time: 9.30 pm

Dear Members and Families, 

Wow-what a long week it has been. Thoroughly enjoyable, but tough. We’re into the second week of term two (2)  via our online rehearsal, lessons and classes, and while there have been some pitfalls and challenges we have taken them on and we are making music. I’m very proud of our efforts and achievements. I am writing to you to ask you to continue with these efforts and refrain from coming together to play music for a little longer.

Since 16 March 2020, some 60 days ago; when the Public Health Emergency was announced, and our work, our lives and the world changed for us all.  We have been challenged, frustrated,  annoyed and at times exhausted. It is easy to get lost in these feelings. 

I know it has been tough for everyone, including musicians. The website I lost my Gig, latest tally published on 27 April 2020, estimated gig funds lost to the music industry at a staggering $340 million. Yesterday it was announced that the unemployment rate jumped to 6.2% in Australia, while the Reserve Bank of Australia’s forecasted unemployment rate is tipped to rise to 10% in June this year. These are not good by any measure. 

After 60 days of #iso or social distancing, as it is more commonly referred to it is easy to get impatient and seek out opportunities to make music in groups again, but it is important to remember the reason that we have spent the last 60 days in #iso. We need to hold back for a while longer.

While there have been no new cases of COVID-19 recorded in the ACT in the past 24 hours, and community spread across the ACT is very low, this has only been achieved by hard work and sacrifices of many people across our whole community. 

We are working hard on developing a return to in-person programming plan, and it is coming together, it’s considered, thoughtful and still requires input from our staff, our members, our venue partners among others. This will enable us to return to in-person programming in a safe and sustainable manner.

Until we are ready to execute the plan for returning to in-person programming, we are urging our members to be patient and follow the ACT Government advice, especially with regards to gatherings both indoors and outdoors, physical distancing, and good hygiene. 

Remembering that we are part of the solution to keeping everyone safe and healthy, let’s not make any decisions we may regret in the future. 

Thanks for taking the time to read this message, we will be communicating regularly with you as we develop our return to in-person programming and I welcome your input and feedback you have. Please keep in mind that we are a small organisation and this process will take time, we thank you in advance for your continued support and patience. If you have any specific questions and concerns, please click on this link and complete the form and we will respond to them as soon as we can.

Have a great weekend, stay safe, thanks Peter

General Manager
Music for Canberra
Email: Peter@musicforcanberra.org.au

COVID-19 update for members 14 May 2020

Date: 14 May 2020
Time: 10.30 am

Dear Music for Canberra Members and Families,

Hope you are all well, just a quick update.

As you may be aware the ACT Government on Tuesday (yesterday) announced the easing of restrictions relating to control of the COVID-19 virus, these are with regards to Cafes and Restaurants, and Community Facilities, among others. These small, low-risk changes will not affect Music for Canberra operations.

Click below for the full statement by the Chief Minister.
https://www.cmtedd.act.gov.au/open_government/inform/act_government_media_releases/barr/2020/statement-chief-minister

We have also included a link below to the ACT Government’s FAQs for reference.
https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/faqs/faqs-changes-to-restrictions

Music for Canberra programs will continue to provide online learning for term 2, as this is the best way of keeping us all safe, and meeting the ongoing requirements. Please click here to find out more about how we are adapting our programming to online learning.

We are in the process of working with you – Music for Canberra employees and contractors, venue partners, Arts ACT and our members to plan our program delivery as restrictions ease further. Our primary objective remains to deliver our programs safely and sustainably. There is a lot to consider and at present, there are still a lot of unanswered questions and we are not going to rush this process because your safety, health and wellbeing is our priority.

This process will be slow and managed. We are likely to make a staged return to normal programs to ensure that implementation is considered, effective and efficient.

We will be communicating regularly with you as this process develops, and I welcome any input or feedback you have. Please keep in mind that we are a small organisation and this process will take time, we thank you in advance for your continued support and patience.

If you have any specific questions and concerns, please click on this link and complete the form and we will respond to them as soon as practicable.

Have a great day,
Sincerely, Peter.

General Manager
Music for Canberra
Email: Peter@musicforcanberra.org.au.

COVID-19 update for members

Date: 9 May 2020
Time of Update: 4.30 pm 

Dear Music for Canberra members and families, 

As you may be aware the ACT Government yesterday (Friday 8 May 2020), announced with regards to the COVID-19 restrictions having eased to support families and the economy. These small, low-risk changes will not affect Music for Canberra operations.

Click on the below link to read the ACT Government statement, which highlights the key changes.
https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/news-articles/faqs-changes-to-restrictions-8-may-2020

As it currently stands, Music for Canberra programs will continue via online learning for term 2; please click here to find out more about how we are adapting our programming to online learning.

We are in the process of working with our staff, venue partners, Arts ACT and our members to understand and identify how and/or when we are going to be able to resume normal programming (in-person) in a safe and sustainable manner. There is a lot to consider, and at present, there are still a lot of unanswered questions, and we are not going to rush this process because your safety, health and wellbeing is our priority.

This process will be slow and managed and will likely be a staged return to normal programs so that we are able to manage this process, in an effective and efficient manager.

As we develop this process, we will be communicating it to you all. Please keep in mind that we are a small organisation and this process will take time, we thank you in advance for your continued support and patience.

If you have any specific questions and concerns, please click on this link and complete the form and we will respond to them as soon as practicable.

Have a great weekend. Sincerely, Peter.

General Manager
Music for Canberra
Email: Peter@musicforcanberra.org.au

Music for Canberra cancellation of remaining Classes, Rehearsals and Programs for the remainder of Term 1 2020.

UPDATE: 2 pm on March 23, 2020.

Dear Music for Canberra (MfC) members, families and participants,

We regret to inform you that due to the impact of COVID-19 we are cancelling the remaining Classes, Rehearsals and Programs for Term 1. 

MfC is committed to prioritising the health, safety and welfare of all our staff, students and families and the MfC community. We have been and will be continuing, to monitor the development and impacts of COVID-19 closely.

Our programs will recommence in Term 2 from Tuesday, April 28, 2020, via an online learning environment. We are currently working through this process and we will be communicating more information with you, as soon as we have everything in place. 

We are passionate about our staff, our members and the community and we look forward to creating unique and memorable musical experiences that we can create together during this time.

We thank you for your support during this challenging time, and we will be in touch as soon as practicable with regards to next steps for our program and the plan moving forward.

If you have any questions, queries, concerns or feedback, please contact me directly. Please take care of each other, and we will get through this together!

Sincerely Peter and the MfC team.

Peter Thomson
General Manager @ Music for Canberra
Email: peter@musicforcanberra.org.au
Phone: (02) 6182 0030

MfC update on COVID-19 and classes on Saturday March 21

Update: March 20, 2020
9.05 am

Dear MFC Members, families and participants,

I’m writing to you on the measures that Music for Canberra (MfC) has in place to respond to COVID-19 and the associated changes that MfC has had to make to our Saturday programs.

MfC is committed to prioritising the health, safety, and welfare of all our staff, students, families and the MfC community. We are continually monitoring the development and impacts of COVID-19 closely. We are continually monitoring the development and impact of COVID-19 closely. We are taking advice from both the Australian Department of Health and the ACT Health Directorate and are working in close consultation with Ainslie and Gorman House to manage the associated risks.

These are currently 4 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the ACT, and thankfully there are currently no cases within the MfC community or the wider Ainslie and Gorman House community. For more up-to-date information about the virus, please visit:

https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

https://health.act.gov.au/about-our-health-system/novel-coronavirus-covid-19

In partnership with Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centre we have implemented the following:

  1. Hand sanitizer is available in each of the rooms, in the common areas and reception as you enter the building. Please use it.
  2. A sign-in sheet for all visitors is in the reception areas as you enter the building. Please sign-in when you arrive. Program participants and staff do not need to sign-in.
  3. Posters about hygiene (cough/sneezing etiquette, handwashing, and if unwell please stay at home) are posted throughout the Centre.
  4. The Centre is being disinfected daily as are the pianos, the door handles and customer facing surfaces.
  5. We request that all students and volunteers wash their hands with soap and water before commencing their lessons and after any break.
  6. Practices social distancing at all times and especially during all rehearsals and classes. This is one of the reasons we are changing times of the program on March 21.

We can all follow these simple steps to help prevent the spread of viruses

If you are feeling unwell, please stay at home, and rest or seek medical advice. It’s important that you take the time to fully recover. We also recommended that you do not go to classes and avoid public places while you are unwell. We recommend these resources  from the Department of Health.

CHANGES FOR THIS SATURDAY

With the ANU taking the precautionary decision to “reduce on-campus and cancelation of public and social events” we have had to relocate the rehearsals for both Canberra Youth Orchestra (CYO) and the James McCusker Orchestra (JMO) to Ainslie Arts Centre for the foreseeable future. This is also complicated by the limited rooms that are available because of our stream programs.

We also need to factor in social distancing. This has led to changes to the current times and programming for all groups on the weekend.

We will trial the following times this week to accommodate each of the groups on Saturday while trying to keep it as simple as possible.

 New trial schedule on Saturday 21 March

Start time

End time

Group Name

Room

8 am

11 am

Canberra Youth Orchestra

Ainslie Arts Centre Main Hall

11 am

1.30 pm

Sinfonietta

Ainslie Arts Centre Main Hall

11 am

1.30 pm

String Ensemble

Room 1

1.30 pm

4.30 pm

Peg Mantel Strings

Room 1

1.30 pm

4.30 pm

James McCusker Orchestra

Ainslie Arts Centre Main Hall

4.30 pm

6 pm

Camareta

Ainslie Arts Centre Main Hall

We will unfortunately be cancelling the group morning teas in their previous format to reduce the complexity. We appreciate that the morning teas are a tradition and plan to bring them back when the time is right.

We understand this is challenging for everyone involved but we are trying to make the best of a very challenging time, and we ask for your patience and support while we work this out. We understand this will not work for everyone and we are more than happy to discuss your feedback, questions and concerns about these changes.

We are confident with a little patience and understanding that we can work the programming out to suit as many of our members as possible. Thank you in advance for your support and patience as we make the best of a very challenging situation.

If you have any questions, queries, concerns or feedback, please contact me directly.

Please take care of each other, sincerely Peter and the MfC team.

Peter Thomson
General Manager
Email: peter@musicforcanberra.org.au
Phone: (02) 6182 0030
Music for Canberra

MFC update on response to COVID-19

Music for Canberra update, response to COVID-19
Sunday March 15, 2020 at 6:39 pm. 

Music for Canberra update COVID-19

Dear MFC community, 

I’m writing to update you on the measures that Music for Canberra (MfC) has in place to respond to COVID-19. 

While there is currently one (1) confirmed case of COVID-19 in the ACT, thankfully there are currently no cases within the MfC community. For more up-to-date information about the virus, please visit the Australian Government Deaprtment of Health webiste: 

https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

While for the most up-to-date information regarding ACT community measures and response please visit the ACT Health Directorate website: 

https://health.act.gov.au/public-health-alert/updated-information-about-covid-19

We are monitoring the current developments and impacts of COVID-19 closely. We are taking our advice from both the Australian Department of Health and the ACT Health Directorate and we are working in close consultation with our venue partners so that we manage the associated risks.

So far with our venue partners, we have implemented the following:

  1. Hand sanitizer in each room, and in common areas. 
  2. Reminders and posters about hygiene (cough/sneeze protocols, handwashing, staying home if unwell) posted around the venues. 
  3. Handwashing guidelines in each bathroom. 

We now plan to include the following: 

  1. Daily disinfecting of percussion instruments and pianos. 
  2. Requesting that all students wash their hands with soap and water before their lessons. 
  3. For our group classes, we ask that students don’t hold hands during the lesson or specific songs, and practice social distancing.  

We can all follow simple steps to help prevent the spread of viruses: 

If you are feeling unwell, please stay at home and rest or seek medical advice. It’s important that you take time to recover. It is recommended that you do not go to classes and avoid public areas while you are unwell. Please contact the MfC office (via phone or email) about the options available to you. 

Etiquette that we will be encouraging includes: 

  • Wash your hands well and often. The recommendations is to wet your hands, lather your fingers, palms, and wrists with soap and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Rinse your hands well with clean, running water and then dry your hands. 
  • Practice sneezing and cough etiquette – cough and sneeze into a tissue. If you don’t have a tissue cough or sneeze into your elbow (not your hands). 
  • Aviod touching your eyes, nose and mouth. 
  • Aviod handshakes. 
  • Regularly use hand-sanitizer. 
  • Keep at least a metre away from people who are coughing/showing signs of illness. 

On Friday 13 March, the ANU made a precautionary decision to “reduce on-campus and cancellation of pubic and social events”

This affects MfC in two (2) very direct ways:

  1. The rehearsals for both JMO and CYO will be moved away from the ANU campus until Saturday 20 June. 
  2. The CYO concert planned for Saturday, April 4 will be moved, cancelled and/or postponed.  

Please be assured that MfC is currently working through our options to find appropriate and practicable solutions for both these activites. Once we have more information, we will inform you as soon as practicable. 

We will always emails these updates to our members, and our website includes FAQs, which we update regularly. 

With the situation continuing to evolve, we are increasing the frequency of our communications to ensure our community is up-to-date with what we are doing. To assist we encourage you to keep your details updated, by completing this online form, to ensure that we have the most up-to-date contact information, to keep you informed.

Looking after ourselves and each other: 

This is a challenging time for all of us. Many of us have friends and families who are being impacted both here and overseas. Please know the thoughts of our community are with you. MfC will do what it takes to support every member of our community during these hard times, to the best of our ability. 

We would like to acknowledge and thank Bellchambers Music School whose research and existing policy on the response to COVID-19 helped inform our own. 

If you have any questions, concerns, queries or feedback, please contact me directly my details are below, as I’m more than happy to discuss. Please take care of each other, sincerely Peter and the MfC team. 

Peter Thomson
General Manager @ Music for Canberra
Email: peter@musicforcanberra.org.au
Phone: (02) 6182 0030

MFC update on response to COVID-19

Music for Canberra update on response to COVID-19
Thursday Feburary 06, 2020 at 2:39 pm. 

Dear Music for Canberra (MfC) community, 

Wihtin our MfC classes and rehearsals, we utalise a lot of shared instriments and other items such as music stands, meaning that keeping healthy is a major team effort at the best of times. We are aware this is a huge concern given the Novel (new) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). 

In line with the ACT Health guidelines, we are asking the following: 

  • If you have been to the Hubei Province of mainland China, please delay your return to the Music for Canberra programs until you have shown no symptoms for 14 days after your return.
  • If you have been in contact with someone with a confirmed case of the Coronavirus, please delay your return to the Music for Canberra programs until you have shown no symptoms for 14 days after your return.
  • If you have travelled to mainland China more broadly over summer, or transited through China, please call us to discuss how we can support you whilst also managing risk.

Here at MfC, we have posted signages reminding families of best practices for staying healthy, including frequent handwashing with soap, coughing and sneezing into your elbow, and staying home if you are unwell. We also have put hand sanitiser in each of our classrooms and common areas.

Our staff and/or members who have visited China in the holidays will have self-quarantine for 14 days as per the ACT Government advice.

If you have any questions, concerns, queries or feedback, please contact me. I’m more than hapy to discuss. 

Peter Thomson
General Manager @ Music for Canberra
Email: peter@musicforcanberra.org.au
Phone: (02) 6182 0030