Learn about what we’re doing to keep our students and staff safe in our music lessons!
Latest COVID Update:
Toronto Arts Academy is currently offering both in-person and online lessons.
Ontario has a great self assessment tool you can access at https://covid-19.ontario.
Below is an overview of the procedures we are putting in place to open and operate safely for in-person lessons:
- In-Person Approval Procedure: All students continue lessons online only until they are approved to attend in-person. Should students wish to attend some portion of their lessons in-person, they must complete our in-person lesson approval procedure. In-person lesson time availability is limited.
- Screening Procedures: Are updated and enhanced. All students and staff will be pre-screened and temperature checked before entering. Both staff and students are required to self-assess for COVID symptoms, and refrain from arriving at the Academy if they are experiencing such symptoms.
- Masking Is Mandatory: We have provided an upgrade to KN95 or N95 masks for staff. 3-ply medical masks are available and required for students. Students and staff are required to wear masks at all times including for singing lessons. Students requiring unmasking at singing lessons should attend lessons online.
- Improved Ventilation: Our main HVAC is maintained regularly, and HEPA air filters are individually installed in every lesson room and throughout the academy.
- Social Distancing: must be maintained throughout the Academy by staff and students. Transparent plexiglass barriers are installed in all lesson rooms and at the front desk to help with this.
- Front Lobby Closure: The Academy entrance doors will be kept locked at all times. Only students scheduled will be allowed to enter. Parents, family and friends must wait outside with students until the start of their lesson as we are not able to permit students to wait inside before their lesson. Parents may observe lessons via zoom by request.
- In person and zoom lesson attendance is tracked: Group lessons will continue online only.
- Hand Sanitizer Stations: available throughout the school
- Cleaning: The academy is thoroughly cleaned daily professionally, and throughout the day by staff.
- Reduced Lesson Time: Lesson time for in-person lessons will be reduced slightly. This is to accommodate possible delays to pre-screen procedures at the start of the lesson, and ending a few minutes early to disinfect student touch points, so that the next student may start on time.
- No Shared Use of Instruments: The academy will no longer be able to provide microphones, guitars, or drum sticks for shared student use. Please come to your lessons with your own if needed.
- Online Flexibility Required: Once opened, we may be required to close again and return to online only if/as needed, in which case the remainder of your months lessons would continue online only.
What We're Doing To Navigate Covid-19
An Evolving World
The world has changed dramatically. Things that would have seemed off the wall in January are now common practice. With change of any kind, it is normal to be apprehensive and have questions. We hope to address some of those here. The biggest of these changes are:
- Social distancing, and mask wearing, which has affected so many aspects of our lives.
- Music lessons have changed as well, with the majority of our students continuing lessons online for the safety of both our students and staff. Although we have always offered online lessons, we did have to make some small changes in order to move more fully online. We have been adjusting to fast moving changes.
Adapting To Change
Change is scary, but it challenges all of us to be better. By reexamining our routine of the ways we go about our lives, we are challenged to be more present, to interact with the world in a more conscious manner. New opportunities include:
- Growing our problem solving skills as we find new ways to address new challenges.
- Exploring new passions such as music lessons! They can grow our creative problem solving skills, while giving us a creative and expressive outlet to channel how we feel about our new world from day to day.
More Free Bonus Classes!
We have made lots of investments for our students to help us through these challenging times including:
- Significant growth to our group class schedule and programming. We are including more bonus online group classes than ever for our students to access exclusively for all age groups, and for all instruments!
- Creating professional online video stream performances, as well as group watching parties to celebrate our students growth!
- Mailing our students’ musical rewards to their home so they can celebrate their growth with their families.
Lessons Now Online
Many students think they can’t continue their hobbies or after-school activities during the Covid closures. But that’s not the case!
- Our online music lessons are designed to be easy to use for our students to continue their music lessons online!
- Though we’ve always provided online music lessons, we’ve invested heavily in improving our online lessons system! We’re sure your experience with our online lessons will be fun and exciting!
- Should you wish to attend any portion of your lessons in-person, all you have to do is follow our 4-step procedure. It’s up to you!
Our Online Platform
We took some significant steps to make our online lesson platform even better. Among the things we changed include:
- Having one dedicated staff member to assist with online lessons only.
- Training teachers on how to do online lessons, including getting the best sound for both teachers and students
- Created a tech support system so that if any issues are encountered, we have staff available to jump on the session and help as needed!
Everything very organized with calls to remind us beforehand about our Zoom lesson
Thomas is so happy and upbeat. Everything is very organized with calls to remind us beforehand about our Zoom piano lesson. Really supportive!
Getting Ready To Reopen The Academy
Cleaning & Precautions
We invested significantly in cleaning and sanitization systems and products:
- Before the school had to close, we hired a team of dedicated daily cleaners to give the schools a deep clean everyday.
- We also purchased hand sanitizing dispensers and commercial sanitizing wipe dispensers.
- We now include touch point cleaning after each in-person lesson, as well as HEPA filters and plexiglass barriers in each lesson room.
- All staff and in-person lesson students must complete our approval process and weekly pre-screen before entry.
Online Or In-Person Lessons
While our teachers will be based at the academy, you will still be able to choose whether to continue to have your lesson in-person or online.
- If you choose to have your lessons in-person, your lesson will be shortened from 30 minutes, to 28 minutes. Ending your lesson 2 minutes early will enable us to properly clean and wipe down the instruments after use during your lesson.
- There could be delays to lesson start time due to pre screen procedures.
- We are unable to provide refunds or lesson credits for lost lesson time for in-person lesson safety procedures due to attending lessons in-person.
Reopening Of Toronto
As businesses are dealing with the challenges of keeping their businesses open. We will continue to consider all the ways to minimize the risks and monitor the data available to make the most informed decisions. We do not want to put our staff, students, of families in unnecessary danger.
Great Zoom Sessions!
My child loves his lessons with Nico – great Zoom session yesterday! Looking forward to returning in person too. He also can’t wait to return to his guitar with Adrian!
Mandatory Use Of Masks
Until recommended otherwise, moving forward we will require both students and teachers to wear masks at all times while inside the Academy:
- We will also provide disposable masks available at the door.
- We’ve ordered custom branded masks with replacement filter pockets. We are planning to make one mask available to every student and teacher.
- If you have challenges wearing a mask for the full 30 minutes while you’re inside the Academy for your lessons, we would require that you attend your lessons online instead.
Parents To Wait Outside
Due to safety procedures, we now require that parents not to enter the Academy, unless absolutely necessary. Family members will be required to wait outside or in their car, or enjoy some local shopping.
Still want to check in on your kids during your lesson time? No problem!
- Let the office staff know, and we will be sure to setup zoom so that you can observe the lesson with your child through your zoom remotely.
- You are also welcome to observe our security camera tv from outside so long as you are able to observe social distancing from other parents.