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  • Writer's pictureRon Dickson

Teaching the guitar during the Pandemic

When changing my career to become a self-employed guitar tutor, I never had considered the thought of a global pandemic like what we are suffering from just now or how it would affect my business.

The first lockdown was a straightforward choice. I had to transfer all my lessons online or stop teaching. An experience I don’t think I will ever forget and certainly do not wish to go through again. With the support of my students and a lot of scratching heads about the technology involved, we got through it. Eventually, being in the same room with many controls, and more recently, group classes resumed.

As the Omicron variant surges ahead with infections, to help stop infection, a lot of the controls have to go back in place. However, it is far more manageable this time as the experience is there and the controls are normal now.

The transition to go back to in-person from online was challenging last year. First, getting the screens was a minefield, but I eventually recognised the type of screens used on the television and ordered some.

The cleaning products were hard to come by, and courtesy of some industrial cleaners, I got some washroom cleaners that met the requirements. The hand sanitiser came in a 5L container, and my hands became soft with its use, and I started to get sore fingertips when playing. Eventually, my skin adapted to the new regime.

The ventilation was initially with a wide-open door. However, this was not an option as winter approached. Research led to intake and extract ventilation installed in the dedicated teaching room with an external door.

One of my students unknowingly having Covid-19 during a lesson tested the controls. Track and trace got in touch and informed me to isolate. Environmental health got in touch to discuss my controls and risk assessment. They were happy I was doing everything I could, and more importantly, none of my students, or myself, caught covid.

Putting the controls back in place, I can do with confidence this time. The screens are all back out. I am using 70% alcohol wipes as they are easy to purchase now. The ventilation is still in place, and all the chairs are easily wipeable.

The most important part – I have a tried and tested method of controlling Covid-19 back in place to protect my students and my family.


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