Resources for your music group during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown up huge challenges for choirs, bands, orchestras and all other kinds of music groups, whether that’s staying connected with members, learning how to rehearse online, recording performances, assessing the risks of meeting in person and making sure everyone is safe, all while working out how to protect your finances. So we have created a range of resources to help your group to pick up again and thrive in these uncertain times.

Keep an eye on our guidance tool to help you understand the latest government guidance on what your group can and can't do in person, wherever you are in the UK.

If you're thinking about meeting up in person, use our risk assessment guidance and templates for rehearsals and performances. Vocal and instrumental groups can also download and use WellRehearsed, a free and anonymous infection reporting app for leisure-time music groups developed by abcd (Association of British Choral Directors) and Making Music.

Planning for the future

Not sure where to even begin with looking ahead? We’ve created planning guidance that takes you through risk assessment, rehearsals, events and in-person performances and future options.

Before you do anything else, take stock of your situation by asking your members what they feel they want to do by using our Return to Rehearsal survey.

To help you make informed decisions in the best interests of your group, we've also assembled a resource page with links to various research and guidance on COVID-19 and musical activity, and you can also watch our webinar on Covid-19: what does the medical evidence mean for your group?

Meeting up in person

Whatever country of the UK you’re in, our guidance tool will help you make sense of the many rules around meeting up in person, so keep an eye on this page for updates. We’ve also created risk assessment guidance for rehearsals and performances that include template risk assessments to get you started, as well as a working example from a member group. 

Vocal and instrumental groups can download and use WellRehearsed, a free and anonymous rehearsal Covid-19 infection reporting app for leisure-time music groups of all kinds, developed by the Association of British Choral Directors (abcd) and Making Music.

Whenever groups are allowed to return to in-person rehearsals, our safety poster templates will help keep your venue Covid-secure and if your group sings, you can also have a read of our guidance on face coverings. If you're looking for a new music-making space post-lockdown, have a read of our resource on finding a Covid-secure rehearsal venue.

If you're part of a group that regularly performs outdoors, take a look at our guide to managing a moving audience to keep viewers engaged and safe in Covid times.

Even as restrictions ease, face coverings will remain a part of our everyday lives. Take a look at our interpretation of government guidance on face coverings and a list of suggested brands that make them with singing in mind.

Meeting online

Some groups are now looking at running all their activity online for the rest of the year. So how do you keep your online rehearsals fresh and your members engaged? We’ve created step-by-step guides on how Zoom works and how to use it for instrumental and vocal rehearsals online.

Not everyone uses technology but there’s things you can do to help complete beginners to get connected.

And make sure your musical director is on board, whatever activities you decide to do.

To help you organise this online group activity, try using our planning tool.

Zoom fatigue getting you down? Check out our guides to some great alternatives for online music making, including JamKazam, Jamulus and SonoBus.

What to do if you've never tried making music with technology? Follow in St Helens Ladies' Choir's footsteps by rehearsing online from scratch.

If you're already harnessing the power of tech, make sure you use it to its fullest potential - our useful webinar shows you how.

In person and online

It’s difficult with some people wanting to meet in person and others who may still need to shield, or don’t feel comfortable meeting. How do you keep your group together? You could try combining online and offline rehearsals to make sure everyone is included.

Livestreaming performances

For groups wanting to livestream performances, take a look at our livestreaming guidance resource and livestreaming tips from promoter groups.

How do you create an enjoyable viewing experience for yourself as a distanced audience member, especially when relying on technology? Our new resource includes some important points to consider when watching a virtual performance.

Making Music member promoter groups are also entitled to new subsidies for booking any professional artist or Philip & Dorothy Green Young Artist for a livestreamed performance.

Wondering how to go about putting on a COVID-secure performance? Three case studies from promoter groups outline the steps you could take.

And how about livestreaming in-person rehearsals? Find out how Petros Singers went about things in their case study.

Recording and editing your group’s performances

We’ve also created a range of digital resources to help you, including simple guides to audio and video recording at home, using Shotcut to edit video and Audacity to edit audio, as well as more webinars and video guides on how to get the best out of a virtual performance.

Online safety

As more people venture online, staying safe from fraud and data theft is more important than ever. By taking some precautions, you can feel confident that you are staying safe online.

Safeguarding your members online is also an important consideration that you can tackle with our guidance.

Finance

Each group is in a different financial position and must assess the risks and take decisions based on its own situation, location and membership. Use our financial planning guide to help.

Online donation platforms could be a great way of collecting some funds for livestreamed performances. We walk you through how to set it up.

Your group may be seeking financial support in the wake of the pandemic. Our recent guest speaker webinar looked at the ins and outs of writing a funding application.


We hope you find this Making Music resource useful. If you have any comments or suggestions about the guidance please contact us. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the content of this guidance is accurate and up to date, Making Music do not warrant, nor accept any liability or responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the content, or for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information contained in it.