The mission of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) is to advance music education by promoting the understanding and making of music by all. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) provides leadership for the administration of high-school based activities, emphasizing health and safety to develop leaders and increase opportunities for all. In the time of COVID-19, we collectively believe that music programs are more vital than ever, given their ability to support the social and emotional well-being of students and their ability to foster community.
This document provides practical guidance for PreK-12 schools as administrators and music educators seek to provide meaningful music instruction for students of all ages and grade levels during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this unique time, music educators are modifying their practices not only in teaching, but in classroom orientation, cleaning, spacing and management. It’s understood that, as trained professionals, music educators want to offer the very best instruction so all students can learn and grow in their knowledge, understanding, and love of music. This guide asserts that music educators can still do that, but also acknowledges that how we deliver teaching may be different than in the past.
By maintaining access to safe and meaningful music-learning, music educators will continue to support the artistic, academic, social and emotional development of students, schools, and communities across the United States.
To that end, the two most important things to bear in mind about Fall 2020 Guidance for Music Education:
1. The guide does not purport to replace or contradict the guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or your state or local public health departments regarding the timing or protocols for how schools should operate in our new normal of education.
2. There is no expectation that all schools in all states and districts will or should follow every recommendation included here. Every state is handling the pandemic differently and those differences may even vary district to district. Perhaps your school will return to classes and you will be able to restart your music program in a very similar way as in the past. Conversely, you may initially be conducting your classes entirely through a virtual platform. Either way, this guide seeks to support you.
The NFHS and NAfME provide practical guidance for PreK-12 schools on a return to musical instruction.