We at Semitone have made the very difficult decision to pause private lessons for now. We are trying to respond to information as it comes in, and after the national address yesterday our minds have been changed.
The key for us is the advice that we should avoid 'non-essential' contact. Whilst surely music and indeed music lessons are essential for musicians, it is more important to ensure everyone's safety than to maintain the continuity of lessons. No one will get sick because they missed a few lessons, and your music will keep going, but someone may get sick if we keep having people come to and fro, not knowing who could be carrying the virus. If it is true, as has been stated by the government's chief scientific adviser, that 'we're on the fast upswing or just about to get there', then we want to ensure that we keep everyone safe from that.
Our network with each other is greater than we know, and from an infectious disease standpoint that means that our continuing to meet could unintentionally lead to someone vulnerable in our circles becoming sick. It is impossible to know whether or not you have the virus unless you have been tested, and it is possible that we could be spreading it far and wide without even knowing we have it.
However, let's try to focus on the more positive aspect of that: Our network with each other is greater than we know. Even from a distance we can reach out to one another. It may be possible for some lessons to continue using technology, and if nothing else it is certainly possible to stay in touch using this technology. Surely, at the very least you can check in with your tutor from time to time until this passes.
Perhaps we are being over-cautious, but the consequences of getting it wrong are too great. We will rejoice if in a few weeks' time we feel very silly, and everything goes back to normal and we had nothing to worry about. But for now, we must be cautious. We will continue to respond to new information as it comes in, and as soon as there is a change we will let you know. For now, please stay well, stay strong, be kind, and be there for one another. We will get through this, one tiny step at a time.