Transforming Communities

Safe return to in-person music sessions in schools during Covid-19

Live Music Now (LMN) has resumed delivery of music sessions in schools.  Our musicians comply with school protocol for visitors and follow LMN’s current risk assessment. Further music education and Covid-19 guidance, literature reviews and risk assessments for schools is available here.

Guidance for schools hosting LMN sessions as a PDF.

Download the Northern Ireland guidance document here.

Guidance for schools hosting Covid-secure Live Music Now sessions (England and Wales)

Why music is important:

Music can play a vital role in your recovery curriculum. It can help children and young people with additional learning needs settle back into a positive learning environment and support their wellbeing.  Research and LMN’s own experience shows that regular participation in music:

  • Readies children for learning across the curriculum
  • Promotes engagement, particularly for non-verbal children
  • Builds children’s confidence and self-esteem
  • Develops listening, turn-taking and socialising skills
  • Provides an outlet for self-expression and communication
  • Supports children’s mental health and PSHE needs


The guidance below should be read in conjunction with  LMN COVID Risk assessment for In Person Music Sessions in Schools


Live Music Now Concerts (length: 30 – 55 minutes)

  • Choose a space which is well ventilated eg school hall.
  • We recommend a max of 50-60 pupils per concert, depending on students’ access requirements, size of LMN group performing and performance space. We can deliver 2 or 3 shorter concerts (30 minutes) to reach more pupils.  Concerts can also be live streamed.
  • Pupils may respond spontaneously to music by moving, dancing, singing and vocalising.  Agree measures beforehand to ensure everyone remains safe during the performance.  For example:
  • Ensure there is space available for pupils to move and dance safely, without moving into the musicians’ performance area
  • Consider placing a discreet physical barrier (such as a bench) to stop pupils from approaching the performers
  • Have enough staff present to support pupils’ safe participation and engagement in the concert
  • Discuss with the musicians about logistics of moving around the room at certain points in the concert to promote pupil engagement


Guidance for Live Music Now workshop sessions for small groups (length: 30– 45 mins) including “Musicians in Residence” sessions

  • Ensure the classroom is well ventilated (keep the door open if necessary).
  • Arrange a safe space for musicians to leave their instrument cases
  • Discuss management of classroom instruments, with attention to hand hygiene when using shared instruments
  • Musicians to email a session outline beforehand to aid staff preparation and/or brief staff verbally before the session starts
  • Classroom staff can support pupil participation by demonstrating and leading activities with individual pupils, guided by the musicians


We ask schools to: 

  1. Provide an adequate and well-ventilated space/classroom/hall for sessions and support with the agreed set-up of the space.
  2. Brief the musicians about the needs of pupils they will be working with to promote engagement.
  3. Ensure adequate staff in sessions to support pupil participation in musical activities.
  4. Ensure shared instruments and equipment are cleaned in accordance with school guidance.
  5. Keep LMN Musicians-in-Residence up to date with any additional measures and expectations for safe delivery of music sessions.


Live Music Now musicians will:

  1. Follow LMN risk assessment and school guidance for visitors.
  2. Communicate clearly with school staff to plan and deliver safe music sessions.
  3. Complete an On-site DYNAMIC risk assessment on arrival at the school.


FAQs for schools

Is it safe for singing to take place in Live Music Now sessions?*

Yes, singing is allowed in schools, though the size of the room and effectiveness of ventilation remain key to controlling infection.   Singing in Live Music Now sessions usually only takes place for a few minutes at a time and is interspersed with other activities.   Further information about mitigating risk for focused singing sessions and choirs can be found on P7 & P14 of Music Unlocked.

*See separate guidance for Northern Ireland here.

Is it safe for LMN musicians to perform on wind or brass instruments in our school?*

Yes!  Wind and brass instruments are allowed to be performed in schools, but good ventilation of the performing space remains very important.

*See separate guidance for Northern Ireland here.

What happens if we have to cancel our session at the last minute due to a COVID-19 related issue?

Please let us know asap so we can contact the musicians before they travel to your school.  We will discuss options with you to re-arrange the concert or music session


If you have any other questions, please do get in touch with us: [email protected]

Karen Irwin, Live Music Now Updated 25 October 2021


With thanks to Resonate, the music education hub for Liverpool and Music Mark (Music Unlocked, Guidance for Schools 2021/22 )