COVID‐19 measures and risk assessment: in‐person teaching and rehearsing at the premises of Sasha Valeri Millwood
last updated 08/09/2020



Millwood performing at Madingley Hall -- photograph courtesy of Gregor Forbes

micro‑summary; summary; online alternative (lessons); responsibilities; risk assessement

Poetic micro‑summary of COVID‐19 measures

COVID-19 remains widely feared
In our green and pleasant lands,
Stay apart*, or else stay silent**,
Bring your pencils, wash your hands!

* Stay 2 metres apart.

** No talking when less than 2 metres apart.

This poem, written in 2020, is copyright © Sasha Valeri Millwood. Permission is hereby given to reproduce this poem without alteration, subject to attribution of Sasha Valeri Millwood as author and inclusion of a reference to the home page of his website in the form of the unabbreviated URL "".

Summary of COVID‐19 measures

Online alternative for lessons


Risk assessment

HazardMitigationsActions required
(bold typeface denotes actions that may be required of visitors)
Catching or spreading COVID-19 by not washing hands or not washing them adequately Sink in kitchen with adequate supply of soap made available to visitors for hand washing during lessons/rehearsals.
  • All visitors to wash hands immediately after entering the building and removing shoes.
  • Cleaning of surfaces touched regularly by visitors (e.g.: music stand; pianoforte keys; adjustment mechanism for the pianoforte stool) before and after a lesson/rehearsal.
Catching or spreading COVID-19 in corridors, bathroom facilities, and entry/exit points
  • Routes to/from teaching/rehearsal space and bathroom facilities anticipated and kept tidy.
  • Option to utilise kitchen door in addition to (or instead of) front door as point of entry/exit.
  • Two of the lamps in teaching/rehearsal space operated by a foot‐button.
  • Sasha Valeri Millwood to open/close doors (except bathroom door) and operate the hand‐operated light‐switches (except lamps operated by foot‐buttons may be operated by visitors if necessary). Visitors may be directed to a particular position within the teaching/rehearsal space in order to maintain a 2‐metre distance while Sasha Valeri Millwood to open/close doors and operate lights.
  • Lessons/rehearsals to be scheduled to reduce/avoid overlap in visitors. If overlap occurs, utilise both the kitchen door and the front door.
  • Visitors to comply with instructions as to which entry/exit point to utilise.
  • Cleaning of bathroom facilities before and after use by visitors.
Catching or spreading COVID-19 from shared instruments The only shared instrument is the upright pianoforte, and any visitors touching it will have washed their hands very recently. The fall (the external part of the pianoforte case that, when closed, covers the keys) and music desk will have been opened in advance of a pianoforte lesson, thus minimising the areas of the pianoforte touched by a pupil.
  • Sasha Valeri Millwood to wash hands regularly when practising on the pianoforte.
  • Cleaning of pianoforte keys and the adjustment mechanism for the pianoforte stool before and after a lesson.
Catching or spreading COVID-19 from materials passed back and forth between persons
  • Visitors reminded to bring relevant sheet music, pencils, rubbers, lead refills, pencil sharpener.
  • Activities that involve repeated back‐and‐forth contact with the same book or sheet of paper (e.g.: sight‐reading exercises) be adapted in order to reduce (or even eliminate) the extent of such back‐and‐forth transfer of material.
  • Tray for deposit of materials that need to be passed back and forth.
  • Sasha Valeri Millwood to wash hands again before handling papers to be passed back and forth.
  • Pupils to mark-up sheet music in own handwriting (of course, this rule was employed long before COVID-19).
  • Minimise iterations of passing papers back and forth.
  • Papers to be transferred into a tray or directly on to the music desk and not directly into the hands of the other party. 2‑metre distance to be maintained during process of passing materials back and forth.
Catching or spreading COVID-19 through not social distancing
  • The teaching/rehearsal space is arranged such that a 2‑metre distance can be maintained between Sasha Valeri Millwood and a couple of visitors.
  • There may, however, be brief instances where the distance is reduced slightly (but always at least 1 metre) in order to enable one party to observe the other better. To mitigate the increased risk of transmission when persons from different households or support bubbles are closer than 2 metres, all parties to refrain from speaking until the 2‐metre distance is re‐established.
  • Visitors to refrain from bringing companions from outwith their own household or support bubble (unless said companion is a parent/guardian/carer).
  • Sasha Valeri Millwood to position a mirror to reduce the need to come closer than 2 metres for the purposes of observation.
  • Sasha Valeri Millwood to utilise binoculars to observe sheet music without the need to come closer than 2 metres for the purposes of observation.
  • Sasha Valeri Millwood to set‐out a tape‐measure on the floor fixed at a length of 2 metres, so that all parties can visualise the distance readily.
  • Visitors may be directed to a particular position within the teaching/rehearsal space in order to maintain a 2‐metre distance.
  • Pupils are reminded that, once seated at the pianoforte, it is not necessary to face Sasha Valeri Millwood when talking, and they should instead maintain a good posture by looking straight ahead rather than twisting/turning round, unless Sasha Valeri Millwood advises otherwise explicitly (of course, this principle was employed long before COVID‑19).
Poor ventilation in workspace leads to risks of COVID-19 spreading Ensure adequate ventilation before, during, and after lessons/rehearsals. The teaching/rehearsal space is a reasonably large room with a reasonably high ceiling, and has a window that can be opened. Although the window is usually kept shut during lessons/rehearsals (to avoid the risk of causing noise nuisance to neighbours), it can be opened at other times to bring fresh air into the room.
  • Sasha Valeri Millwood to ensure that the teaching/rehearsal space is well ventilated before each lesson/rehearsal.
  • Lessons/rehearsals to be scheduled to avoid lengthy periods of back‐to‐back in‐person teaching/rehearsing.

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