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Principals receive a letter from the Education Minister

Over 80 music teachers and students uniting to play their part in asking the Minister of Education’s to rethink his blanket ban on singing and playing wind or brass instruments inside schools.

On Thursday 1st April, during the Easter Holidays, school principals received a letter from the Education Minister … ‘no indoor singing or playing of wind or brass instruments should take place on school premises’.

Instrumental tuition provided by Education Authority Music Service … ‘instructed by PHA to delay tuition in schools … based on emerging data regarding the new COVID variant’. - 30th March 2021

Schools have provided high quality music provision throughout the pandemic in a risk-assessed, safe environment … and now we have a blanket ban on singing and playing wind instruments in our buildings!

The science says … ‘It is not about vocalisation – whether it’s singing or speaking – it is about volume’ (Jonathan Reid, a professor of physical chemistry at the University of Bristol and a co-author of the research “The Costello Report”, August 2020 – cited in The Guardian Newspaper, 20 August 2020 ... and various other sources including tweets by Declan Costello, April 2021 "Volume of vocalisation is the key issue - not singing per se - frustrating that singing is still demonised")

Where is the evidence that performing on woodwind, brass or voice has contributed to the spread of COVID in schools? (This includes instruments such as flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, saxophone or cornet, trumpet, horn, euphonium, trombone, tuba)

We can have a music lesson in a private home, but in school we cannot sing or play on our own in a ventilated room - even for a lesson on zoom while the tutor remains in their own home!

GCSE & A-Level Music performance assessments are planned for children after Easter to provide them with the opportunity of "the live performance" rather than online recordings – but now have to be held outside.

‘Music is arguably the most life-enriching academic subject of them all. A universal language that triggers emotional responses and kickstarts creativity like no other’ (http://www.nordangliaeducation.com/.../the-importance-of...)

Singing in schools dramatically improves self-esteem, boosts the immune system, increases engagement in class and reduces stress. (Centre for the Use of Research and Evidence in Education (CUREE) commissioned by Sing Up.)

From the time children are born, singing is a natural way for them to communicate (The Institute of Education’s Professor Graham Welch)

In primary/nursery schools there are bubbles but there is NO social distancing between pupils and staff within bubbles. (Northern Ireland Principal)

We can currently sing and play in churches but not in school!

Music is the heartbeat of every school - please don't silence us.

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