May 16, 2020

Music Education in Aotearoa Covid-19 Guidelines– Updated 26th April 2022


Covid-19 Guidelines for Music Education in Aotearoa

Updated 26th April 2022: Resourced from: COVID-19 Protection Framework for schools and kura

Curriculum-related activities

Activities held as part of normal operations such as curriculum-related activities are not classified as gatherings under the framework, but schools should continue to implement a range of health mitigations to minimise risk for participants and staff.  

Some examples of school-based curriculum-related events and activities include: 

  • assemblies
  • technology centres 
  • physical education classes (including swimming) 
  • parent-teacher meetings 
  • examinations 
  • school plays or performances during class time 
  • cultural activities during class time 
  • pōwhiri ceremonies (for example, start of year/new student or staff welcomes) 
  • music during class time 
  • inter-school events during class time (such as inter-school sport events) 
  • science fairs. 

At Orange 

  • Activities with large numbers of students, if they are to go ahead, should take place in well-ventilated areas or outdoors. 
  • Students from other schools are permitted to be onsite and must follow all health measures.  
  • If risk assessment indicates higher risk for your community, consider how you might limit any large indoor gatherings. 

Non-curriculum related activities at Orange

Generally, events and activities are not curriculum-related if they occur outside of class time – particularly where attendance is optional. 

Non-curriculum related activities need to meet the requirements for events and gatherings under the framework when onsite and offsite. 

Playing wind instruments and singing at Orange and Green

Practices and rehearsals can go ahead – a physical distancing of 1 metre is recommended where practicable especially for higher risk activities such as singing and using wind instruments.  

Further information on events, activities and education outside the classroom 

Face masks at Orange

  • It’s strongly encouraged that face masks continue to be worn by ākonga and staff in Years 4-13 when indoors. Face masks are one of the key health measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in indoor settings. 
  • It’s also strongly recommended to wear face masks in large indoor gatherings such as assemblies.

Further Information regarding masks


Covid-19 Guidelines for Music Education in Aotearoa – Updated 13th March 2022

Updated; 16th March 2022

Changes to vaccine pass requirements for teams and groups*

As noted in our bulletin on 1 March, changes have now been made to the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Protection Framework) Order.

All children and young people enrolled in a registered school are now able to participate in all school-organised teams and groups regardless of their vaccination status. This change took effect from 11.59pm Saturday 12 March.

This change will also apply to any individuals representing their school at an event or competition – for example, an individual representing their school at a debating competition (think of them as a team/group of one).

For education outside the classroom (EOTC), this will mean that an offsite provider will not be able to ask children and young people participating in school-organised curriculum-related activities for evidence of vaccination.

Social events, fund-raising events or other activities where student participants are not in a school-organised team or group are not included in this exemption from vaccine pass requirements – for example, school balls, school fairs, quiz nights.

 Further information on events, activities and education outside the classroom at Red.

*Published: He Pitopito Kōrero – Bulletin for School Leaders 16th March 2022

Update for Wind, Brass Singing in schools:
Important public health mitigations that remain;
We have checked in with Public Health to see whether there is any change to their advice for schools. Whether onsite or offsite, activities held indoors, especially those involving physical exertion, singing and playing wind instruments, remain a higher risk for spread of COVID-19.
Current public health advice is that wherever possible, these activities should be held outdoors. If you do decide to go ahead and hold these types of activities indoors:
  • It must be in a well-ventilated space
  • There should be at least one metre of space per person
  • Participants should be physically distanced by at least one metre where practicable, and at least two metres apart for singing and when using wind instruments
  • Gatherings of large numbers of students should not go ahead unless outdoors
  • If bringing parents and caregivers onsite for non-curriculum events and activities, the rules under the COVID-19 Protection Framework for events and gatherings will apply.

Updated 22nd January 2022

This guide was developed for Music Departments at schools and Itinerant Teachers of Music in Aotearoa for the Covid 19 Protection Frame Work inparticular for the Red Traffic Light setting. 

Links to relevant MOE and COVID19 documents are found here:

Early Learning and Schools at Red

​​Schools and kura at Red

COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic lights)

Information has been gathered and put together from information published up to the 24th Janurary 2021. We will update as needed. You may need to go to the Ministry of Education for up to date information. 

Who needs to be fully vaccinated?

At education sites, some people must be fully vaccinated to have contact with children and students.

This includes:

  • Teachers
  • staff
  • home-based educators
  • support people in schools and early learning centres, including volunteers
  • teacher aides
  • administration and maintenance staff
  • contractors.
  • An on-site register will be kept.

Even though we are a highly vaccinated country, COVID-19 can still spread in our communities.

To slow the spread of the virus, and continue to help protect you, your whānau, and your community, it is important to keep up the healthy habits we know.

  • Regularly wash and thoroughly dry your hands or use hand sanitiser.
  • Sneeze and cough into your elbow.
  • Keep your distance from people you do not know.
  • Clean or disinfect shared surfaces often.
  • If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, stay home and get a test.

Everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand aged 18 and over who completed their primary vaccination course at least 4 months ago is already eligible for a booster vaccine.

The Government announced on 21 December 2021 that COVID-19 booster vaccinations would be mandated for workforces covered by the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 (Vaccinations Order).   This has come into effect as of the 23 January 2022. 

Education, Corrections, Police, Defence, and Fire and Emergency workforces, if eligible for a booster, are required to have this by 1 March 2022.


Under the Red Traffic Light System

Face coverings

All ākonga (students) Years 4 and up must wear face coverings indoors and when in close contact with others.

Staff and teachers must wear face coverings when teaching and supporting children in Years 4 and up.

Physical distancing

Parents and visitors are encouraged to maintain 1-metre distancing from other adults while indoors.

Scan in or keep a record of where you go

Scan the QR code or keep a record of where you go. This will help with contact tracing for any cases in your community.


Non-curriculum Related Activities

Non-curriculum related events should be limited and may only go ahead if a vaccination certificate is required.

If bringing others onsite, including parents and caregivers, any general rules for events applicable at the time, will apply.


Music, Instruments, Singing

When singing at Red, participants must be outside and two metres distant from each other. No singing should take place inside.

Wind instruments not to be shared and limited to home use, or outside only.

At all settings within the CPF, shared supplies and equipment (e.g. Musical Instruments) are able to be used if students and staff are undertaking regular hand washing and staying away if sick.


Teaching across schools and groups

At Red, schools and kura need to minimise as much as possible, staff working across groups/classes of students.

Unless they are fully immunised and wearing face coverings, staff such as itinerant music teachers and relief teachers will not be able to work across different schools.

As with all staff, they should closely monitor for symptoms, stay home if unwell, get tested if symptomatic, use the COVID-19 tracer app.


Education outside the Classroom

Education outside the classroom (EOTC) activities can go ahead but will need careful planning. Targeted local lockdowns, if initiated, may restrict movement across boundaries.

  • Along with your usual risk management approach you will need to consider:
  • the importance of protecting those vulnerable to respiratory illness – do you know who on your staff, in your volunteers and in your student population may be at greater risk?
  • if someone were to become ill with a serious illness, are you able to respond to that, including the ability to isolate that person while you seek advice from a medical professional?
  • work closely with the venue to ensure that any requirements for COVID are understood and can be met. This could include capacity limits and whether a Vaccine Pass is required by the provider.

The key consideration for your school group is avoiding interaction with people you don’t know because they cannot be easily contact-traced.

Schools and kura must ensure that they:

  • you know who is there (contact tracing)
  • children are overseen by staff and adult volunteers
  • you know who is on site
  • you have good hygiene systems in place and systems for managing illness
  • you are not interacting closely with other groups at the camp


Other Events and Activities

At Red, large gatherings should be avoided. While schools and kura are not considered gatherings, there are restrictions on what events and activities you can hold.

Large groups of students should be avoided indoors

Curriculum related activities continue

Non-curriculum related events are limited and may only go ahead if a vaccine pass is required.  

No external students on site for non-curriculum related inter-school activities.


NZ ITM Covid-19 Guidelines – Updated Sept 2021

This document was developed as a guide for Music Departments at schools and Itinerant Teachers of Music in Aotearoa following the COVID-19 outbreak and is a working document.

Links to relevant MOE and COVID19 documents are found at the end with a chart of responsibilities for schools and music teachers.

Download the guidelines document here.  (pdf with hyperlinks)

Prepared for MENZA by the ITM Covid-19 Working group.

Ministry of Education – Covid Information

September 4th, 2020 MoE update:

Music at Alert Level 2
We have had some questions about managing any potential risk associated with music classes when at Alert Level 2.

It is important to note that at Alert Level 2 the disease is contained, but the risk of community transmission remains.

“With the other public health measures we have put in place in schools and early learning services, coupled with the reduced risk of transmission at Alert Level 2, we consider the risk of infection is low.”
Dr Caroline McElnay – Director of Public Health

Music classes, singing and using woodwind instruments can take place at Alert Level 2 (but not at Alert Level 3). Practices, rehearsals and performances can go ahead – physical distancing of 1 metre is recommended where practicable including singing and using wind instruments. All other hygiene practices must also be followed including staying away if sick, regular hand washing, good cough and sneeze etiquette, contact tracing and regular cleaning of surfaces. Regular cleaning of shared equipment (instruments) will be needed.

Activities where visitors are attending, including parents and caregivers, will need to align with public health requirements for gatherings.

Staff will be able to work across different schools.

Your leadership, staff, students, and community need to understand what the risks are and how to manage them. This needs to be planned and discussed, and then detailed in your health and safety plan.

Choirs and Covid-19 in Alert Level 2

The following link has some clarification and considerations from the NZCF (NZ Choral Federation) for Alert levels 1 and 2:

Prof Michael Baker on Choirs & Covid-19 – Sept 2021

Choirs and Covid-19 in Alert Level 2 – May 2020


Extra reading

The following is an American site that has been collecting articles and research from around the world

Instrument hygiene: Preventing the spread of COVID-19 when performing or teaching – March 2021

Music Education and Teaching In A Post COVID-19 World – May 2020



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