Useful links and guidance for musicians and their choirs.

If you come across other useful resources, do let us know so that we can add them to the list.

Until 8 March

Following the announcement of new national lockdowns, Stay at Home guidance has been issued and supersedes all other guidance. Revised performing arts guidance was published on 6 January and confirms that amateur activity cannot take place at the moment.

From 8 March

The Government announced a new four-stage roadmap on 22 February to lift the current restrictions in England. We await detailed information on the performing arts, but the key points so far are on our Government guidelines page.

You can find details of the relevant government guidance for the performing arts, education and places of worship here.

We strongly recommend that you read all the guidance in detail as part of your planning for returning to singing.

Risk management and planning resources

We've put together three documents to help you and your choir with your planning and risk assessments for returning to singing in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. These detailed documents have been updated to take account of the latest government guidelines before the latest lockdown, so are suitable for planning ahead to when activity is allowed again.

Find all the documents and more advice here.

Other advice, research and resources for choirs and their leaders

  • abcd has published a research paper on the impact of the COVID 19 virus on choral activity in the UK. The report, prepared by Professor Martin Ashley, an abcd trustee, provides a survey of research into the current thinking about how choirs and conductors might resume rehearsing and performing.

You can find out more information and view a summary in our news section, but we strongly recommend that the full paper is read, which you can find here.

  • Our webinar on The changing face of choirs: adapting to COVID-19 is still publicly accessible on YouTube here.
  • Additional resources: Professor Ashley has put together an information sheet about choirs and aerosols which can be found here.
  • PHE and DCMS funded research has been undertaken by a collaborative partnership led by Bristol University and Imperial College London and a pre-print paper was recently published. Find out more here about the research and download the full paper here.
  • Our Facebook group has lots of live discussion on it about running choirs in the current climate, particularly about people's experiences of using the various online video platforms. Anyone can view the discussion (you don't need a Facebook account), but if you'd like to contribute, you'll need a Facebook account and to answer a few simple questions to be approved for the group.
  • Our friends at Making Music have published advice and resources for choirs, their committees and their conductors. Click here for the main resource page, which is available to everyone and click here for more detailed open access resources. There are many more resources available to Making Music member choirs, including making plans for returning to singing and a risk assessment template.
  • For church choirs, the RSCM has a COVID-19 resource section for churches, recently updated to include advice to reflect the revised worship guidelines. Watch out for their regular webinars too.
  • The ISM has lots of information for musicians - about the latest government guidelines, business, remote teaching, claiming benefits and more. Click here.
  • The Musicians' Union has a substantial and constantly updated COVID19 section covering guidelines, financial support, teaching, theatre and orchestral work. You can also sign up for regular updates to your Inbox, even if you aren't a member. Click here.
  • There is detailed practical information about the opening of village halls and community venues, and the practicalities of the 'groups of six' on the website of ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England). You might find this useful if you are talking with venue managers about your rehearsal plans.
  • Chorus Connection has produced an extensive e-book guide to Season Planning for 2020-2021. This can be downloaded here.
  • For an international perspective, the European Choral Association has published a Covid-19 information document for choral organisations, choirs and conductors. This document provides ideas, tips and online resources from organisations across Europe and is constantly evolving to include new guidance and information. Access this online resource here.
  • Learn To Play Everything needed for learning and teaching how to play an instrument, with special deals on instruments, accessories and sheet music.
  • Family Zone Focus on first access to music for very young children, plus instruments and resources for adults to learn with their children.
  • Teach@Home Focusing on products and resources for music teachers to set up remote working including microphones, headphones and teaching methods with free shipping on all orders.
  • Interface:Response is designed to help portfolio musicians develop their digital skills and provide ongoing support as required, including forums and a mentoring scheme which include advice on rehearsing, performing and teaching activities.

Online resources for teachers, children at home and everyone working with young voices

#CanDoMusic is a UK-wide campaign organised by Music Mark, Music Teachers' Association and the ISM that aims to ensure all children and young people can resume their musical learning as schools reopen after lockdown. There is a huge list of constantly updated resources there. See listings and learn more about the full campaign here. Together we #CanDoMusic.

Educator's Discount from Hal Leonard. abcd Gold Commercial Members Hal Leonard Europe have launched a range of initiatives to help people continue making music during these unprecedented times, via their online store, including extending their standard educators discount to 15% with free shipping on all orders. Find out more here.

Musicroom is also launching a set of campaigns for home music making:

Our colleagues at NYCoS always have plenty of useful hints on their website and they have put together a set of daily musical activities - with or without actions!

The Diocese of Leeds Schools Singing Programme is an award-winning programme reaching around 4,500 children across the Diocese every week. Visit their YouTube channel for a vast range of resources for young singers, including warm-ups, sing-a-longs, games and more.

Drake Music have information and suggestions about the need for digital accessibility and sharing their learning about how to make video conferencing more accessible. There is also a Coronavirus resource list page for musicians, music leaders & teachers, parents and carers.

Music Mark have a big list of online home learning resources of all kinds for all ages. They have also published lots of helpful guidance for schools and music providers about starting up activity in schools again.

Sing Up have introduced Sing Up at Home, with lots of resources for online learning, much of it freely available. You can also view #Feelgoodfifteen live every Tuesday at 9am, or catch up in the archive.

Global Song Circle have new songs every month for community, family and friends to sing along to, complete with teaching video and song sheets which can be downloaded.

Ex Cathedra's SingMake films are all available on YouTube, for KS1 and KS2, complete with downloadable resources to maximise learning and enjoyment of participation.

Practical support for musicians

There is now a joint portal of information for musicians at:

This has been put together by Help Musicians, the Incorporated Society of Musicians, The Ivors Academy, the Music Managers Forum, the Music Producers Guild, the Musicians' Union, and UK Music and is being regularly updated. It includes advice on how to apply for Government support and details of hardship funds, as well as where to find legal and health support, working online and creative support.

Help Musicians has launched the Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund, specifically created to alleviate some of the financial pressures that many professional musicians are currently facing. The £5 million fund has had over 17,000 applications so far and in spite of many generous donations, there is still a funding gap. Click here to find out more about the fund and make a donation.

The Musicians Union has launched a £1 million hardship fund for MU members with genuine and pressing hardship. Click here to find out more about how to apply and how to make a donation.

PRS for Music has launched an Membership Emergency Relief Fund. The new fund offers money to support songwriters and composers during unprecedented times of hardship. Click here to find out more.

Technology for choirs

This is new territory for almost everyone! See our Facebook group for the many solutions people have tried and how they've both succeeded and failed.

Check out our remote learning resources page for more articles and our latest resource video from Richard Jeffries on rehearsing youth choirs online.

Here are some possible software options and useful articles:

The American site Chorus Connection has a good article on running online rehearsals and what to consider.

Facebook live


Our friend and colleague, Professor Jim Daus Hjernøe at RAMA Vocal Center Denmark, who delegates will remember from last year's Convention, has produced some very helpful tutorials on using Zoom in rehearsal situations - click here.

Google Hangouts

Online choirs

There are many online choirs of all kinds springing up! Your choir might be interested in some of the following:

Stay at Home Choir run by Tori Longdon and Jamie Wright. An online platform to keep musicians connected

The Self-isolation Choir Live weekly rehearsals; following the successful performances in 2020, there is a full schedule of events up for 2021.

The Sofa Singers led by James Sills

Distant-Sing run by Choir Community

Face masks for singers

Banks Music Publications have a range of PPE equipment for choirs, including singers' masks with a specially designed lightweight frame that holds the material away from the nose and mouth allowing normal vowel production and projection.

The Broadway Relief Project is a coalition of Broadway designers and stitchers that normally build costumes for Broadway hit musicals. The team was enlisted by the City of New York to creating over 2 million medical gowns for NYC public hospitals. The Singer's Mask was developed for singers to capture droplets while singing and provide comfort and ease of motion while singing.

There are a growing number of other suppliers making to order:

Funky masks

Random Rose

Alison Crutchley

Joan Fernley has produced patterns for making singers' masks and YouTube tutorials - many of the names above are producing to her pattern. She also runs a Facebook group 'Masks for performers'.

Miss Kiddy

Academic resources

Many institutions have lifted their paywall temporarily, giving access to everyone to useful online teaching resources:

OUP Music, Teaching Music Appreciation Online

OUP Music, Online Learning in Music: Foundations, Frameworks and Practices

Open University


And many of our performing organisations have online resources:

London Mozart Players on orchestral conducting

London Symphony Orchestra A-level seminars, as well as a host of performances