Skip to content

This guidance establishes the expectations for online or distance learning between an HMS student and HMS teacher from a private home.

This guidance is to be fully adhered to by all HMS teachers, parents/carers and pupils. The guidance is designed to allow teachers and pupils connect and learn online in a safe and secure way so that musical progress can be achieved.

The guidance also sets out to support HMS teachers and staff to complete their teaching duties in a well-supported and safe online environment with clear guidance to pupils and their parents/carers.

This guidance is not a technical guide for online lesson delivery.

This guidance sets out the information required for teachers, parents/carers and pupils to successfully complete online or distance learning.

Tips and advice for online instrumental music lessons

  • Please be patient.
  • Please ensure you have made yourself familiar with the online learning platform, how to connect to an online lesson and the digital resources to be used in a lesson.
  • Ideally the device you use should be plugged into a power source during use for online lessons.
  • Ideally, the device you use should be connected to a broadband router via an ethernet cable where possible, or if using Wi-Fi you should aim to be as close as possible to the router for the best signal and connection.
  • Please ensure you have all instruments, music, books, a music stand, pencil and any other resources prepared in advance of the online lesson.
  • It is assumed that both HMS teachers and pupils will be using personal devices to access the online virtual platform.
  • The virtual platform will require access to the microphone and camera of these devices. This permission should be given in order for the lesson to take place.
  • Full technical requirements are available separately to this guidance.
  • It is recommended that the internet upload and download speed is 2Mbps for both the teacher and pupil connections. A test can be conducted by visiting
  • It is recommended that all other internet users of the same internet connection cease online activity so the lesson can run successfully.
  • It is recommended that pupils and teachers use the biggest screen possible, preferably a laptop or desktop computer although the lesson will be able to take place on any laptop, desktop, tablet or smartphone with broadband connection.


 Guidelines for Parents/Carers and Pupils

Before online lessons start

  • Teachers, parents/carers and pupils should ensure no interruptions occur during the online connection time. This can be achieved by switching the device used to access the online space to ‘Do Not Disturb’ or similar.
  • For children aged 12 and under, an adult should be present in the room for the duration of the lesson. For children aged 13-15 an adult should be present for the start and end of the lesson and remain in earshot of the lesson, but not necessarily in the room. For young people aged 16-18, lessons can be unaccompanied.
  • Parents/carers should ensure that a pupil has access to the minimum recommended equipment before starting online lessons, outlined by the teacher.
  • All online lessons must be scheduled in advance with the HMS teacher and ‘confirmed’ within the system at least 24 hours before the first lesson.
  • Ensure no phone call or messaging takes place during an online lesson.
  • All other browser windows, apps and programmes must be closed on the device used for the online lesson.

Location of the lesson

  • The lesson should take place in a ‘living’ area of your home, this should not be a bedroom or bathroom.
  • No personal details should be shared during the lessons. The background behind and around the pupil should not reveal any personal information or inappropriate materials. Best practice is to ensure the area around you, including the walls, are clear and plain.

Behaviour and dress

  • Both parents/carers and the pupil should dress appropriately, as you would for a school lesson. A uniform is not necessary.
  • Teachers should expect the same behaviour standards in an online lesson as a school or music centre based face to face lesson.These behaviour expectations will be outlined at the start of the first online lesson.
  • If students are not suitably dressed or if any behaviour is inappropriate, staff will end the online lesson immediately then email parents to inform them of the reason for this.
  • All verbal comments must at all times be appropriate to the formality of your lesson. Teachers and pupils should communicate as is normally appropriate in a lesson at school or music centre.
  • Online lessons are not recorded, and the lessons continue to be provided under existing safeguarding and child protection policy as they would be in schools or music centres.
  • Parents/carers and pupils must not record lessons or take screen shots.

Reporting concerns

  • All HMS teachers and staff will maintain the same duty of care responsibility during the lessons as stated in the existing HMS Safeguarding and Child Protection policies.
  • If any action, behaviour or content of an HMS online lesson causes a safeguarding or child protection concern, you can contact the HMS Designated Safeguarding Lead, Michael Mabbitt by email marked CONFIDENTIAL at
  • Any concerns about online abuse or the way someone has been communicating online should be reported to CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command) as well as HMS.