opinion Newport Rhode Island

By The Rhode Island Music Education Association (RIMEA)

The Rhode Island Music Education Association (RIMEA) released updated music guidance on August 17 ahead of the re-opening of schools in the fall. The guidance will allow state and local leaders to focus on re-opening music education programs in order to support the social and emotional well-being of Rhode Island students. The updated guidance, which mirrors guidance previously published by the Rhode Island Department of Education outlines mitigation strategies for indoor and outdoor music classes, as well as bell covers, masks and distancing.  
“The importance of in-person learning extends to all subjects, including music, at all grade levels,” said David Neves, Advocacy Co-Chair at RIMEA. “The update guidance includes safe and practical ways for students and teachers to hold these essential music classes.”
“RIMEA has been in communication with RIDE and RIDOH about this guidance and we appreciate their continued cooperation,” Neves added.
Since the onset of COVID-19 there has been ongoing research into the development of mitigation strategies to enable music performance in schools. Recommendations from RIMEA and the International Coalition Performing Arts Aerosol Study were incorporated into Rhode Island’s latest guidance. RIMEA’s updated guidance aligns with RIDE’s latest back-to-school guidance.
“Over the past year, students have been isolated and largely unable to practice music with their peers,” said Patricia Kammerer, RIMEA Advocacy Co-Chair.  “RIMEA encourages all school districts to focus on the social-emotional well-being of students, including incorporating arts and music into the school day.”
Kammerer added, “RIMEA is committed to continue to update guidance specific to music in the schools as more information is provided by the CDC and other health professionals, as well as research studies specific to music in this age of COVID.”  


The Rhode Island Music Education Association (RIMEA) is the state chapter of NAfME, the National Association for Music Education.  Its mission is to provide professional development, leadership, and support for the state’s music teachers to promote quality music instruction and experiences for all students in Rhode Island as part of a complete education. 

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