Online and Distance Learning

Guidance for Parents / Carers and Learners

The Covid 19 pandemic has resulted in school closures and changes in BEAT’s working practices. BEAT will be offering online lessons in place of lessons in schools. During these troubling times, we believe that it is vital to provide our young people in Barnet with some structure and sense of normality, as well as high quality musical education.

The platform we have decided to use is Zoom. Using Zoom means that the parents and students do not have direct contact with staff outside the lesson as the meeting room shuts afterwards. It also has the advantage of being easy to access for first-time users. As a parent, you can join by clicking on a link sent via email to you by the teacher. The first time, you will have to register with the platform but the process is straightforward.

There are some things to bear in mind when using this new mode of teaching and learning:

  1. Online tuition creates new challenges for safeguarding which need to be taken into account by all concerned. Please adhere to the guidelines to safeguard students, teachers and families below at all times.
  2. Communicating online will be an unfamiliar mode of engagement between student and teacher. Many aspects of 1:1 teaching translate very well into this new context, but certain adjustments will help make the situation work better. These are outlined below in the guidelines to help online instrumental tuition work better.

Guidelines to safeguard students, teachers and families


  • Only use a parent / carer email and a teacher’s official BEAT email to make contact.
  • Respect personal boundaries. The online learning environment should respect the same boundaries as the classroom in our schools and academies. Our teachers are aware of this and the student should be aware of this too.
  • Dress appropriately, as you would for a lesson in school
  • Ensure a parent / carer is present and visible at the beginning and end of the lesson, and within earshot at all times.
  • Keep to the allotted lesson time. Our tutors will be operating to a timetable as they would in schools / academies. Lessons will be forfeited if you miss this time slot. Should our tutor be unavailable at an arranged lesson date and time, every effort shall be made to rearrange the lesson.
  • Use a family space, NOT a bedroom. Please ensure no personal or inappropriate information is in shot (phone numbers, beds, family photos).
  • Immediately notify the BEAT office of all unusual situations to avoid accusations of impropriety, and where possible to seek approval in advance.
  • End the lesson immediately if at any point you feel uncomfortable.


  • Use a student’s private email, or request private staff emails or mobile numbers.
  • Make private arrangements for face-to-face meetings outside the pre-arranged lesson slot.
  • Allow a video chat to start without a parent or carer present and visible at the beginning of the lesson. Please have a parent / carer remain within earshot during the entire session.
  • Record any of the online lesson
  • Chat about your child’s progress after the lesson; tutors will not be in a position to do this.

Guidelines to help online instrumental tuition work better

Setting up for your lesson:

  • Avoid unhelpful lighting if possible, for example, bright lights behind you.
  • Ideally, wear something that makes you / your instrument easy to see, for example, a black outfit in front of a black wall whilst holding a black clarinet is not ideal!
  • Check the framing; when you sit or stand in the place you plan to be for the lesson, ensure that the teacher can see you and your instrument as you play. For example, a piano teacher needs a view of your fingers on the keys. It’s frustrating to watch someone play when they are half out of the screen!
  • Ensure you have a pencil and a metronome (if possible) to hand.
  • Please set up and log on five minutes before your allotted lesson time.

In your lesson:

  • Please be aware there will be a time delay between you and the teacher. Remember to always speak clearly and not too fast. Responding too quickly or interrupting the teacher can make a conversation hectic and hard to understand, and may require everything to be repeated.
  • It may be necessary for the teacher to send resources or backing tracks / sheet music. There is the facility for teachers to place a link in the chat box, or email some sheet music, and the student can begin making use of these materials while still online. In some instances teachers can share their screen with students and show them something from their computer, such as music, a video, or an internet link.
  • Should a lesson be terminated due to technical issues, every effort shall be made to rearrange the remaining lesson time at a mutually agreed date and time.

As most of our instrumental teaching is currently 1:1, this should not feel too different for either them or your child but teachers may need to adapt their teaching approach slightly. We are supporting teachers with this and making training resources available to them.

Failure to adhere to the above guidelines will result in the online lesson being terminated and the cancellation of future lessons as a result shall be at the discretion of BEAT. The payment for lessons terminated and / or cancelled due to non-adherence to these guidelines is non-refundable. Lessons will take place at an allotted time and duration only. Failure to keep to a pre-agreed time slot will result in the lesson being forfeited. The terms and conditions found on the BEAT website shall remain binding.