A north-east teacher has spoken of his frustration at the lack of clarity over singing lessons amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Singing teacher Alisdair Sneden works as a vocal tutor for Aberdeen Academy of Performing Arts.
He was forced to start teaching singing lessons online when the Covid-19 pandemic hit but says Scotland is ‘severely behind’ in providing guidance on when they can resume.
He said: “I normally teach students one-to-one but because of coronavirus we had to start doing everything online which was fine at the beginning.
“But as time went on, I started to notice that a lot of my students were struggling with remote learning.
“As things started to open back up there seemed to be a lot of negative publicity around singing.
“In the past couple of weeks things have been reopening but singing just seems to be something that has been ignored.
“Studies have shown that singing is no more harmful than talking. The Government in Scotland is still refusing to acknowledge this. The rest of the UK singers and teachers have been able to teach for weeks now but Scotland is still severely behind.”
Alisdair argues that the voice is a muscle which needs to be used if his students are to progress further.
He said “Singing has been proven to be good for many things. It’s good for your mental health, it brings community spirit and it releases endorphins which in these uncertain times is much needed.
“For weeks we were building ourselves up to be able to put on the lessons again but we’ve just been forgotten about.
“Just like in dance or gymnastics, the voice is a muscle which needs to be used and if it isn’t the students will lose technique and will therefore need to be retaught.
“A lot of my students come to me for lessons to get further ahead in music or to go to music college and at the moment, they aren’t getting that training.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Individual singing lessons where two-metre physical distancing can be applied, the environment is well ventilated and equipment is not shared, carry low risk.
“Virtual lessons using digital forms of communication, carry even less risk.
“There is a range of guidance available for singing teachers depending on the circumstances and environment in which lessons take place.
“We are keeping all guidance, which is based firmly on public health advice aimed at suppressing the transmission of Covid-19, under review as scientific evidence becomes available.”