Pro Corda is  focused resolutely on operating our courses, programmes, concerts and events in a safe and responsible way that continues to inspire each and every one of our students and audience members, whilst keeping everyone safe and completely adhering to the government guidelines.

Pro Corda was the first course provider of its kind in the UK to restart courses from the 4th July, with a much smaller number of students, so as to allow enhanced social distancing and deep cleaning in between every course.

Inevitably this meant that we were oversubscribed with an extensive waiting list for courses, and we continue to be so. But our policies and procedures are under continuous review and are subject to change as we monitor conditions and receive guidance from health and government authorities.

We are pleased to have acquired Visit England’s “We’re Good To Go” Industry Standard mark signifying we have followed government & industry COVID-19 guidelines, have a detailed Risk Assessment in place & systems to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.

How do the new Government rules affect Pro Corda?

The new laws published on 9th September 2020 on social groups of six and additional measures announced on 22 September 2020 will not affect ongoing plans to present socially-distanced concerts and educational courses within our COVID-secure venue.  We continue to follow the safety and hygiene measures set out by the Government in its performing arts guidance.

We are an education establishment and licensed hotel venue.

How will music courses be run at Pro Corda and Leiston Abbey?

Courses will be run with limited students so that all accommodation is single occupancy, apart from siblings who will be allowed to share as a family bubble.

Coaching rooms will be limited to Barn, Upper Guesten, Chapel and a small ensemble in the Tudor Room. Doors and windows will be left open to provide maximum ventilation. Each of these rooms have enough space to allow coaching and rehearsing to be 2 metres apart from each player. Personal practice will take place in bedrooms.

No choir will take place, but a socially distanced string orchestra will be rehearsed in the Barn.

Will Pro Corda’s programmes away from Leiston Abbey take place?

We are working on each course and programme on a case by case basis and will not bring any Pro Corda programme back until it is fully safe to do so. As ever, working within all the guidelines, it is currently our plan to bring back our London Saturday School “Young String Experience” in October. Please see specific updates for this.

Pro Corda’s workshops for children with additional needs at our partner schools around the country are already taking place, but within close partnership working with those schools.

Pro Corda’s two offsite core courses – Pro Corda West and Pro Corda North – will be re-started in 2021 and we will write to all families of students on those courses about specific arrangements.

It is not currently Pro Corda’s policy to restart residential activity away from Leiston Abbey until the national situation has changed dramatically in a positive direction. This is because we would not have control over cleaning and catering systems. Please note the offsite programmes we HAVE brought back, mentioned above, do not involve catering or students staying residentially. We work with all our partner offsite venues to ensure rigorous cleaning.

Is it safe to play the Pro Corda pianos?

We ask students to provide their own antiviral wipes. There will only be one or two pianists per course and they will be designated their own piano for the entirety of the course. As an extra measure, we ask the Pianists to please wash and sanitise hands carefully before and after playing each time; keys will be cleaned each day and may be wiped by the players with a slightly damp (not wet) cloth under supervision.  Sanitiser gel will be available in each practice room.

What is the cleaning regime?

Sanitisation stations have been installed all around the Pro Corda site and house staff will follow a frequent (at least thrice daily) pattern of surface cleaning, including all entrance doors, door handles and push points, light switches, staircase handrails, lift control buttons, water coolers and communal toilets. There will also be a deep clean between each course. We have doubled all cleaning shifts during residential courses.

How do I register and drop my child on the first day?

We will allocate arrival time slots (as far as possible) for each student and ask you to report to the welcome desk in the Barn (directly opposite the car park). Please wear a face mask on arrival, and use the sanitisation stations to clean your hands before entering.

We will then ask you to complete and sign a questionnaire. After all the checks (see below) your child will be shown to their room by a member of our house staff.

Will my child’s temperature be checked on arrival?

To be safely admitted onto our site, all employees and students will be asked to participate in a temperature check using a non-touch thermometer. These non-invasive temperature checks are being applied as a condition of entry and added reassurance for our students and parents.

Anyone who is displaying a temperature above 37.8 degrees Celsius (which is considered a fever) will unfortunately not be allowed to enter to help ensure the safety of our staff and guests. In this event we will happily transfer your payment to a future course free of charge. We do not expect anyone to be penalised for doing the right thing.

Students with certain health conditions and disabilities related to higher bodily temperatures should speak to our pastoral team to ensure we can provide the correct assistance on an individual basis.

Those displaying symptoms or have been in contact with anyone who shows signs of COVID-19 within 2 weeks of their arrival date are requested not to visit the Pro Corda site.

Staff and stewards will have their temperature checked at the start of their working shift. Concert audience members will not be checked.

Do I need to wear a face mask?

In line with Government guidance students are required to wear face coverings in the restaurant area. Face coverings can then be removed to eat and drink at the dining table where only three people will be sat so as to enable social distancing. Where possible, we will encourage students to eat outside.

We kindly ask all students to bring their own supply of facemasks and hand sanitiser.

Will my child’s bedroom be cleaned during their stay at Leiston Abbey?

Yes, our cleaning team will come in while students not in their rooms and in sessions to clean surfaces.

What will happen at meal times at Leiston Abbey?

Meals will be served take out style from the Guesten Hatch and eaten either open air (within social distancing) if weather allows, or in Upper Guesten with three persons maximum per table. A face mask will be mandatory on entering the restaurant area.

What’s going to happen at break times?

The common room space will not be available for communal gatherings for students and staff but socially distanced games and refreshments will be organised outside or in the larger rehearsal venues.

My child feels unwell prior to their stay. What should I do?

In the two weeks prior to your stay with us, should your child feel unwell or develop symptoms of COVID-19, please do not travel to Pro Corda and inform us immediately.

My child feels unwell during their stay. What will happen?

If sickness were to occur during the course the person showing symptoms would be immediately isolated, parents informed and the CEO will gain advice from a coronavirus hotline. Most likely, the person will be asked to leave the site, return home and get tested. All medical forms MUST be up to date before entering the Pro Corda site.

When will I be notified if my course were to be cancelled?

We sincerely hope that the situation improves and allows us to run our course. However, if the pandemic worsens and restrictions tightened, then parents will be informed by email between 1-2 weeks before the start of their course. We will give the options of refunding the fees, or transferring them to a future course which will give your child priority over the limited numbers.

My course hasn’t been cancelled but my child is not able / does not want to attend because they have come into contact with a positive COVID-19 case. What will happen to my payment?

If sickness were to occur during the course the person showing symptoms would be immediately isolated, parents informed and the CEO will gain advice from a coronavirus hotline. Most likely, the person will be asked to leave the site, return home and get tested. All medical forms MUST be up to date before entering the Pro Corda site.

Local lockdown restrictions have been put in place by Government in my area, what should I do?

Please contact us if you live in any affected local areas as regrettably you may not be able to attend your course.  The latest information on affected local areas and the restrictions is available here: www.gov.uk/coronavirus. If you are unable to attend your course due to local lockdown restrictions, we will happily transfer your payment to a future course free of charge

What is Pro Corda doing to be COVID-safe at concerts?

We have adapted our concerts systems dramatically. When weather allows concerts are taking place outside. Those inside are in the large and airy medieval Barn Concert Hall. There is a new pod system and one way system. We operate full track and trace for all audience members. For more detailed information about our covid safe systems for concerts please see our ticketsource concert listings by going to procorda.com/events

How is the food served at Pro Corda’s concerts as they are all dinner concerts?

Fear not – you still get to sample the delicious Leiston Abbey cuisine at all our concerts and events. However, this is served to your pod by our staff wearing visors and gloves. Together with your drinks. There is no queuing and currently no sit down meals round tables at concerts, but there is always a wonderful atmosphere both outside and in the Barn and the food is enjoyed no less!  Again, go to procorda.com/events for more details specific to our concerts and events.


General Guidance:

Posters have been displayed all around the Pro Corda site informing social distancing and correct hand washing. Students will be made to wash their hands before and after every timetabled session, after using the toilet, breaks, sporting activities and before meal times. All staff will reiterate the message in coaching sessions and leisure times: Covering sneezes with a tissue and then disposing of it immediately.  Hand sanitiser stations will also be around the entire site.

Updated on 24 September 2020