Mobile app launched to collect Covid safety data from leisure-time music groups

Two national UK membership organisations have created a free app to gather statistics on group music-making activities during the pandemic

Making Music, which represents 3,500 UK music groups, and the Association of British Choral Directors, have launched a new free app to help gather statistics on vocal and instrumental group music making activities during the pandemic.

WellRehearsed has been developed as a simple-to-use monitoring tool for amateur music groups of all kinds, anywhere in the UK. The app does not collect personal data and asks two short, anonymous questions:

  • Has your choir/music group met for a rehearsal in the last week?
  • Were any infections subsequently reported by persons attending it?

Currently, most official guidance is based on studies of choir-related Covid outbreaks from a time when understanding about Covid aerosol transmission and mitigations was not as advanced as it is now. According to Making Music, real-time information has been lacking about the effectiveness of the mitigations now being used by vocal and instrumental groups, and whether there have been infections from groups meeting in person.

WellRehearsed has been developed under the guidance of choral expert Professor Martin Ashley, who has advised many music organisations on their risk management over the last year.

Martin Ashley said, ‘We’re all looking forward to a full resumption of music activity, but the need for vigilance has not gone away and careful monitoring and prompt action is essential. Our governments will take care of much of this, but we in the music world have a duty not only to monitor our activities, but to provide the best possible information as quickly as possible should anything untoward occur.

‘The easiest and most effective way of doing this is through the WellRehearsed app. It takes less than a minute to submit an anonymous weekly report confirming that all is well. Should a problem be identified, the questions WellRehearsed will then ask you will save hours of painful, forensic head-scratching.’

Barbara Eifler, Making Music Chief Executive, said, ‘This app is a game-changer – it will allow big quantities of real-time data to be gathered, allowing us and government agencies to see what the statistical likelihood of Covid transmission at in-person indoor rehearsals actually is, and if it does occur, what risk mitigations had been in place. This usefully complements computer modelling. WellRehearsed will also allow sector organisations to quickly revise and improve guidance and protocols for non-professional music groups, should a Covid-transmission have occurred.’