Please read our COVID-19 Q&A
We at the School of Music hope you are all safe and healthy, and we look forward to seeing you at the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester. As you may know, the university is taking great care to ensure your safety while on campus and has implemented a number of specific steps including guidelines for indoor classrooms and other aspects of university life.
What you may not know are some of the steps beyond the general university policy that the School of Music is taking to further accommodate the type of teaching we do that is significantly different than the typical classroom learning environment.
Rest assured we are taking COVID-19 very seriously. There is a task force meeting weekly throughout the Summer to determine best practices for the safety of all students, faculty and staff. While there have been relatively few hard decisions made due to the fluidity of the situation, we are currently able to indicate some actions we will take for certain.
A. Large ensembles are likely to be very different this semester (and probably for the year) The large ensemble directors are currently planning how to divide up into smaller chamber groups, among other options, to keep the aerosol production controlled for rehearsals and concerts. Research is currently being conducted that will give a lot more information on aerosol production when playing wind instruments and singing. That information should be available in a few weeks and will give us more information as to whether our current plans will be safe or not.
A. Many of our concerts will happen at the scheduled times and dates, but large ensemble concerts will likely be very different from past years. It is also very possible that our normally busy concert schedule will be substantially reduced, depending on the risk calculations that are ongoing. Additionally, audience size will be limited based on recommended guidelines, and many concerts will be simulcast and live-streamed.
A. We are constructing a large number of 4’x8’ clear, vinyl shields for offices, so that any aerosol production is kept separated from student to teacher, and vice versa. Also, the filters used in our HVAC system are being upgraded to provide more efficient removal of potentially harmful particles. Some faculty are considering face shields for lessons.
A. Some ensembles are purchasing face shields that can be modified to wear while playing or singing to further protect each other, while still allowing for adequate breathing to sing or play a wind instrument.
All classrooms in the building have been reconfigured to allow for 6’ spacing while in a class. Some of our academic classes have moved to online formats to facilitate this, which gives us a lot more classroom space for the individual lessons and chamber music rehearsals.
Tayloe Harding, Dean
Clifford Leaman, Associate Dean
Tina Stallard, Associate Dean
Jacob Will, Associate Dean