For All Newly Admitted and Returning Music Students
As we prepare for the Fall 2020 semester, please know that both the university and the School of Music prioritize your health and safety above all else. In addition to the university’s COVID-19 task force report, please know that the School of Music is taking additional measures to reduce risk and accommodate the unique types of music instruction that varies from a traditional classroom learning environment. The information below is subject to change, as the latest research and CDC guidelines will guide our decisions for the fall.
Q. Will classes be the same?
A. All classes will be offered to keep students on track for their degree plan. All classrooms in Saunders Fine Arts and Wright Music Building have been reconfigured to allow for 6 feet of space for social distancing. Some of our academic classes have moved to remote/online instructional delivery, which allows for additional classroom space for private lessons and chamber music rehearsals. Instructional delivery types for the music classes in the fall include the following:
- Conventional – fully on ground, in person
- Web-assisted – partly on ground, partly online
- Remote – fully online, likely includes synchronous instruction during the scheduled day/time for the course
- Online – fully online, asynchronous instruction
All music courses, regardless of instructional delivery type, will be of the highest quality and taught by excellent faculty.
Q. Will there be ensembles?
A. We will continue to enroll students in all ensembles. However, large ensembles will not rehearse or perform as large ensembles, as it is impossible to maintain 6-feet in between players when large groups are involved. Large ensemble directors are currently planning how to divide their large ensembles into smaller chamber groups. Ensemble auditions will occur at the beginning of the fall semester. More information is forthcoming.
Q. Will there be live concerts?
A. Live concerts will be performed from the Hinton Hall stage. However, these concerts will not be open to a live audience. Rather, they will be live-streamed and posted to our School of Music YouTube channel.
Q. Will recital attendance be required?
A. Recital attendance is a required component for all music majors. There will be opportunities to “attend” virtual concerts and report attendance through D2L, MTSU’s online learning management system. More information is forthcoming.
Q. How are you reducing risk for private lessons?
A. Most of our voice and wind private lessons will occur in large classroom spaces, where the faculty member, student, and accompanist (as needed) can widely distance themselves. Faculty members and accompanists will wear masks and/or face shields. We are in the process of adjusting our HVAC systems to maximize the amount of fresh outside air in our music buildings. We will use plexiglass shields in some private lessons and ensemble settings.
Q. Will practice rooms be open?
A. Currently, all practice rooms are closed. We intend to reopen practice rooms in the near future. We are in the process of determining our policy and schedule for practice rooms for the fall semester. We plan to limit the number of students who use each practice room as well as schedule down time in between students to allow time for aerosols to settle and air to exchange. More information is forthcoming.
Q. What can students do to reduce risk?
A. Face coverings will be required in all academic spaces across the entire university. Students are responsible for providing their own face covering. Vocalists and wind players may remove their face coverings when practicing and performing on their instrument. Additionally, brass players will need to have a disposable rag or personal towel with them when they play their instrument. This is intuitively cleaner and less likely to spread infection than, for example, emptying spit valves onto the bare floor. Percussionists will have their own percussion kit. As always, wash your hands frequently to prevent the spread of infection.
Q. How will student concerns be addressed?
A. Our School of Music Student Advisory Council (SOMSAC) fields student concerns and addresses them efficiently and promptly. We will communicate contact information for members of SOMSAC at the beginning of the fall semester.