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Music Instruction | Responsible Reopening

Music Instruction Reopening Information

As we look forward to the return of face-to-face instruction and of our students to campus, there will be numerous changes to the day-to-day operations on campus which prioritizes the safety of all. This page will focus specifically on plans regarding music instruction.

Department of Music Reopening FAQs

  1. How can I access Giese/Cope?

    Everyone is asked to do a self-assessment of their general health and recent travel before entering the building.  Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, or who has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms should not enter any campus building and immediately inform the Student Health Center by calling (330) 823-2692 or reach out to your primary healthcare provider. Please call the Student Health Center or your primary healthcare provider BEFORE going to their offices.


    COVID-19 Symptoms include:

    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea


    Masks must be worn, social distancing practiced, and hands washed regularly for 20-seconds at all time by faculty, staff, students, and visitors while inside campus buildings, including Cope/Giese.  Hand sanitizer stations are located about the building.  Only visitors with advance permission may enter the building.  This includes family members and friends.

    Cope/Giese Hours
    Monday – Thursday, 7 a.m. – Midnight
    Friday, 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
    Saturday, 8:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
    Sunday, 10 a.m. – Midnight
  2. Are there limitations to entering the VPA Office and faculty studios?

    It is especially important that VPA Office visits are made only when absolutely necessary to protect the Administrative Assistant and our student workers.  The VPA office is not to be used as a conversation lounge.

  3. Can faculty and staff use the VPA copier?

    All faculty and staff are asked to limit copying though the use of electronic documents.  House and deliver assignments, quizzes, and tests through D2L whenever possible.  Copying of lesson music is strictly forbidden.  It is the responsibility of all students to purchase their own music.  Send a small number of PDF music files if the student is waiting on ordered music.

  4. Can I visit faculty in their studios?

    Conversations with faculty should be handled via email or online as often as possible.  For the health and safety of students and faculty, please make an appointment for faculty visits.  If a drop-in visit is unavoidable, please knock on the faculty member’s door before entering.  If the faculty member has a lesson scheduled in the next 45 minutes the meeting will need to be held outside of the studio.

  5. How will practice rooms be assigned?

    Practice rooms will be assigned to specific students for use by the VPA Office.  Students will then reserve practice time for their rooms. times.  Each room will be assigned to 3-4 students and there must be 30 minutes of air out time (with room door open) between students.  Only one student can occupy a practice room at a time.  Rehearsing of more than one student at a time must be scheduled through the VPA Office in alternate spaces.  Even if a practice door is open, no student will be allowed to use a practice room without having signed up for a time.  Students should never enter the practice room wing outside of their assigned practice times.


    In addition to the practice room wing students can sign up one of the two Bica-Ross classrooms for practicing.  All Cope practice room rules apply to these classrooms.


    In addition to in-house cleaning, practice rooms must be cleaned and disinfected by the user including:

    • Stands
    • Pianos
    • Light switches
    • Doorknobs
    • All touched surfaces
    • The user’s hands
  6. Are there other spaces in which students can practice?

    Music students can practice outdoors. Students may also practice in their dorm rooms under the following conditions:

    • Students may practice musical instruments or singing, for academic purposes, during the hours of 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 7 – 8 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on weekends. If non-practicing students are disrupted by the volume of the sound, please contact your Resident Director to obtain ear plugs.
    • Students who have been scheduled by the Department of Music may utilize the Bica Ross classrooms as practice rooms between 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. during their assigned time only. Residents may not use this room without prior scheduling due to air quality concerns.
    • Please use practice mutes, if appropriate, for your instrument.

    Students, even within the above exceptions, are expected to act in a manner that demonstrates respect for the rights of others to sleep and study in their residence.

  7. Will I still be issued a locker for 2020-21?

    Lockers will be reassigned for 2020-21 with maximum spreading of adjacent lockers.

  8. How will classroom courses be held?

    As per the university’s campus-wide policy, “During each week of instruction, a portion of students in a given course will meet face-to-face in one class session, while the other portion participates and learns remotely. The next session meeting would have those two student groups switching places. Faculty members will be available to meet with students during office hours that will be held in-person and by phone or videoconference.”

    Fall 2020 Responsible Reopening - Academics


    Also, according to the University f Information, “Classrooms will be cleaned and disinfected once each business day. Additional disinfecting of high contact areas will occur an additional two times each business day. Hand sanitizer stations will be installed inside or outside of every classroom and instructional lab, and plexiglass barriers will be installed at every instructor station in all classrooms and teaching labs. In addition, the University will provide sanitizing materials for faculty and students who would like to clean and disinfect their own desk, chair, or common area throughout the day.” 

  9. How will applied lessons be given?

    The default approach for applied study will be to alternate between face-to-face and online lessons.  Students enrolled for 2 credit-hours will receive two lessons each week. These can be taken back to back (one face-to-face lesson and one online).  Even during shortened semesters, applied faculty must provide at least 450 minutes of instruction. Because Fall 2020 ends on a partial M/T week, there will only be 13 or 14 weeks of applied lesson instruction.


    Face-to-face lessons will only be given in rooms with adequate capacity for safe social distancing.  Lessons are not to be given in practice rooms or adjunct studios.  Presser Hall can be booked for applied lessons through the VPA Administrative Assistant.  In the absence of an assistant, contact the music department chair. Priority will be given to vocal lessons first, then brass, woodwinds, percussion, strings. All campus rules regarding self-assessment of general health and recent travel, social distancing, and masking apply.


    In consultation with the student, faculty may also consider outdoor lessons during fair weather.


    There should be no instrumental sharing between faculty and/or students in or outside of the lesson.


    To help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 students will not have access to university music stands. All students will be required to own a folding music stand that can fit in their locker. These can be purchased for $15 or less online.  Less expensive used stands can be found through online sources.

  10. Are there any additional stipulations for Strings, guitar, harp, percussion, piano and composition lessons?

    Follow all guidelines listed above under Applied Lessons - All Areas plus:


    Percussion students will be assigned to one of two percussion practice rooms, and schedules will be set for both practice time and lessons. Students will be assigned a key to their room to avoid the use of a shared key. The use of shared mallets will be discouraged. When this is unavoidable, students will wash their hands or use hand sanitizer prior to and after using the equipment. Each implement will be wiped clean with a disinfectant wipe after use and placed in a “used” bin to dry while the room is aired out. Masks must be worn at all times in these spaces.

  11. Are there any additional stipulations for wind and brass lessons?

    Follow all guidelines listed above under Applied Lessons - All Areas plus:


    During live lessons a mask must be worn at all times. A mask with a small slit for mouthpiece access should be worn while playing. Brass instrumentalist students should purchase or make a multi-layered high denier nylon material bell cover. Bell covers can be purchased here: Covers can also be made by using panty hose with a high denier count (50) in two layers and a rubber band.


    Brass players are asked to empty their spit valves into a disposable or washable rag or pad.

  12. Are there any additional stipulations for wind and brass lessons?

    Follow all guidelines listed above under Applied Lessons - All Areas plus:


    Faculty and students should consider the use of clear window masks.


    Students should be encouraged to brush their teeth more to cut down on bacteria that could escape with aerosols in singing. Bacteria remains in the CO2 escaping in the exhaled breath, which is then trapped in their mask.

  13. How will juries be conducted?

    Applied music juries will be scheduled and completed prior to the end of the semester. Only music majors and minors will be required to give a juried performance. Each instrumental/vocal area will consult and determine the best approach for juries.

  14. Will students be able to present their recitals live?

    Students will be encouraged to use Chapel or Brush for their recital locations. A small audience of family members and the applied instructor will be allowed (size dependent upon the space, but no more than10 audience members). The student may opt for a streaming or pre-recorded performance instead.


    There will be no student showcase or multiple student/faculty performances in fall 2020.

  15. Will there be a recital attendance requirement in the fall?


  16. Will choral ensembles resume rehearsals in the fall?

    Yes. The choral program is making plans to resume in-person rehearsals beginning Monday, August 31, with appropriate physical distancing and safety protocols in place.


    Specific details will be determined once round 2 of the University of Colorado Performing Arts Aerosol Study has been completed.

  17. Will choral placement auditions be held in the fall?

    Yes. Choral placement auditions will be held in the choral rehearsal room (187) from August 23 to August 29, with appropriate physical distancing and safety protocols in place. Please visit the choral program’s website and click on the “Choral Placement Auditions” button for additional information

  18. Will choral ensembles offer live performances in the fall?

    Whereas the fall semester will now close on November 24, the annual University of Mount Union Christmas Festival, originally scheduled for December 9-11, has necessarily been cancelled. An alternate performance/culminating experience plan is currently being developed and will be shared with choir members as soon as it becomes available.

  19. Will there be band in the fall?

    Although football has been moved to the spring semester, marching band will still meet in the fall. Full-ensemble rehearsals will take place outdoors on good weather days. Sectional rehearsals will be held indoors in multiple spaces. Student may volunteer to participate in Pep Band during the football season. There may or may not be a stadium or live-streamed performance.


    Brass players are asked to empty their spit valves into a disposable or washable rag or pad.

  20. Will community-based ensembles meet in the fall?

    For the safety of all involved, Alliance Chorale, Alliance Symphony, and Concert Band will not meet in Fall 2020. Symphony Orchestra - Strings will still meet.

  21. Will small ensembles meet?

    Chamber and small ensembles will be rehearsed in spaces large enough to accommodate safe social distancing. Policies regarding university classroom will be followed. All equipment in both instances will be cleaned and disinfected post-rehearsal. There may or may not be a live-streamed performance.

  22. How will the concerto competition be held this year?

    The concerto competition will not take place in 2020-21.

  23. How will music faculty and students meet?

    All music department faculty or student meetings of any type will be conducted online.

  24. Will Preparatory Division music lessons be provided this academic year.

    All Preparatory Division music lessons will be provided online.