Lessons for wind musicians will be conducted in faculty studios with 9′ social distancing. In some cases, there may be a free-standing, clear acrylic partition between people. Zipper masks that accommodate wind instruments will be worn by professor and student at all times, and instrument covers will be used to reduce the dispersion of aerosolized particles. Lessons will be limited to 30-minute segments in order to reduce viral load from asymptomatic or presymptomatic individuals. Students registered for 1.0 or .50 credits will receive two 30-minute lessons per week.
Some faculty may choose to teach entirely online, and others may adapt a rotating schedule between in-person and online lessons and other activities.
Face-to-face lessons will be conducted in faculty studios with 9′ social distancing and may utilize an acrylic partition between people, when practical. During face-to-face lessons, both professor and student will be masked at all times and eye protection may also be used. Lessons will be limited to 30-minute segments in order to reduce viral load from asymptomatic or presymptomatic individuals. Students registered for 1.0 or .50 credits will receive two 30-minute lessons per week.
For online lessons, there are plans to set up several rooms with hard-wired network connections and high-quality audio and video equipment for remote lessons with faculty. One group of department faculty has spent the month of July considering the best technology for enhancing remote lessons.
Wind musicians and singers will practice in the Hall of Music (HOM), which has a newer HVAC system than Christiansen Hall Of Music (CHM). String musicians will practice in CHM. Pianists will practice in HOM rooms with pianos, and percussionists will continue to utilize the percussion practice rooms. We are currently working with Residence Life and Facilities to determine whether or not students will be permitted to practice in the residence halls.
The current plan is to assign small groups of students to a single practice room to minimize risk of viral spread. Where roommates are both taking music lessons, they will be assigned to the same practice room, again to minimize risk of viral spread. A minimum of 30 minutes of decontamination time will take place between student practice sessions to allow the practice room to air out and HVAC air exchange and filtration to remove aerosolized particles.
Cleaning supplies will be available to sanitize keyboards, stands and surfaces. Musicians should plan to wash their hands and clean practice room surfaces before each practice session, and wash their hands after each practice session as an additional precaution.
Some ensembles will rehearse in larger spaces than normal, while others will rehearse in their usual spaces but with greater distance between musicians. Hourly air exchange rates and air filtration efficiency are both being increased to more rapidly disperse aerosolized particles generated during rehearsals.
The College is still evaluating these programs based on guidance from the MDH and CDC. Singing is of particular concern because of the higher level of COVID-19 transference. Music Organizations and the Music Department will be communicating their approach for the fall as soon as possible
Current planning is for music ensembles to rehearse in smaller sub-groups with rehearsal breaks for air exchange to minimize build-up of aerosolized particles.
We are also discussing chamber music ideas, which will involve slightly different procedures for strings, wind instruments, and voice. Again, adjustments to the rehearsal spaces and how performances are handled will need to take place.
Performances will be for streaming purposes only, without audience, and will likely take place in large r repurposed venues.
Large events are still being evaluated and will have restrictions based on the ongoing guidance from the State of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Health. At this time, it is unlikely that this event will be held in the same way as it has in the past.
We know students with music scholarships may be concerned about their renewal of those scholarships if they are unable to participate in an ensemble. Be assured that the scholarship will remain intact for the whole academic year.
A great deal of analysis has centered on the HVAC systems of both HOM and CHM. New filtration is being installed to upgrade CHM’s ventilation system and the airflow has been increased to provide air exchange capacity that will allow for ensemble rehearsals with a period in the middle to facilitate air exchanges. The capacities of our rehearsals have been carefully studied, including the appropriate social distancing, to plan for rehearsals.