The Covid-19 pandemic has presented a number of challenges to the traditional way we deliver instruction. However, we continue to deliver high-quality experiences to our majors and the entire NDSU community. As always, everyone at the Challey School of Music and the Division of Performing Arts is concerned with students’ musical growth. Especially in these times, however, we're concerned with health and safety. We have studied music-specific research presented by our musical and scientific colleagues, including the International Performing Arts Aerosol Study conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations (https://www.nfhs.org/articles/unprecedented-international-coalition-led-by-performing-arts-organizations-to-commission-covid-19-study/), and the College Band Directors National Association COVID-19 Response Committee Reports (https://www.cbdna.org/covid19/).
Through these and other campus and state recommendations, we have developed plans that mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19, while maintaining our standards of pedagogy and musical quality.
Conditions may change, and procedures and policies may change as a result.
The main message is to be safe and to continue to be great musicians!
• There are sanitation stations, located on both floors of the building Face coverings are required inside the Reineke Fine Arts Center, except (1) as specified by the instructor for individual lessons, rehearsals, and performances, (2) for the lone occupant of a studio, office, or practice room, (3) for students eating lunch in specified lounge areas with attendant safety guidelines, and (4) for students with a documented accommodation from NDSU Disability Services.
• HEPA air purifiers are in use in faculty studios/offices, practice rooms, and rehearsal rooms
• Digital thermometers are on both floors and in some faculty studios
• Practice rooms must rest for 20 minutes between uses, a policy developed in collaboration with the CSoM Student Council
• Instructional spaces are wiped down regularly
• We use ultraviolet wands for sanitizing percussion and other wooden surfaces not logically sanitized by other means.
• Social distancing of six feet is implemented throughout the building.
• We manage direction of entrance and egress as well as the number of people allowed in rehearsal, storage, and instructional spaces.
• Face covering policy
Face coverings are required inside the Reineke Fine Arts Center, except (1) as specified by the instructor for individual lessons, rehearsals, and performances, (2) for the lone occupant of a studio, office, or practice room, (3) for students eating lunch in specified lounge areas with attendant safety guidelines, and (4) for students with a documented accommodation from NDSU Disability Services.
Brass and woodwind players must use masks with openings for mouthpieces. This specialized mask helps eliminate aerosol emission through the corners of the mouth while playing, and functions as a full-coverage mask during times of no playing.
Students who are ill or who display any flu symptoms should notify instructors and the School of Music, should seek treatment and testing, and should not enter the facilities.
• Some lessons are shortened to provide for room ventilation. Hour lessons may be scheduled in two different sessions.
• Voice lessons may be given in larger rooms, or use “pod” technology (closed-circuit audio and video) with the student in a practice room and the accompanist and teacher in the teacher’s studio. Headphone policies may vary among studios.
• Lessons may involve some sessions by Zoom and/or submitted recordings.
• Studio class policies will be determined by area faculty and will involve distancing procedures. We still believe that studio class experiences are important to the development of students as musicians.
• Concert Attendance policies will be determined by studio and/or by area. They will involve online listening assignments.
• Large ensembles are smaller in the number of players/singers and often have multiple subgroups, rehearsing separately.
• Choirs will frequently divide into octets; Wind Symphony will sometimes divide into chamber ensembles. Other ensembles may use innovative formats.
• Spacing while performing is at least 6 feet.
• Rehearsals and performances are limited to 40 minutes, followed by a minimum of a 20-minute break. This practice allows for dispersion of aerosols.
• Bell covers for instruments are used to reduce aerosol spread. However, bell covers are not required for saxophones, bass clarinets, and bassoons, as covers have not been shown to reduce aerosols in these instruments.
• Performers must use paper plates and paper towels (furnished) to collect condensation from instruments during rehearsals
• There are no live public audiences for any indoor concerts, except for supervising faculty members and technical staff.
• All performances in Beckwith Recital Hall and Festival Concert Hall will be recorded and livestreamed to the general public. This means that family, friends, and our growing alumni and general public constituencies will be able to see and hear high-quality audio and video livestreams of student, faculty, and guest performances.
Stay safe. Stay well. Practice!