NDSU Challey School of Music
Important Information for Fall 2020

We face challenging times throughout the world because of the current Covid-19 pandemic. 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 students’ health and safety. Below is the current information that we think is important for you to know, arranged by topic.

Conditions may change, and procedures and policies may change as a result. The State Board of Higher Education may modify calendars or modes of instruction, so check this site often.

The main message is to be safe and to continue to be great musicians!

Basic Overview

What will be the same:

• Our dedication to providing the best musical education we can, and our dedication to keeping our students and staff safe and healthy
• The typical class schedule and class offerings
• The typical academic calendar
• Student scholarships and awards

What will or may be different:

• Increased social distancing measures and sanitation procedures
• Student lounge layout and eating protocols
• Practice room schedules and protocols
• Some classes will be smaller
• Some class lengths will be shorter
• Most ensembles will be smaller in size
• Enhanced technology throughout the building
• Applied lesson procedures—see below
• Concert attendance policies—see below
• Indoor recitals and concerts livestreamed rather than presented to live audiences—see below
• Details of juries, methods exams, etc.
• Ability to participate remotely in some cases
• No fall ensemble tours; spring tours occur, depending on conditions
• Sanitation Measures

• Sanitation stations, located on both floors of the Music building
• Faculty offices/studio lessons set up with air purification units
• Digital thermometers on both floors and in some faculty studios
• Practice rooms with air purification units
• Practice rooms with a rotation schedule to let the rooms rest between uses
• Instructional spaces wiped down regularly
• Many spaces fogged/sprayed on a regular basis
• Social distancing implemented in all aspects of operations
• 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.

• Hand sanitizer and face covering provided by individuals
• NDSU Facilities oversight for air handling safety measures.

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.

Now, More Details...

Applied Lessons

We all want to resume face-to-face lessons. This is one of the most important components of how we interact and learn as musicians. Here are the potential changes to the way lessons will be handled:

1. Lessons will likely be slightly shortened. Hour lessons may be scheduled in two weekly sessions.
2. Voice lessons may be given in larger rooms, or use technology with the student in a practice room and the accompanist and teacher in the teacher’s studio. Closed-circuit audio and video will be used. Students need to bring and use their own headphones.
3. Lessons may involve some sessions by Zoom and/or submitted recordings.
4. 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.
5. Concert Attendance policies will be determined by studio and/or by area. They will likely involve online listening assignments.


Ensembles will continue to meet, but will follow physical distancing protocols and will be mindful of safety standards. All ensemble directors are looking forward to innovative chamber music opportunities and formats. All ensemble directors have specific information about procedures, required equipment or accessories, and further safety guidelines. Auditions and communications will happen during the first week of classes.

1. Large ensembles will be smaller in numbers and often will have multiple subgroups, rehearsing separately.
2. Choirs will frequently divide into octets; Wind Symphony will sometimes divide into chamber ensembles. Other ensembles may use innovative formats.
3. Ensembles will have shorter rehearsal times, with lag periods interspersed to allow rooms to rest and circulate air.
4. Chamber ensembles will continue to meet normally.


Preparing professional concerts and recitals is an important component of musical study, and we will continue to feature both student and faculty solo and ensemble performance.

1. We will not have live public audiences for any indoor concerts, except for supervising faculty members and technical staff.
2. 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.


NDSU is committed to providing a traditional learning environment in typical classes, using a hybrid model of in-person and remote technologies. For most students in most classes, this will mean that our classes will look the same, but may have the following modifications:

1. Many classes will have a smaller number of students. First-year Music Theory, for example, may have only 16 students in a section rather than up to 32.
2. Safety measures will be in place—distancing, face coverings, etc.
3. Classes may be slightly shortened to allow for air circulation and purification/sanitation procedures.
4. Classes may feature innovative techniques to promote interactivity and student group projects.
5. Students may have options regarding remote learning in some classes.

Who to contact

Faculty Contact Information
Staff Contact Information

Additional NDSU information on fall preperation can be found here.

Stay safe. Stay well. Practice!