Music Department Safety Guidelines
To view the general guidelines and latest updates for the University, please visit carolinatogether.unc.edu.
Updated on August 3, 2021: Please note that the information found here is subject to change as conditions change. Please check back for the latest information regularly. Any changes will also be communicated to students and faculty via email and social media.
Pod System Training
(August 3, 2021)
The following updated safety guidelines for this coming academic year were approved by the Provost’s office on July 20, 2021. Since then, music department faculty have been closely monitoring developments surrounding the delta variant of COVID-19. We are compelled out of the safety of all in our community in the department to delay the start date of the updates listed under “Student COVID-19 Vaccine Certification.”
For in-person voice, brass, and woodwind lessons, both teacher and student must be masked. Brass and woodwind students are also required to use bell covers. Students who have shared their vaccination status with the University may apply for permission for unmasked lessons and performances (see below for link), but we are not able to grant those requests at this time. We will re-evaluate every two weeks taking into account local and campus case numbers and CDC recommendations.
All other safety guidelines listed below are in effect as of August 1, 2021.
David F. Garcia
Chair, Department of Music
Fall 2021 Updates (effective August 1, 2021)
- Masks (and bell covers for winds) are still required in all indoor spaces including practice rooms
- Unmasked individual instruction, rehearsal, and concert performance activities must be preapproved by the department (see details and instructions below)
- 10 minutes for air exchange in all spaces (i.e. practice rooms, rehearsal spaces, etc.) is required after every 60-minute interval of playing
- No distancing required indoors (i.e. classrooms); distancing on stage is at the discretion of ensemble directors
- Department music stands available for ensemble rehearsals/concerts in KMB 1201, Moeser, Person, HI 107 only; students are still required to have their own stand for lessons and practice rooms
The Department of Music is prioritizing the health and safety of our community in all of our plans for the Academic Year of 2021-22. To do this, we are following UNC’s Community Standards as well as those recommended by the Performing Arts Aerosol Study whose recommendations have been released in stages.
We require that everyone wear masks inside our buildings but vaccinated faculty may remove their masks while teaching as long as three to six feet of physical distancing is maintained. When playing their instruments, brass, and woodwind students are required to wear modified masks (no gaps in the mask, nose covered and tight enough around the edges that an outline appears when it is removed) and to use double-layer bell covers on their instrument (double-layer cover with the center layer being made of MERV-13 filter material). See the Department Policy on Modified Masks and Bell Covers here. The only exceptions are for brass, voice, and woodwind students in a designated pod in Kenan or Hill or in a practice room in Hill,or if pre-approved by the department (see below for details and instructions).
Please wash your hands frequently and utilize the hand sanitizer stations available throughout the buildings. Please sanitize your hands before touching/using any shared materials such as opening doors, sitting at desks in classrooms, or playing the pianos in practice rooms.
Because the university no longer requires distancing in classrooms, classroom capacity for teaching will return to normal. However, distancing of students (e.g. wind players and singers) for lessons, rehearsals, performances, and in classrooms (when sufficient space is available) will be left to the discretion of instructors.
Student COVID-19 Vaccine Certification
Music students who are vaccinated and have submitted their self-report form to the university may petition the Department of Music for approval to participate in unmasked individual studio lessons, rehearsals, and performances. Vaccinated students should submit their requests here.
Vaccinated students are encouraged to communicate with their studio instructor and ensemble directors for more information. The department will consult with studio and ensemble instructors for approving unmasked requests submitted by vaccinated students. Vaccinated faculty may remove their masks while teaching as long as three to six feet of physical distancing is maintained.
Getting your COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others from the COVID-19 virus while contributing to a typical, in-person experience at Carolina this fall. The university plans to use students’ vaccinated status to determine participation in the Carolina Together Testing Program and for quarantine and isolation requirements if you are exposed to the virus. Students who are vaccinated will NOT be required to participate in asymptomatic testing as part of the Carolina Together Testing Program in the fall (for more information, please visit here).
Although the university is not requiring the COVID-19 vaccine at this time, students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to receive it. The university is operating the Carolina Vaccine Clinic. Vaccination reservations are available for students and post-doctoral fellows at StudentCOVIDVax.unc.edu. To complete the vaccine self-report form, please click here.
What to Do When Symptoms Appear
Before leaving home for classes each day, students, faculty, and staff should check for symptoms. Anyone who is experiencing any symptom(s) indicated on this checklist must not go to class or work and should contact their health care provider. Students who develop symptoms or feel sick should immediately self-isolate and contact Campus Health. You can view their COVID-19 resources here. Do not go to an asymptomatic testing location.
For faculty and staff, Environment, Health, and Safety have created COVID-19 resources, which can be found here.
Testing and Tracing
For information on university protocols for contact tracing for students and employees, please visit here.
For complete details and the latest updates on the Carolina Together Testing policy, please visit here.
Performances and Live Audiences
Following the safety guideline updates most recently announced by the CDC, Performing Arts Aerosol Study, Governor Roy Cooper, and Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz and Provost Robert A. Blouin, the Department of Music will safely host live audiences in Moeser Auditorium, KMB 1201, Hill Hall 107, and Person Recital Hall.
Performances may also be live-streamed and/or recorded and posted on the department YouTube channel at the designated times found on our events calendar, here.
Safety Guidelines for Indoor Performances with Live Audiences
Live audiences are permitted indoors in Moeser Auditorium, KMB 1201, Hill Hall 107, and Person Recital Hall with the following safety precautions taken:
- All indoor performances must allow for 10 minutes of non-playing time after every 60-minutes of playing; performances and audiences are not required to vacate the space
- All equipment (music stands, seats, etc.) must be sanitized before and after each use
- After each performance, venues must be vacated for a minimum of one (1) air exchange; the time needed for one (elevated) air exchange to occur may vary between Moeser Auditorium, KMB 1201, Hill Hall 107, and Person Recital Hall. (Signs are posted indicating the time needed for one air exchange to occur.)
- All performers are required to wear masks, including singers and wind players, except vaccinated students who have submitted their self-report form to the university and who have received approval from the department to perform unmasked
- Distancing of approved unmasked players is at the discretion of the instructor
- All wind players (except vaccinated students who have submitted their self-report form to the university and who have received approval from the department to perform unmasked) are required to use bell covers on their instruments; brass players (regardless of vaccination status) must also use puppy pads to capture spit valve release
- Concert organizers must ensure that hand sanitizers are accessible for all participants, audience included
- All people seated in the audience must be masked (no exceptions including fully vaccinated people)
- Distanced seating (e.g. arranged by four-seat pods, two-seat pods, and single seats) is at the discretion of the ensemble instructor
- All people attending and/or participating in the performance should monitor their symptoms prior to coming to campus. If they have one of the COVID-19 symptoms they should contact their health care provider and should not come to campus.
Monitoring and Enforcement
Concert organizers (i.e. faculty) are encouraged to include language in all announcements (social media, emails, etc.) and program notes that all audience members will be required to wear masks. Organizers should also reiterate the department’s live audience safety guidelines prior to the start of concerts, and program organizers and staff should monitor audience compliance. Organizers should also plan accordingly with Campus Police in case of audience non-compliance.
All faculty and/or student rehearsals (ensembles, combos, etc.) may take place in a room for up to 60 minutes maximum before 10 minutes of non-playing must occur to allow for air exchange. The rehearsal leader must indicate the time when the room can be reoccupied (i.e. 10 minutes after the conclusion of rehearsal) on the “clock sign” hanging on the door to the rehearsal space.
Pod & Practice Rooms
Students are required to follow the Pod & Practice Room Safety Protocol posted on Pod-connected room doors and practice room doors. This protocol includes leaving any room used for unmasked singing/playing vacant for 10 minutes to allow at least one HVAC air change to occur before being occupied by another student.
Music students are required to have their own portable music stand and to use that stand for practice rooms and lessons. Any stand, including wire ones, will be fine. Stands can be purchased in local music stores or online, and the UNC Bookstore also stocks them. Department music stands will be available for ensemble rehearsals and concerts only in KMB 1201, Moeser Auditorium, Person Recital Hall, and Hill Hall 107.
Practice Room Guidelines
Practice room use will return to normal with the exception of leaving rooms vacant for 10 minutes at the conclusion of a practice session. Students must indicate the time when the room can be reoccupied (i.e. 10 minutes after vacating the room) on the “clock sign” hanging on the door to the practice room.
There will be cleaning materials available in practice room areas, and we need everyone’s help in creating a safe environment. When you are done using a practice room, please use these materials to wipe down surfaces in that space.
Brass players are required to use disposable absorbent (“puppy”) pads beneath their playing area to collect spit, water, and condensation. These will be available outside of rehearsal and lesson spaces.
The guidelines for using a piano are as follows:
- Use the wipes provided by the department to wipe down the keys and commonly touched areas around the keyboard and music desk.
- Discard the used wipe — There are trash bins placed near the CPE stations.
- Sanitize your hands.
- For your health and safety, as well as the health and safety of others, repeat steps 1-3 once you are finished using the piano.
Applied Registration Forms
Students will not use printed Applied Registration forms for MUSC 100-106. Please contact the instructor of the class if you are interested in taking lessons to get registered, and use the online registration form found at https://music.unc.edu/register-for-applied-lessons/.
Please check with your individual instructor about the format and safety precautions being made for your individual lessons.
Music students who are vaccinated and have submitted their self-report form to the university may petition the Department of Music for approval to participate in unmasked individual studio lessons. (See above for instructions on how to submit your petition.) Vaccinated students are encouraged to communicate with their instructor for more information. The department will consult with instructors for approving unmasked requests submitted by vaccinated students.
For all other in-person lessons, students and faculty will be masked at all times. Some lessons may be held in the Department’s new lesson hub and pod system, which will connect student and teacher with high-quality, low-latency audio and video. Wind and brass players and vocalists may remove their masks when playing or singing when alone in one of the designated rooms of the pod system for lessons. Some lessons may be fully remote. We ask that students wear a mask, even when alone in these spaces, when they are talking, listening, or resting between playing sessions.
Brass players will also be asked to use disposable absorbent pads beneath their playing area to collect spit, water, and condensation. These will be available outside of rehearsal and lesson spaces.
Ensembles (i.e. Class Meetings)
Please check individual ensembles pages here for audition and rehearsal information. Some ensembles may hold virtual auditions and have modified rehearsals, including outdoor rehearsals, chamber music, and the use of multiple rehearsal spaces connected with low-latency, high-quality audio.
Wind and brass players and vocalists may remove their masks when alone in one of the designated rooms of the pod system during ensemble rehearsals. We ask that students wear a mask, even when alone in these spaces, when they are talking, listening, or resting between playing sessions. (For vaccinated student exemptions, see above.)
To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Department will avoid using printed materials as much as possible. Syllabi, course materials, programs, etc. will be released in digital format whenever appropriate.
The Music Library will be open Monday through Friday, 9 am – 5 pm.
The Library staff invite you to contact them if you have any questions at email@example.com. You can find detailed information about the Music Library’s resources at https://library.unc.edu/music/.