COVID-19 Guidelines for Fall 2021

As we continue to respond to COVID-19 during fall 2021, it is our goal to provide an in-person conservatory education as safely as possible. The guidelines below are contingent upon campus policies; directives from national, state, and regional officials; and the guidance of public-health professionals.

For complete information on campus COVID-19 policies—including vaccination requirements, masking policies, and more—please see the ObieSafe website, especially the Fall 2021 FAQs published on ObieSafe.

Please continue to monitor your email and check ObieSafe and this site regularly, as policies may change in light of public-health guidance.


Masking

The following protocols are required for music-making in the conservatory when a policy of universal indoor masking is in place on campus (effective August 2, 2021).

All students and faculty who can remain masked while making music (strings, keyboards, percussion, TIMARA and composition students, etc.) are to remain masked at all times when in shared spaces indoors, in accordance with campus protocols. Students in these areas may remove masks for performing activities (primarily junior and senior recitals) in accordance with the guidelines below.

Students and faculty who must remove their masks to engage in educational activities— woodwind and brass players and vocalists—may do so according to the guidelines below.

Private Lessons (principal and secondary)

For strings (including guitar and harp), keyboard, percussion, TIMARA, and composition

  • All participants must remain masked at all times.

For woodwinds, brass, and voice

  • Students may remove masks during private lessons for the purposes of playing and singing.

  • Faculty/teachers and anyone else in the room (accompanists, etc.) must remain masked.

  • Prudent physical distancing is strongly encouraged (recommended minimum distancing of 3 feet for unmasked woodwind and brass players and 6 feet for unmasked vocalists).

  • Faculty/teachers may remove their own masks as necessary for teaching-related purposes (e.g., to play or sing along with students; for purposes of demonstration), replacing their masks as soon as possible. When doing so, faculty should take care to exercise prudent physical distancing.

Ensembles

Instrumental ensembles

  • Instrumentalists who can perform while masked (strings, keyboards, percussion, etc.) must remain masked at all times.
  • Woodwind and brass players may remove masks while playing in ensembles. They must replace masks while not actively playing (e.g., while sitting tacet or counting rests for long periods of time).
  • Conductors, coaches, and musicians should practice prudent distancing between unmasked woodwind and brass players and other musicians. Minimum distancing of 3 feet between unmasked woodwind/brass players and others is preferred whenever possible.
  • For singers (solo and group) rehearsing and performing with instrumental ensembles:
    • Solo singers or small groups in solo roles may rehearse and perform unmasked. Minimum distancing of 6 feet for unmasked singers is preferred whenever possible.
    • Choral singers must rehearse and perform masked. Minimum distancing of 3 feet for masked singers is preferred whenever possible.

Choir and vocal ensembles

  • All participants must be masked when singing indoors. Masks are not required for outdoor singing.
  • Conductors, coaches, and musicians should practice prudent distancing between masked singers. Minimum distancing of 3 feet between masked singers is preferred whenever possible.

Opera

  • In performance and dress rehearsal, lead or soloist roles may perform unmasked. In rehearsal, lead/soloist roles should rehearse masked as much as possible when in spaces with larger groups of people.
  • Choral/ensemble roles and all others must perform masked, both in performance and rehearsal.
  • Stagings should observe prudent physical distancing. Minimum distancing of 3 feet (for masked singers) and 6 feet (for unmasked singers) is preferred whenever possible.

Studio Class, Recitals, Committees/Juries, Master Classes, On-Campus Auditions, Self-Record Sessions, etc.

For strings (including guitar and harp), keyboard, percussion, TIMARA, and composition

  • Performers must remain masked for studio class, committees/juries, master classes, on-campus auditions, and similar settings.
  • For junior and senior degree recitals: 
    • Soloists (i.e. the recitalist) may perform without masks (dress rehearsal and performance). While unmasked, performers should observe prudent physical distancing.
    • Additional student performers (e.g., ensemble members) must perform masked if possible (strings, keyboard, percussion). Woodwind, brass, and voice students may remove masks for recital rehearsals/performance, provided they observe prudent social distancing.

For woodwind, brass, and voice

  • Musicians may remove masks for recitals and while performing in committees, juries, master classes, on-campus auditions, self-record sessions, and similar settings.
  • Additional student performers (e.g., ensemble members) must perform masked if possible (strings, keyboard, percussion). Woodwind, brass, and voice students may remove masks for recital rehearsals/performance, provided they observe prudent social distancing.

Practice Rooms

  • Students may remove masks while alone in a practice room.
  • When multiple people are in a practice room, all occupants must be masked. Individuals who must remove their masks to play wind instruments or sing may do so, provided all other occupants are masked. No more than one person may be unmasked in a practice room (Robertson Hall or Kohl Building practice room) at any given time.

Physical Distancing

As noted in ObieSafe, except when eating, physical distancing requirements have been lifted indoors and outdoors, though the health department advises that unvaccinated and immunocompromised individuals maintain distancing of 6 feet whenever possible (see the ObieSafe Fall 2021 FAQ).

All individuals are strongly encouraged to practice prudent social distancing, including the following guidelines:

  • Unmasked woodwind and brass players and masked vocalists (e.g., in choirs) should maintain minimum distancing of 3 feet whenever possible.
  • Unmasked vocalists should maintain minimum distancing of 6 feet whenever possible.

Additionally, individuals are encouraged to continue making use of the hand-sanitizing stations, disinfectant wipes, and other sanitizing measures positioned throughout the complex.

Room-Rest Periods

At this time, we are not requiring room-rest periods.

Conservatory Academic Classes

Conservatory academic classes will follow the guidelines in place for academic classes institution-wide. For more information, please consult ObieSafe and the ObieSafe Fall 2021 FAQs.

Students in aural skills classes must remain masked.

Visitors

  • As noted in ObieSafe, visitors are welcome to campus, though all visitors must be masked while indoors.
  • All audience members must be masked during performances and at all other times while indoors, pending further notice.
  • Prospective students in voice, woodwinds, and brass who have proof of full vaccination may remove their masks for sample lessons with faculty.

For updated information on the campus visitors policy, please see ObieSafe.