A safe return to music making
As we plan a return of academic and artistic excellence to the halls of Imig Music Building this semester, we understand that you have questions. You have concerns. As parents, the safety and academic experience of your child is of the utmost importance. As a student, knowing what your fall will look like is a pressing question at this extraordinary moment. To that end, this page is a resource for everyone coming back to the College of Music soon.
We have been working in close alignment with the University of Colorado Boulder’s guidelines and have had numerous conversations with college faculty and staff and campus aerosolization, HVAC and risk mitigation experts. Read on below for provisional plans for studio, ensemble and classroom instruction.
Campus operating status
The College of Music and the University of Colorado Boulder are currently operating in an Extended capacity, increasing the presence of students, faculty and staff on campus.
The university's plans for Fall 2020 include changes to the daily schedule, different types of class modalities and a detailed public health campaign called Protect Our Herd. To learn more about when and where to wear masks, what to do if you think you might be sick and more, visit the CU Boulder COVID-19 Updates and Resources page, or navigate to the other important links below.
You can also see daily updates on COVID-19 cases on the CU Boulder campus via the COVID-19 ready dashboard.
Fall 2020 calendar
Wednesday, Nov. 25: Last day of in-person classes
Thursday, Nov. 26-Sunday, Nov. 29: Fall break
Monday, Nov. 30-Monday, Dec. 7: Remote-only instruction
Tuesday, Dec. 8: Reading day
Wednesday, Dec. 9-Sunday, Dec. 13: Final exams (remotely)
Note: Faculty may give in-person exams during regular class times before Fall Break, if necessary.
- Students exhibiting any of the COVID-19 symptoms in the week preceding their assigned lesson time will not be given a live lesson, but will receive a lesson via internet. Likewise, anyone who is notified of COVID-19 contact will not be given live lessons. In these cases, live lessons will resume only after a quarantine period has lapsed or a negative test result is demonstrated.
- Masks will be worn when entering and exiting studios as well as during non-playing segments of lessons.
- Each student will be required to use their own personal music stand for all lessons, rehearsals, practice sessions, performances, etc.
- The sharing of printed music, mouthpieces, instruments, sticks, mallets, small percussion instruments, especially hand held, etc., should be avoided at all times.
- Instrument cases should be stored in a manner to avoid contact with other cases and people.
- Each student will be required to ensure safety for others when emptying condensation that occurs during playing their instrument(s). It is suggested that an easily transported, towel-lined container with a lid (tupperware-like), or something similar, be used in all locations where condensation needs to be released. The container must be cleaned daily.
- A 15-minute window between lessons will be strictly observed to leave time for cleaning between students.
- Each performance area, in consultation with the college’s chamber music coordinator, will explore a streamlined approach to chamber music instruction that establishes the right balance of mixed and like-instrument ensembles, with encouragement to make use of technologies such as JamKazam and Zoom that support virtual collaborations and score study sessions. Note: “Mixed” here means within—not across—areas. For example, mixed woodwinds but not mixed woodwinds and strings.
- Students needing chamber music credit will be prioritized in chamber music assignments this fall.
The Chamber Music Program is considering additional proposals for Fall 2020 instruction. Please check back soon for more information.
- A hybrid experience with small chamber choirs that feature in-person socially distanced rehearsals and remote lectures that work toward recorded performances is being planned.
Our Choral Ensembles are considering additional proposals for Fall 2020 instruction. Please check back soon for more information.
Composition lessons will be delivered remotely to ensure adequate distancing.
- There will be safe, in-person ensemble activities to ensure a musically rigorous experience at the College of Music this fall. After measuring the college’s ensemble rehearsal rooms for appropriate social distancing, it has been determined that small conducted ensembles may safely proceed. The college continues to monitor ongoing studies related to the movement of musicians’ breath and the dispersal of droplets while performing. Special measures, including regular sanitization of rehearsal and performance spaces, will complement social distancing practices. The university has also certified that the HVAC system in the Imig Music Building provides sufficient air ventilation and CDC-approved levels of flitration.
- In-person, small chamber orchestras along with wind and jazz ensembles are being planned to ensure that students will be able to engage with appropriate repertoire in a meaningful and safe way. Small pep bands will perform at home football games (if they occur) from the stands while observing social distancing practices.
- Rehearsal time limits
- As a result of findings by campus experts on aerosols and room ventilation, any woodwind, brass or voice activity (lessons, rehearsals, performance) needs to include a 15-minute break after every 30 minutes of playing. After that break, the instructor and student/ensemble can return to the room for another 30 minute of playing activity.
- At this time, plans are still being explored regarding where students and faculty can congregate during those 15-minute breaks. Check this page soon for more information.
Our Instrumental Ensembles are considering additional proposals for Fall 2020 instruction. Please check back soon for more information.
Unfortunately, we will be restricting jazz ensemble participation to jazz majors only this fall. We are asking all jazz majors to enroll in the following ensembles/times:
Tuesday/Thursday, 4:45-6:15 p.m.
In past semesters, this has been the course number for big bands. Rather than running big bands, we will be meeting as one large group working on different music and topics and breaking out into smaller groups that will be changed up.
Thursday, 6:35-8:05 p.m.
Groups/meeting places will be announced later
This is the small jazz/combo course number. In past semesters, this is always scheduled ad hoc depending on all group members’ schedules. We will now have everyone enrolled in the same time. This will allow us to change groups and teachers throughout the semester.
Note: We will be checking rosters to make sure you sign up. Remember, we typically have you participate in a large ensemble and combo/small ensemble, even if you are not able to sign up for the credit. If for some reason you can’t enroll in either of these please 1) Let Thompson Jazz Studies Director John Gunther know why 2) try to keep the time open in your school/work schedule so that you can participate in the things we are doing. Contact Dr. Gunther if you have any other questions.
- Music Education area courses for Fall 2020 will vary in format depending on the size and nature of the course, and instructors will share specific information at the start of each course.
- Most classes will involve a hybrid mix of in person and online instruction, to preserve the experiential components of practice teaching and acquiring specific skills like secondary instruments while maximizing social distancing.
- Some courses, such as small seminars, may continue to be held in person.
- Student teacher seminar will be fully online to limit cross-contact with individuals involved in close work with K-12 students. We have been notified by BVSD that student teachers will be allowed to operate under the same parameters as their mentor teachers and can expect to be involved in on-campus/in-person instruction and online instruction per the plan established by the district. Other districts are still finalizing their plans and guidelines for student teachers, but in general student teachers should expect to participate in the same mix of in-person and online instruction as their mentor per that districts reopening plan.
- We are still awaiting final guidance from school districts on structuring other practicum experiences (for courses with a field component prior to student teaching). It is likely these plans will continue to be modified by school districts up to and even after the start of their school year. Based on early indications from BVSD and other districts, at this time it is likely that students in practicum experiences can expect to participate in only remote instruction with K-12 students, and no in-person instruction. This may be reevaluated as conditions dictate later in the semester.
- Keyboard majors
- Keyboard majors' personal access to a piano or high-quality electronic keyboard will facilitate instructional options in the fall. Additional college-purchased keyboards, if funding allows, will complement the use of practice rooms under established safety protocols.
- Keyboard lab classes
- Keyboard teaching assistants are planning to create instructional videos to support students through each two-week rotational cycle.
- Non-music-major keyboard lab classes will be offered completely by remote means.
- A signup process for practice in the keyboard lab will be established.
- Non-music majors enrolled in keyboard lab classes will be asked to provide their own digital piano/keyboard. The minimum requirement is: full-size keys, touch-sensitive, at least 61 keys and MIDI-capable. Examples of the most basic models are Casio CTK 3500 and Yamaha PSR-E363. A few loaner keyboards may be available for students unable to provide their own.
- Youth Piano Program
- All Youth Piano Program applied lessons will be conducted remotely.
The Roser Piano and Keyboard Program is considering additional proposals for Fall 2020 instruction. Please check back soon for more information.
For lessons, each studio is implementing an approach best suited to instructor and studio. Most studios will offer in -erson lessons, with masking, safe distancing, room clearance between lessons for air circulation and other measures that may differ from studio to studio. For more details contact individual professors.
Studio classes will be delivered through a high-bred approach, including in person and remote/live streamed models. Individual studios, depending on size and other health considerations, will have individual plans.
String Performance Class
Performance class will be delivered through live streaming, from Grusin Chamber Hall, via YouTube Live or similar platform.
- Voice majors
- Diction, vocal repertoire, vocal literature, opera for pianists and Opera Theatre classes will be taught using a hybrid instructional model.
- Applied lessons, Musical Theatre practicum and Opera Practicum will be held in-person, unless dictated otherwise by specific health issues.
- Opera and Musical Theatre performance
- With an emphasis on maintaining high artistic standards, planning is underway to consider potential alternate performance venues and the use of technology in opera and musical theatre studies this fall. With several arrangements of Humperdinck’s "Hansel and Gretel" available, the opera ensemble size will be determined by room availability and social distancing guidelines.
The Voice and Opera area is considering additional proposals for Fall 2020 instruction. Please check back soon for more information.
- The woodwind chamber music literature course will be taught remotely.
The Woodwind area is considering additional proposals for Fall 2020 instruction. Please check back soon for more information.
- ECM and arts administration courses will be taught through remote and hybrid means.
- Career Launchpad workshops/seminars will be delivered remotely and posted on the ECM Canvas.
- Career advising appointments with the area will be scheduled as needed by email.
The Musicians’ Wellness Program (MWP) is currently available (at this moment!) to serve student needs in a variety of ways. This support includes consultations with Professor Brody about general wellness issues and musculo-skeletal concerns in coordination with physicians and physical therapists at Wardenburg Health Center. Further, Matt Tomatz from Counseling and Psychological Services is now officially “embedded” in the College of Music. He will continue and enhance student support through group and individual therapy. You can find more information about the Developing the Whole Musician group experience here and contact Matt if you're interested in working with him.
As in the past, proven strategies such as Alexander Technique and Body Mapping will remain important aspects of MWP coursework. To best support College of Music students in our current environment, offerings will be expanded to include topics of general wellness (including exercise, nutrition, and mindfulness), as well as some of the latest information on brain science and biotensegrity. Enrolled students will be participating in a combination of secure, in-person material delivery and remote learning. The primary instructor and multiple guest presenters are all well-versed in online learning. You will not be bored: We’ll keep you engaged!
We recognize that this is a challenging time for all of us. Know that the MWP team has been hard at work to craft an environment that will offer you the best support possible. Let us know how we can be of service. We are here to help!
Need more help?
For campus technology issues or concerns, call the Office of Information Technology at 303-735-4357 (5-HELP).
For health questions, contact your health care provider or Medical Services at 303-492-5101 (24/7 nurse line available) for advice and recommendations.
For mental health questions or concerns, call Counseling and Psychiatric Services at 303-492-2277 (24/7 support available).
For faculty and staff, call Faculty and Staff Assistance Program at 303-492-3020.