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School of Music Return to Campus Plan for Fall 2020

Last Updated: August 13, 2020
Contact: Michael Ibrahim, Director, School of Music,

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:


We’ve missed you, and we’re excited to welcome you back to the CCAC! As eager as we are to return, it is crucial that we prepare to engage in musical experiences safely. I have been closely monitoring guidance from the scientific community and our professional organizations. There are several unique aspects to consider when planning a safe return to our School.

The intent of this plan is to outline meaningful in-person experiences, and to proceed as safely as possible. Our plan is flexible — it includes online teaching and hybrid classes, while it is mostly comprised of in-person teaching. In addition to the safeguards that the University has in place, the School of Music needs certain specific safety measures of our own.

But there is one, single, most important aspect needed for our plan to work. Whether or not you are in the CCAC building, please be mindful and consider those around you. We’ll get through this, so we’re relying on everyone doing their part.


  • Masks will be provided as part of your Welcome Kit. They are required to be worn at all times while on-campus, indoors and outdoors. 
  • Masks for use by singers are being developed. They are being tested by the WVU Center for Inhalation Toxicology. They will be provided to all voice principals.
  • Masks must be worn properly at all times. The only exceptions are when changing masks, drinking from a water bottle, or playing a wind instrument.
  • Masks should be washed daily with warm water and soap. They should be air dried or placed in a dryer.
  • Requests to use a face shield or alternative face covering may be directed to WVU Accommodations. 

  • All CCA music stands will be removed from circulation, except for use in select performances. 
  • In all classroom and practice room settings, students will be expected to provide their own folding music stand. 
  • CCA music stands to be used in performance venues will be disinfected by staff before and after each use.
  • Students are required to purchase and use their own personal music stands. Any folding music stand will be sufficient. The following stands are recommended: Peak Music Stand, Hamilton Traveler, and Petersen Folding.
COVID Testing

  • In addition to the required testing of all WVU students, faculty, and staff prior to the Fall semester, students enrolled in the marching band, wind ensembles, and choral ensembles will receive periodic COVID testing. 
  • Faculty and instructional staff with these ensembles will also be tested. 
  • These ensembles will be tested due to their size and the suspected bioaerosols when singing and playing wind instruments.
  • The schedule of testing and results is to be determined.
  • This testing is required and is free of charge.


  • All classes have been modified and approved to be within physical distancing guidelines given their activities on the Fall course schedule.
  • Some class enrollments have been reduced.
  • Seating will be assigned in all classes. Students must adhere to this seating assignment throughout the semester. Faculty will need to maintain attendance records for each class meeting and may be asked to provide that information to the contact tracing team.
  • Faculty will have the ability to live-stream and record in-person class sessions for students who are absent.
  • Plexiglass shielding will be used in higher traffic settings. 
  • There will be outdoor tents WiFi connectivity.
  • Class Piano sections will be reduced in size, and instruments will be disinfected prior to and after use.
  • Singing in any class outside of ensembles should be done only with advance consultation with the Director of the School of Music. 
  • Written Theory and Aural Theory classes will have both online and in-person expectations.

  • Ensemble directors will communicate the unique plans of each ensemble. 
  • All major ensembles are currently expected to be offered.
  • The orchestra will be comprised of strings only. Chamber Winds/Orchestra Winds will be co-taught for Fall 2020. Both ensembles will rehearse on the Clay stage with the side walls removed to enable appropriate physical distancing.
  • Wind ensembles will be slightly reduced in size and will rehearse on the Clay stage with the side walls removed to enable appropriate physical distancing.
  • Choral ensembles will be reduced in size and will have both hybrid and in-person components. Rehearsal locations are being determined.
  • Wind players must have at least 10 foot spacing, and singers must have at least 12 foot spacing. String players, percussionists, and pianists must be distanced by at least 6 feet.
  • Jazz and World Music ensembles will have limited enrollment, and will rehearse in room 2070. They may have both hybrid and in-person components.
  • An opera that allows for physical distancing is being developed.
  • Chamber ensembles are proceeding depending on their instrumentation.
  • Rehearsal durations for some ensembles will be reduced. 
  • Temperature-testing of all ensemble members, ensemble directors, and instructional staff will be required prior to each rehearsal.
  • A new creative ensemble class is being offered fully online. MUSC 346 Chamber Music: Mixed, CRN 89047. This collaborative experience is for any music major or music technology minor. Students will make music together remotely in small groups. Music may include new compositions, arrangements, improvisation, or existing works. There is a technology requirement to this course. It is open-genre, open-instrumentation, and will be co-taught by Mark Benincosa, Jason Gossett, Kym Scott, Jared Sims, and Michael Ibrahim. Please contact Michael Ibrahim prior to registering.
  • For Fall 2020 only, students are limited to participating in one ensemble. Given its outdoor setting, participation in marching band and another ensemble is permitted. Other exceptions must be approved by Michael Ibrahim.
  • For Fall 2020 only, participation in any ensemble (e.g., chamber, jazz, world, creative ensemble) will fulfill the major ensemble requirement.
  • Student scholarships that have ensemble stipulations will be unaffected for Fall 2020.
  • Spring 2021 requirements will be determined by December.
Concerts and Recitals
  • Student recitals are limited to those which are degree-required.
  • Audiences for student and faculty recitals will be limited to members of the associated studio only.
  • All major ensemble concerts will be live streamed by the School of Music.
  • The in-person audience for ensemble concerts will be limited based on the size of the venue. 
  • Chamber music ensembles are encouraged to consider outdoor performing spaces.
  • There will be no showcase concerts or guest artist recitals for Fall 2020.
Practice Rooms

  • NEW 8/12/20: Practice room reservation requests are now being accepted for the two week period from August 17 through August 30. During this two-week period, practice rooms will only be available by reservation. Each School of Music student may reserve up to two one-hour blocks per day during this period. Students may only enter the CCAC after their COVID-19 test results have come back negative. A WVU ID card will be required for swipe access. A reservation and sign-up procedure will be in place for the remainder of the semester. 
    August 17-30 Practice Room Request Form
  • Students will be assigned to use a specified practice room for the semester. Rooms will be used by students playing the same instrument.
  • Practice rooms may be used only with a reservation or by signing out. A procedure to ensure that students have adequate access (e.g. evening practice) is being developed.
  • As a result of the reservation process, a minimum of 15 minutes of non-use will be held in between practice room usage.
  • The maximum occupancy for all practice rooms is 1 person.
  • Reminder: Students must use their own personal music stands. 
  • A disinfection process and materials will be in place for students to use prior to and after using the room.
  • Facilities staff also will disinfect practice rooms regularly.
Applied and Individual Lessons

  • All applied and individual lessons (e.g., composition, conducting, etc.) will be restricted to 45 minutes. 
  • A minimum of 15 minutes of non-teaching with no one in the room will take place in between lessons. 
  • All applied voice lessons will be taught remotely by faculty. Voice lessons will take place with the student in the voice studio while faculty are off-site. Students may use their own mobile device. Dr. Hope Koehler will be providing more information. 
  • Some instruments (e.g., tuba) will have lessons offered in a combination of outdoor settings and remotely. Instructors of such instruments will communicate with students in advance. 
  • Towels will be provided for wind players to use for instrument moisture, condensation collection, and spit valves.
  • Bell covers will be provided for certain brass instruments. 
  • The protocol for juries will vary by area, and will be communicated to students in advance.
  • With respect to President Gee's "Phased Return to Campus" announcement, a majority of upper division undergraduate courses will shift from in-person to hybrid or online delivery. Students and faculty will be notified about changes in delivery as soon as possible. 
  • Student teaching and practicum placements (e.g. music education, music therapy, music industry) will adhere to the guidelines of the site placements. Accommodations will be made to ensure that interruptions in practicum experiences do not negatively affect licensure and academic progress. Student safety will be ensured in off-site settings.
  • Group dialogue (e.g. advising meetings, study groups, committee meetings, faculty meetings) should be handled remotely or outdoors as much as possible.
  • Reminder: November 24 is the end of on-campus class sessions. November 30 begins the week of remote instruction. Classes end Dec 4 and exams are Dec 7-11 (remote).
  • Students will receive notice about hybrid/online course expectations in any course prior to the beginning of the semester. 
  • Faculty and staff are permitted to bring a personal portable air purifier with integrated HEPA filter into their office for additional air filtering. Caution should be exercised regarding the simultaneous use of multiple electrical outlets. An update on WVU HVAC Systems can be found here.
  • Failure of students to comply with the University’s and School's safety measures will result in one or more of the following measures: written warning, removal from class, probation, suspension and/or expulsion from the University. Students will have an opportunity to provide information about any extenuating circumstances that may apply. Consequences will be based on the specifics of each student’s situation.

  • Failure by employees to follow safety protocols may result in counseling and/or disciplinary action — up to and including termination of employment  in accordance with WVU Board of Governors (BOG) Talent and Culture Rule 3.8 and BOG Faculty Rule 4.2.

  • You must be free of any symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 before entering the CCAC. These symptoms currently include one or more of the following:
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Repeated shaking with chills
    • Runny nose or new sinus congestion
    • Muscle pain
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • Fatigue
    • New gastrointestinal symptoms
    • New loss of taste or smell
  • Students, faculty or staff who become ill while on campus should return to their residence, self-isolate and avoid further contact with others.
  • Information about COVID testing, results, contract tracing, and what to do if you test positive can be found here.
  • The University's revised Attendance Policy can be found here. Consistent with the University's COVID-19 Instructor Expectations and Best Practices, faculty are encouraged whenever possible to exclude physical attendance from course grades and to adopt alternate means of measuring engagement.
  • Students, faculty, and staff who are considered higher-risk and who would like to discuss additional safety measures are encouraged to contact Michael Ibrahim.
  • For prospective students for Fall 2021, auditions on November 15, 2020 will be conducted online. The format and options for Spring 2021 auditions will be released in December.
  • If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Michael Ibrahim.

This plan is subject to change and will be updated periodically.