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UW Oshkosh
Department of Music

800 Algoma Blvd.
Oshkosh, WI 54901
Arts & Communication Center
Elmwood Ave. at
Woodland Ave.
Phone: (920) 424-4224
Fax: (920) 424-1266
Email: music@uwosh.edu

UWO MUSIC DEPARTMENT RETURN TO CAMPUS PLAN

Updated August 13, 2020

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For additional information about health and safety, please visit the Titans Return Website: https://uwosh.edu/titans-return/

 


Singing, brass and woodwind playing, and other behaviors associated with these activities are believed to generate aerosol particles – sometimes at exceedingly high rates compared to regular talking and breathing. Taking the studies done so far in music-making and Covid-19 very seriously, the department has worked with the implementation team and the COLS Deans office to develop department-specific policies based on current pandemic/Covid-19 science, recommendations by institutions studying music-making and Covid-19 and health experts. All University-wide policies regarding Covid-19 safety always apply, and they are supplemented by the policies below, which are specific to music practice and performance.

Larger droplets of respiratory secretions may fall to the ground over distance and time and are the impetus for social distancing recommendations. More importantly for music, smaller aerosols are invisible, may be infectious, and are the reason for additional precautions which must be observed by those who might produce aerosols during their performance activities. For the purpose of these policies, aerosol-producing activities include singing, brass and woodwind playing. Covid-19 can also live on surfaces, and the department will continue to apply the latest data regarding distancing, hand washing, surface disinfecting and other precautions. As data is constantly changing, so too, may these protocols.

There is sufficient reason to believe that the exchange of clean air in our teaching and learning spaces, especially where aerosols are produced, is critical to our safety. Dispersion of aerosols has been hinted at in multiple studies, but dispersion is dependent on external factors like room airflow and mixing dynamics, and there is still a lack of evidence about aerosol generation and elements of aerosol dispersion. Even with minimal airflow from playing, if aerosols are produced in the context of deep breathing, there is a risk of spreading the aerosols around the environment. This risk is not quantifiable at the moment. But there is growing evidence that wind playing and singing create a greater risk for Covid spread than a non-music, individual baseline risk. And the associated behaviors of these activities such as instrument swabbing, emptying of condensation and saliva, mouthpiece buzzing, blowing out tone holes, etc. have not yet been studied.

The Music Department has established protocols based on the informed recommendation of the CDC, WHO, Johns Hopkins Institute of Medicine, ongoing Music-Making and Covid-19 research at The University of Colorado Boulder and UWO health partners.


***Please keep in mind that UWO “covid capacities” do not reflect best practice recommendations based on the current science regarding droplet and aerosol production in wind instrument playing and singing. In general, you will find that the university’s “covid capacities” are much larger than those recommended by these studies for aerosol generating activities– especially in N14 and N28.

General agreement exists among the medical community that if properly masked, non-aerosol generating activities can occur at proximities closer than 6 feet (such as sitting in a lecture)


 

Basic Operating Principles

All instruction in the Music Department, regardless of type (applied, ensemble, classroom, chamber music, lab/techniques classes) must be crafted around these baseline principles:

  1. The following participants at a minimum of six feet apart, or 36 square feet per person, always masked:
      • All Classroom/Academic instruction (OR at UWO “Covid Capacity” if there is no singing/wind playing involved. At instructor’s discretion.)
      • Piano and strings
      • Percussion without excessive movement
  2. The following participants at a minimum of ten to twelve feet apart, or 100-144 square feet per person, always masked except when playing. Use of adaptive shields and modified masks with mouthpiece holes strongly encouraged – at instructor’s discretion:
      • Wind and brass instruments
  3. The following participants at a minimum of twelve feet apart, or 144 square feet per person, always masked. Commercially available masks that reveal the singer’s mouth through plastic shielding can be used at the discretion of the instructor, as long as the entire area around the nose and mouth is sealed by the mask.
      • Voice
      • Percussion with movement
  4. Thoroughly wash hands or use sanitizer prior to instruction.
  5. CELL PHONES: Cell phones are known high-touch virus vectors. All instructors and students must carry their cell phone in a pocket, backpack, purse, or similar receptacle. It is suggested that cell phones be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized with an appropriate solution or wipe at least once per day.
      • Cell phones may not be laid on pianos, music stands, desktops, or tables where instruction is taking place.
      • Cell phones must not be placed on any surface in the music hall.
      • Cell phones must not be placed on practice room chairs, music stands or pianos.
  6. All classrooms, practice rooms, rehearsal spaces and studios will be cleaned by faculty and students at the beginning and/or end of the class/rehearsal/lesson according to the signage in each room or area.
  7. Students, faculty, and staff should not come to the Music Area of the A/C or participate in any Music Department activity if they are symptomatic, or have been recommended to quarantine, or have an active Coronavirus infection until such time that a safe return to the UWO music community can be verified.
  8. While these guidelines are directed toward activities within the Music Department, students, faculty, and staff should also follow all state, local and university guidelines at all times and in all situations to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

 

Classroom Music

All courses should be clearly indicated on Titan Web as 100% online or Hybrid.

Each room assignment has been determined by the following:

    • Covid Capacity (number of people that can be in the room safely)
    • Specific instructional needs (pianos, lined whiteboards, playback systems, instruments, etc.)
    • Needs of other departments for safe classroom space.

Any classes held outdoors must adhere to all established classroom protocols. Outdoor classes are for the purpose of increasing safety, and not to eliminate any protocols as established by the university or department.

 

Class Piano

All class piano instruction will use the modified tutorial format, so as to accommodate the minimum distance of 6 feet between masked players. Students will be responsible for cleaning their keys with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide solution prior to and after use. All surfaces will be disinfected before leaving each class.

 

Applied Lessons

Any lessons held outdoors must adhere to all established lesson protocols. Outdoor lessons are for the purpose of increasing safety, and not to eliminate any protocols as established by the university or department.

  1. Preference for live applied lessons (and lesson space) will be given to seniors, students preparing recitals, performance majors and Karrels scholarship recipients.
    • The goal is to accommodate as many live lessons as possible given facility logistics, the distance, air exchange factors and other safety protocols as agreed upon by the faculty and recommended by health professionals.
  1. Private lessons for Strings, Guitar, Harp, Percussion, Piano, and Composition
    • Masking for all participants
    • All lessons 30 minutes maximum in length.
    • It is suggested that students supply their personally owned, portable music stands.
    • Teaching space must accommodate social distancing of 6 ft (7.5 ft on-center) between the teacher and student. If this cannot be accommodated in the instructor’s studio, classrooms, rehearsal rooms and the music hall may be reserved for lessons. Please work with the music office to make sure you have the spaces reserved that you need.
    • Use of an accompanist can only be in N14, N28 or the Music Hall. All social distancing measures must be followed. No Exceptions.
    • There will be a mandatory ½ hour vacancy to allow for adequate air exchange.
  1. Private lessons for Wind and Brass
    • A minimum distance of 10-12 square feet between teacher and student must be met. If this cannot be accomplished in the faculty’s studio, the music office will arrange a classroom or rehearsal space for your lessons.
    • All lessons 30 minutes maximum in length.
    • Use of an accompanist can only be in N14, N28 or the Music Hall. All social distancing measures must be followed. No Exceptions.
    • Masking also required for the student and only to be removed when playing their instrument.
    • It is suggested that students supply their personally owned, portable music stands.
    • Practice water key etiquette. Drape water valve and collect condensate in towel or WindSorb Disinfect towel/WindSorb after use.
    • Instrument bell should not be directed towards others. Instructor and student should sit/stand in a straight line (side by side) observing the appropriate distance
    • All Brass bells, (instructor and student) must be covered with a commercial grade bell cover, a nylon stocking, or similar convention. Websites such as Etsy.com, ehow.com (homemade covers) are good sources.
    • The swabbing of woodwind instruments must be controlled and take place with a distance of at least 20 feet from others.
    • FOR WIND INSTRUMENT ONLINE LESSONS: For students needing to take a virtual lesson on campus: A classroom will be reserved for your lesson through the music office. A computer cart with all necessary items will remain in the room for students to use. Students will clean and disinfect cart items at the end of each lesson. It is suggested that students supply their personally owned, portable music stands
    • There will be a mandatory ½ hour vacancy to allow for adequate air exchange in between all lessons for rooms that are used for wind instrument lessons.
  1. Private lessons for Singers – Online
    • All voice lessons will happen virtually.
    • All lessons 30 minutes maximum in length.
    • Students will be required to own a USB mic.
    • For students needing to take their virtual lesson on campus: Room N125, N28 or another classroom will be reserved through the music office. A computer cart with all necessary items will remain in the room for students to use. Students will clean and disinfect cart items at the end of each lesson. It is suggested that students supply their personally owned, portable music stands.
    • There will be a mandatory ½ hour vacancy to allow for adequate air exchange in between all lessons.

 

Practice Rooms

  • Each applied area will be assigned a bank of designated practice rooms.
  • Each practice room will have 80 hours between M-F (16 hours per day) that can be reserved by the 4-5 students assigned to that particular room. Larger blocks of time on weekends can be reserved on a first come, first served basis. Each student will be guaranteed a minimum of 16 hours per week in their assigned practice room. Other spaces such as N14, N28 and classrooms, may be reserved for additional practice through the music office.
  • Singers, percussionists, pianists, strings, harp, guitar – masked through entire practice session. Door closed.
  • Brass and Woodwind instrumentalists, mask off only when playing. Door closed.
  • Each practice room must be vacant for 30 minutes between use for strings, piano and percussion.
  • Each practice room must be vacant for 1 hour between use for voice and wind instruments.
  • All music stands, piano keyboards, flat surfaces, etc. will be cleaned by each occupant – once when entering the room, and also upon departure. Cleaning supplies will be available in every practice room.
  • Students may practice outside when weather permits.
      • Students must provide their own portable music stand. No UWO stands are to be taken outside for practice.
      • All established safety protocols must be adhered to, including masking and distancing. Outdoor practicing is for the purpose of increasing safety, and not to eliminate any protocols as established by the university or department.
      • BRASS – Bell covers are not needed for outdoor practice, but instruments must be muted.

 

Ensembles

  • Ensemble directors plan to hold live rehearsals.
  • Concerts may be live streamed, recorded, performed live outdoors, or played in the music hall with a maximum of 50 persons (including performers and audience).
  • Students must follow standard social distancing guidelines before and after rehearsals:
      • Entrance into the locker area to retrieve instruments should be staggered.
      • Only one student at a time will be allowed into storage rooms (low brass, large strings, percussion, etc.).
      • When waiting to enter rehearsal, students must line up and stand 6 feet apart.
  • During rehearsals, social distancing will be observed as follows:
      • Strings and percussion: 6 square feet
      • Vocalists: 10-12 square feet
      • Woodwinds and brass: 10-12 square feet
      • NO ARCING OR SEMI-CIRCLES OR CIRCLES. STRAIGHT LINES ONLY
      • ALL PARTICIPANTS (EXCEPT CONDUCTOR) FACING FORWARD, WITH THE APPROPRIATE SQUARE DISTANCE TO THE SIDES, IN FRONT OF AND BEHIND EACH PLAYER
  • The number of students in the room at any time may be limited to adhere to these social distancing guidelines by using methods including the following:
      • Limiting instrumentation (i.e. strings only)
      • Dividing classes into small groups and alternating instruction days
      • Programming music that utilizes smaller instrumentation
  • Masks will be worn in rehearsals as follows:
      • Vocalists, strings, percussionists will wear masks all the time.
      • Woodwind and brass players will wear masks whenever not playing. They will pull their masks onto their chins or hang from one ear while playing and replace immediately when they stop or are resting. Masks with openings for mouthpieces are rapidly being developed and marketed by many cottage industries. Instructors and conductors are encouraged to explore these options.
  • Rehearsals of no more than 30 minutes. 30 minute room vacancy following aerosol producing activity to allow for adequate air exchange.
  • No wind or brass instruments or mouthpieces will be shared.
  • No mouthpiece buzzing allowed in rehearsal spaces. This should be reserved for practice rooms only.
  • Brass players will practice water key etiquette by draping water valves and collecting condensate in a towel, WindSorb, or disposable absorption method. Absorption methods will be disinfected or discarded after use.
  • All surfaces used, including music stands, will be disinfected by students at the end of each rehearsal.
  • Any rehearsals held outdoors must adhere to all established rehearsal protocols. Outdoor rehearsals are for the purpose of increasing safety, and not to eliminate any protocols as established by the university or department.

 

Recording Studio

  • No more than 2 individuals may be in any single recording studio room at any given time.
  • Unless part of a class, all studio use must be officially on the Outlook calendar, as added by Professor Edwards or Professor Kuborn.
  • Hands must be thoroughly washed before entering the recording studio.
  • A mask must be worn ALL TIMES. (See above-referenced exceptions for wind instruments.)
    ♦Only one performer can play and record at a time, with the exception of two performers allowed if following proper distancing guidelines based on their instruments.
  • Before leaving, students will use the provided Lysol wipes to thoroughly clean all surfaces.
    ♦Students will clean the desk and keyboard/mouse space, as well as any equipment and microphones used.
  • It is highly recommended that hands be thoroughly washed after leaving the classroom.

 

Music Computer Lab

  • No more than 10 individuals may use the lab at any given time.
  • Hands must be washed in the restroom across the hall before entering the lab.
  • A mask must be worn at all times.
  • Users will be distanced according to taped off stations.
  • Before leaving, users will clean with the provided wipes to thoroughly clean the station: Mouse, keyboard, MIDI piano/controller, desk surface.
  • The lab will be closed for 30 minutes 4 times daily to allow for clean air exchange.

 

ADDENDUM

Music Hall and Outdoor Performances, Classes and Rehearsals

MUSIC HALL

  1. Only curricular performances and faculty recitals core to department and student academic success, are currently permitted in the music hall. Until further notice, there will be no guest artist recitals or non-curricular events in the music hall.
  2. All music hall performances that are not part of the large ensemble concert schedule will be scheduled through the music office, following previously established protocols as found in the Music Student Handbook.
  3. All concerts and student and faculty recitals will be live streamed from the Music Hall.
  4. A student, in collaboration with their instructor may elect to play a recital with a pre-determined and invited audience. Other ensembles, both large and small, may also elect to perform with audience.
  • University safety and risk management officials may determine at any time that music performances with audience are not safe, based on up to date pandemic data.
  • Limited audiences are allowed ONLY during moderate alert protections and low alert protections for covid 19 as established by safety and risk management and university officials.
  • For any music hall performance with an invited audience, the audience will consist primarily of faculty/instructional staff for assessment, and music majors whose live music listening experiences are directly related to their specific music degree curriculum. In special cases, with permission from the department and by invitation only, non-university guests may be allowed to attend music hall performances.
  • All invited non-university guests will have access to the personal questionnaire developed by the Titans Return implementation team to determine if they may put someone at risk by coming to campus, and will have access via the department website to all up-to date covid related information and safety precautions.
  • All non-student/faculty guests will adhere to protocols for campus visitors as established by the university.
  • All music hall performances will strictly adhere to the Event Safety and Planning Checklist as found on the Titans Return Website: https://uwosh.edu/titans-return/wp-content/uploads/sites/197/2020/08/Branded-Event-Safety-and-Planning-Checklist-08.04.2020.pdf
  • The maximum number of persons in the music hall will be 50, including performers and conductors.
  • All audience members, including faculty and UWO students, must be on an invitation list. This list will be submitted by the conductor or instructor in charge of any student performance to the music office at the same time programs are submitted.
    • All programs will be available/stored digitally and posted on the live stream.
    • The music office will not print paper programs.
    • All performances will be free of charge and information for donations to the department scholarship fund will be included in the printed and digital program.
  • All invited audience participants will be masked and seated a minimum of 6 feet apart. There will be no audience seating in the 1st 6 rows closest to the stage.
  • Gathering in the Music Lobby is strictly prohibited.
    • No receptions – no food or drink permitted.
    • Post-performance greeting/gathering on stage, backstage or in the music lobby is prohibited. Music student attendees are encouraged to share congratulations on email, social media and online bulletin boards.
  • All performers will be encouraged to take the covid health assessment or use the health assessment app prior to performances, to determine if they should perform with others.
  • All performances must last a maximum of 1 hour.
  • All dress rehearsals must end 90 minutes before the performance (1 hour in between the end of the dress rehearsal and the opening of lobby doors for clean air exchange).
  • Doors to the hall will be open 30 minutes prior to each performance so as to eliminate crowding in the music lobby. Ushers will document invited participants as they enter the music hall.
  • Supervising faculty for all hall performances will be required to facilitate post event cleaning (music stands, piano keys, etc.).
  • Students may not use the hall unless under the supervision of an instructor, who will guarantee that all safety protocols, including distancing, masking, and cleaning after use can be met.
  • During all rehearsals and performances in the music hall, the following procedures must be strictly adhered to:
    • Strings and percussion: 6 square feet apart
    • Vocalists: 10-12 square feet apart
    • Woodwinds and brass: 10-12 square feet apart
    • Masks at all time. (winds – mask on whenever not playing) Masks with openings for mouthpieces are rapidly being developed and marketed by many cottage industries. Instructors and conductors are encouraged to explore these options.
    • Practice water key etiquette. Drape water valve and collect condensate in towel or WindSorb Disinfect towel/WindSorb after use.
    • Instrument bell should not be directed towards others. All performers should sit/stand in a straight line (side by side) observing the appropriate distance
    • All brass bells, must be covered with a commercial grade bell cover a nylon stocking, or similar convention. Websites such as Etsy.com, ehow.com (homemade covers) are good sources.

 

OUTDOOR PERFORMANCES, CLASSES AND REHEARSALS

Outdoor Instruction and Concerts – Standard Operating Procedure for the Oshkosh Campus

  1. All outdoor performances will strictly adhere to the Event Safety and Planning Checklist as found on the Titans Return Website: https://uwosh.edu/titans-return/wp-content/uploads/sites/197/2020/08/Branded-Event-Safety-and-Planning-Checklist-08.04.2020.pdf
  2. All departmental covid-related protocols as stated above for all instruction and music hall performances apply.
  3. If an instructor chooses to hold a concert outdoors, live-streaming cannot be guaranteed by the department.
  4. ALL outdoor instruction that includes singing and/or playing of instruments, (classes, lessons, rehearsals and especially performances) must be scheduled and approved by the department, with approval by the dean, UWO police and the city of Oshkosh. No ad hoc outdoor instruction involving playing or singing will be permitted. If you wish to hold outdoor rehearsals or classes that involve playing and singing the department must receive permission from the University Police and the City of Oshkosh.
    • The city has noise ordinances in place and all outdoor events must occur within certain windows of time so as not to disturb surrounding residential areas.
    • Any type of outdoor concert would require a special event review with UW Oshkosh Police.
    • If the request for an outdoor class, rehearsal or performance is core to department and student academic success, that would be considered in the request review. The review would also require an evaluation of distance between performers/audience, hygiene, disinfecting and other safety precautionary measures as required by the university.
    • All requests for outdoor activities must be compiled by the music office and shared with the UWO Police Department for review.
  • If the outdoor space requested isn’t typically “managed” by a specific Univ Department, UW Oshkosh Police would review the use of the requested space.

 

UW Oshkosh Department of Music
800 Algoma Blvd.
Arts & Communication Center
Oshkosh, WI 54901

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Phone: (920) 424-4224
Fax: (920) 424-1266
Email: music@uwosh.edu