COVID-19 Safety Measures for the School of Music

Current Plans/Safety Measures for Classes and Ensembles in the School of Music

We so want to make music together again!  In order to do that, we are initiating extra safety measures for Fall 2020, in addition to campus guidelines, to limit the exposure of COVID-19 to our students, faculty, and staff. This is a very fluid situation and these plans may need to change based on city and campus regulations/guidelines on August 24.  Once you have read these proposed plans, you may choose to drop/add/change any classes for the Fall.  For example, if you read what the choirs plan to do in order to sing and you don’t feel comfortable doing that, you should not register for a choral ensemble.  No student scholarships will be negatively impacted by these choices for the entire 2020-2021 school year.

Please also read the information on the Show-Me Renewal Site for students:

Large Ensembles

•    All large ensemble rehearsals will operate under campus and CDC safety precautions and guidelines (e.g., temperature checks, use of hand sanitizer and face coverings, when applicable and possible, and not coming to class when displaying any symptoms of illness).

•    Rehearsal times will be staggered and reduced to (a) promote less congestion between rehearsals and (b) allow more time for cleaning between rehearsals. In addition, after any 30-minute period of music rehearsal, there will be a 20-minute break in which students and faculty will clear the room to allow the HVAC system to change the air indoors with outside air.

Ensemble and studio placement audition times have now been updated here :

Staggered Start/End Times


10:15-11:45: NME (MWF; SMC 130)
12:15-1:40: University Singers (MWF; SMC 132 & McKee 204)
12:30-1:45: Wind Ensemble – Brass Choir (M); Woodwind Choir (W); Mixed Chamber Ensembles (F) (SMC 130)
2:00-2:50: Hitt Street Harmony (MWF; SMC 132)
2:15-3:30: Concert Jazz Band (MW; SMC 130)
3:45-4:30: Tiger Pans (M; SMC 130)
5:00-6:30: University Percussion Ensemble (MW; SMC 130 and 132)
7:00-9:00: Studio Jazz Band (W; SMC 130)


12:15-1:35: University Glee Club (TTH; SMC 132)
12:15-1:35:  Women’s Chorale (TTH; McKee 204)
12:30-1:45: Symphonic Band – Chamber Groups (TTH; SMC 130)
2:15-3:00:  Percussion Studio (T; SMC 130)
2:15-3:00:  African Percussion (TH; SMC 130)
4:30-5:45: University Philharmonic – String Orchestra Only (TTH; SMC 130 and 132)
7:00-9:00: University Band (T; SMC 130)
7:00-9:00: Choral Union (canceled for semester)


3:00-5:00: Opera Workshop (MF; McKee 204)
4:00-6:00: Opera Workshop (TWTH; McKee 204)
4:15-6:00: Marching Mizzou (T-F; Marching Mizzou Practice Field)


  • 7’ social distancing; no student placed directly behind another
  • UPDATED: All players (except flutists) are required to wear face coverings for the duration of the rehearsal. The School of Music is in the process of making cloth masks with mouthpiece openings available for purchase, but students will need to provide their own mask until those are made available; a disposable mask with a mouthpiece slit is acceptable. String players and percussionists should wear a normal face covering without a slit. As mentioned below, flutists are expected to purchase their own Win-D-Fender to reduce aersol spread.
  • Given the findings of the International Arts Aerosol Study conducted this summer, wind instrumentalists will be required to provide bell coverings designed to help mitigate the expulsion of aerosols. All wind players must have a bell covering in order to participate in large ensembles. A list of products recommended by our faculty can be found at the right sidebar as well as a link to purchase trombone and horn bell coverings directly through the School of Music (to be distributed at auditions or as soon as possible upon arrival). All other wind instrumentalists are responsible for purchasing or producing their own bell coverings. 
  • Separate Entrance and Exit doors. Students will social distance and wear face coverings during entry and exit.
  • Students can begin entering SMC 130 and 132 five minutes prior to the start of rehearsal. (Please do not congregate outside the classrooms.) Stands and chairs will already be configured.
  • Instrumentalists should store their cases beside their chairs.
  • No singing or performing on wind instruments should take place until the conductor has given approval.
  • Brass instrumentalists will provide their own towel in which condensation will be removed during rehearsal. (You will take this with you at the conclusion of the rehearsal and launder/replace prior to the next rehearsal.)
  • At the conclusion of each rehearsal, students will clean their own chairs and stands and return them to the chair and stand racks. 
  • Orchestra will be strings only.  Symphonic Band will be at a “reduced instrumentation performing adaptable music”.  Wind Ensemble and University Band will be modified to smaller chamber ensembles.  Jazz will remain the same.
  • Marching Mizzou will only rehearse in an outdoor setting with a minimum of 6 feet side to side interval and a minimum 12 feet front to back distance. We will rehearse at a reduced capacity in separate groupings/sections until we are able to rehearse and perform as a full ensemble. Further information is included in the latest 2020 Marching Mizzou Summer Newsletter distributed by Dr. Knopps. Orchestra, concert bands, jazz bands, New Music Ensemble, and percussion ensembles will use 7 feet spacing with a maximum of 24 instrumentalists. Choirs/Opera rehearsals will use 12 feet spacing with a maximum number of 13 performers.


  • 12’ social distancing
  • All singers will sing with face coverings on; face coverings to be provided by the students. A mask recommended by our faculty can be purchased through the School of Music; click here for more information. 
  • Collaborative pianists provided with level 3 masks.
  • Separate Entrance and Exit doors. Students will social distance and wear face coverings during entry and exit
  • Students can begin entering SMC 130 and 132 five minutes prior to the start of rehearsal. (Please do not congregate outside the classrooms.) Stands and chairs will already be configured.
  • No singing or performing should take place until the conductor has given approval.
  • Each student will be assigned a number for an organized single file entrance and exit procedure
  • Chairs cleaned after each rehearsal
  • All choirs will be modified to smaller ensembles

A survey of all returning and incoming students will soon be sent to you confirming your acceptance of these parameters and to confirm your desire to audition for an ensemble Fall 2020.  We may not be able to accommodate everyone who wishes to be in a large ensemble this coming Fall but will do our best to include all interested students!

Academic Classes

Our academic classes will follow the same guidelines as the campus uses for all classrooms found on the Show-Me Renewal website:

Almost all of our applied lessons will be in-person.  Feel free to contact your studio teacher if you would rather have online lessons.  Some applied lessons will be moved to larger spaces (primarily voice).

Instrument cleaning/rentals

All School of Music brass and woodwind instruments issued during the Spring 2020 semester will be cleaned by a professional instrument technician per CDC guidelines outlined here ( before being re-issued. Please contact your applied instructor or fill out the Instrument Request Form if you anticipate needing to rent a School of Music instrument for Fall 2020 so that appropriate arrangements can be made. All instrumental students should maintain their instrument and mouthpiece in a clean and sanitary condition and should not share instruments or mouthpieces with others.

Practice Rooms

Assigned Practice Rooms only

• Every applied lesson faculty member and TA will have rooms assigned to them to schedule their applied students; see your teacher for further information and specific room numbers
• Do NOT use any apparently open practice room; use only your same room every day all semester
• You will know who your practice room partners are, and can work together to make a useable schedule
• Practice room reservations are available 7 days a week, 14 hours per day
• Masks are optional once you have safely entered your practice rooms, but we encourage them for your safety.  Bell covers are also encouraged within the smaller rooms. 

Time Limit

• Every practice room must be cleared after 45 minutes, or at least 15 minutes before the next patron arrives to practice; this is for air to clear
• Plan your practice time beforehand, so you can make the most efficient use of your 45 minutes!
• If your shared room has sufficient time, you may sign up for two adjacent slots and you do not have to vacate in the middle of your time


IMPORTANT:  We are NOT able to clean the keyboards between patrons or even daily; such efforts would be logistically impossible for 110 pianos, and it would ultimately ruin all the keyboard surfaces over the months.  Please, do NOT try to clean yourself, you could ruin the piano instantly with improper chemicals; hand sanitizer is BAD for keys. 

 • Therefore, you must PLAY WITH CLEAN HANDS, washing or sanitizing before and after each session; remember to never touch your face
• Because there is still a small risk with the community-use pianos, we recommend practicing off-campus in your dorm or apartment if at all possible


• Grand practice rooms for applied piano students will be locked & limited to only those students
• All FAB practice rooms:  ONLY ONE TO A ROOM allowed; they are too small for two
   - do not plan to rehearse with your pianist in your FAB practice room ever
   - pianists will prepare recorded accompaniments for most practice and lessons


• Most of the SMC practice rooms are also ONLY ONE TO A ROOM allowed; too small for two
• Only three rooms have space for one pianist and one collaborative partner to rehearse: SMC 339 & 340 with pianos, SMC 343 for rehearsals without piano
• The two rooms will be reserved for degree recital preparation and will be scheduled by Dr. Wenger; the chamber room will be scheduled by office staff.


All of our concerts will either live-streamed or pre-produced.  This is a great opportunity for students within the large ensembles to work together on producing a “show”.  These pre-produced concerts can have student interviews, composer Q&A, and conductor behind-the-scenes thoughts that highly engage the online audience in addition to performing the music.  The live audience will certainly be missed but there is much to learn about the technology needed to produce concerts in the 21st century and we are excited to enter that world with you.

Community Music @ Mizzou/Outreach

Most programs will be moving online but we do hope to have a few events in person.

Community Music Program (CMP) (ONLINE)
Experiencing Piano for Adults I & Experiencing Piano for Adults II (ONLINE)
Experiencing Piano for Kids  (ONLINE)
Missouri String Project (MSP) Online small groups
Missouri Youth Orchestra (MYO) In person socially distanced orchestra on Saturday mornings
Mid-Missouri Community Orchestra (MMCO) - Cancelled for fall ’20 
Community African Percussion/Steel Pan Ensembles – Cancelled for fall ’20

If you are interested in teaching online lessons in the fall through the community music program contact Joanna Griffith ( for more information. To learn more about the community music program visit

Outreach events will all occur virtually. If you are interested in putting together a virtual concert/Q&A for a local school, contact Joanna.  

Traffic Flow

Building hours:  7 am to 9 pm daily

 First floor
• Whitmore Recital Hall (WRH) – enter west doors, exit east (near Ben Harting's office & Hitt St.)
• 134 & 145 – enter by main hallway door, exit from corner of room

Second floor
• Only music students & faculty allowed on second floor; always use electronic lock on west door
        See Ben Harting for key card checkout, 150 FAB
• Stairwells will be ONE WAY:  see signs
• No gathering in the second-floor hallways for conversation or studying; only use for going to practice and lessons, or to access locker briefly
• Elevator (near Theater Dept.) restricted to one person per trip


Building hours:  7 am to 9 pm daily (north doors near parking lot will be locked at 6 pm)

First floor
• Stairwells will be ONE WAY:  see signs
• Classrooms:  Use designated entrance and exits as indicated on doors to Band & Choral rooms
• Do not move furniture in the lobbies and gathering areas; leave proper distance

Second and Third floors
• Only music students and faculty allowed on these floors; use your MU ID to access.
       Susan will activate all new student cards by August 20
• Elevator restricted to two persons per trip, socially distanced


MU Campus Facilities has been closely following the developing guidance from industry resources to adjust building ventilation systems during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re also researching other techniques that are being considered by HVAC professionals.

It is important to note that we did not completely shut down building HVAC systems during the stay-at-home order. Buildings were placed into “Holiday Mode” which shuts down HVAC systems serving offices, classrooms and auditoriums. These systems automatically turn back on when temperatures in the building reach unoccupied set points or in some cases when motion is sensed. Building systems were placed back into Normal Operating Mode on April 20th to ventilate and achieve proper temperatures in anticipation of building occupancy.

MU buildings were designed to meet building code ventilation requirements, which are based on total occupancy, so most, if not all of the time, the building is over ventilated. High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, like what are used in hospitals, cannot be installed in non-hospital buildings because the HVAC systems were not designed to include space or achieve pressure-drop required by HEPA-type filters.

Upon returning to campus May 4, all HVAC systems including filtration were checked and they are all in good operating condition. Preventative maintenance is performed at regular intervals throughout the year to provide the best indoor environment for our faculty, staff and students.