A Message from Dr. Eric Rice, PhD, Department Head and Professor | Updated July 17, 2020
Hello from the Department of Music! We understand that students and their families are weighing their options for the fall of 2020 in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on their understanding of the modifications to the UConn Music experience, students may wish to attend UConn entirely online, to live on campus and attend in-person experiences when they can, or to take a year off entirely. While we fervently hope you will continue your work with us, ultimately, this is a personal choice that the faculty and staff will respect. We have prepared this list of questions and answers in order to assist in the decision. The list is not exhaustive, and the answers are often not definitive. Please contact us if you have further questions. Please also bear in mind that things could change based on the prevailing conditions.
As of this writing (July 15, 2020), many of the specifics of UConn’s plans for reopening are still under development. Updates to the University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic can be found at https://uconn.edu/public-notification/coronavirus/. The University has published general plans for reopening at https://reopen.uconn.edu; here are the main points for Academics and Instruction:
- Classes will be provided in a range of formats including in-person, online, and a combination of the two formats to allow the University to prioritize both safety and the UConn educational experience.
- While the University cannot guarantee any particular course selection, faculty and students who prefer a fully online experience for fall 2020 will be accommodated. And while the University cannot guarantee any particular course, UConn will work with students to ensure they have courses, online if requested, that support a timely progression towards their major(s) and degree.
- Faculty who wish to teach courses exclusively online will be accommodated.
- The capacity of classrooms will be reduced to allow for appropriate social distancing.
- Students should be able to take a full course load; the University expects minimal, if any, disruption to most students’ progress to a degree.
The COVID-19 epidemic presents unique challenges for music, particularly for singing and playing wind and brass instruments. It is clear that these activities produce bioaerosols at a much higher rate than standard classroom activities, and that social distancing must be much more significant than the standard six feet in order to afford adequate protection. Other significant factors are the time of each rehearsal or lesson and the times in between, since the viral load in a given enclosed space increases over time with consistent phonation.
Please note that the course listings in the Student Administration System may not yet be up to date with regard to delivery designation (online, hybrid, in person, etc.) or other details. We hope to have these updated by the end of July, but may in some cases not have enough information to do so. Please contact us with questions.