Ohio Wesleyan University
Safety Protocol Plan for
Applied Music Instruction and Ensemble Rehearsals
August 3, 2020

This plan provides recommended health and safety guidelines to follow when Ohio Wesleyan University resumes on-campus activities for fall semester 2020. It is based on general recommendations from the University of Colorado aerosol disbursement study preliminary data released on July 13, 2020, and the Johns Hopkins University safety guidelines developed for the Peabody Institute.

These safety guidelines are intended for all members of the OWU community (faculty, staff, students, and community members), as well as contractors, vendors, visitors and guests—while on campus or in university facilities. We anticipate that protocols will evolve as the changing severity of the pandemic and our ability to respond to it allow us to move through the phases of our return-to-campus framework, subject to state and local regulations and our own public health assessment. The guidelines will be updated with community input in later phases of our response as we are able to increase the density and level of activity on campus.

This plan is not intended to replace or supersede any of the policies established by OWU’s Safe Campus Guide (COVID-19) or the Delaware County Public Health Department.

General Recommendations

  1. Masks should be worn by all students and staff prior to entering the performing arts room. Masks should continue to be worn until all students are seated and ready for instruction (example, long rests, sectional work, moving around the room, etc.).
  2. Straight rows of musicians should be used instead of curved arcs to diminish aerosol movement in a room. 
  3. When possible, a mask with a small slit for mouthpiece access should be worn while playing.
  4. In instrument groups where a mask cannot physically be worn, the mask should be worn over the chin and replaced during periods where the student is not playing.
  5. Social distancing should occur as suggested by the CDC. Currently that distance is a 6x6 foot space around each student with the student sitting in the center. This may reduce the number of students that can fit in a performing arts classroom. Straight lines should be used as curved setups can affect the aerosol movement in a room.
  6. Trombones should have an additional three feet of distancing making their space 9x6. The player should be seated three feet in front of the back line, leaving an additional six feet in front of them due to the extended nature of the instrument and slide that can be in extended position.
  7. Practice water key etiquette. Drape water valve and collect condensate in towel, bucket with disposable plastic bag, puppy pad, or WindSorb Disinfect towel/WindSorb after use. Water keys should not be emptied on the floor.
  8. Teachers should consider using a portable amplifier to keep their voices at a low conversational volume. Teachers should wear the most efficient mask possible that is readily available, which are surgical masks (N95s are not recommended at this time due to supply chain issues.).
  9. No school-owned instruments should be shared between students.
  10. Unless a specific project is assigned requiring access, the instrument storage room adjacent to Presser rehearsal hall is off limits to all students.

Cleaning and Sanitizing

  1. Housekeeping will clean surfaces once daily, as well as disinfecting high-touch surfaces in common areas once daily.
  2. Ensemble rooms and applied studios:
    1. Routine daily cleaning by Housekeeping.
    2. Facilities will provide spray bottles of disinfectant and towels or disinfecting wipes.
    3. Faculty and students are responsible for wiping high-touch surfaces between lessons.
    4. Housekeeping will disinfect each space daily.
  3. Practice Rooms and Pianos:
    1. Routine daily cleaning by Housekeeping.
    2. Each practice room will be supplied with disinfecting spray and a towel or wipes.
    3. Students will be responsible for wiping down practice room surfaces, music stands, chair, doorknobs, light switches, and other high-touch areas before and after use.
    4. Housekeeping will disinfect each space daily with E-Mister.
    5. It will be the student’s responsibility to clean keyboards in Practice Rooms and Faculty’s responsibility in Studios, and instructors and Piano Maintenance staff will ensure that keys are wiped down after each use.
    6. Facilities will provide cleaning supplies and necessary signage for cleaning instructions.
  4. Teaching studios and Office spaces:
    1. Routine daily cleaning by Housekeeping.
    2. Facilities will provide spray bottles of disinfectant and a towel to occupied offices.
  5. Bathrooms:
    1. Bathrooms cleaned with disinfectant twice daily.
    2. When disinfecting, staff will check for CDC poster, wear proper PPE, (mask, gloves, etc.), sweep/mop floor, use the proper EPA chemical products, sanitize with handheld or backpack sprayer, cover all surfaces, and allow proper drying time.

Ventilation/Mechanical Systems

  1. All campus spaces will be reviewed for ventilation functionality to ensure adequate air exchange. Supplemental mechanical solutions such as air purifiers, fans, air scrubbers and Merv16 air filters will be installed where necessary.
  2. Existing HVAC systems should be fitted with HEPA filters if possible (Jemison, Presser).
  3. All other classrooms, offices, and studios in Sanborn use window AC units.

Private Instruction

  1. Private lessons for Strings, guitar, harp, percussion, piano and composition (Analogous to normal classroom recommendations):
    1. Face coverings for all participants.
    2. Teaching studio must accommodate social distancing of 6 ft (7.5 ft on-center).
    3. Lessons of no more than 60 minutes.
    4. 30-minute room vacancy between each lesson to allow for adequate air exchange.
    5. Daily disinfection following OWU recommendations for classrooms.
    6. Faculty/students responsible for cleaning of music stands, piano keyboards and other surfaces via disinfectant wipes before and after each lesson.
  2. Private lessons for Wind and Brass:
    1. Masking and face shield required for teacher and accompanist. Masking also required for the student and only to be removed when playing their instrument.
    2. Teaching studio must accommodate social distancing of 15 ft.
    3. Lessons of no more than 30 minutes.
    4. 1-hour room vacancy between each lesson to allow for adequate air exchange.
    5. Daily disinfection via disinfectant mister/fogger and/or disinfectant wipe down per OWU recommendations.
    6. Faculty/students responsible for cleaning of music stands, piano keyboards and other surfaces via disinfectant wipes before and after each lesson.
    7. Practice water key etiquette. Water keys should not be emptied on the floor. Drape water valve and collect condensate in towel, bucket with disposable plastic bag, puppy pad, or WindSorb Disinfect towel/WindSorb after use. Instrument bell should not be directed towards others.
  3. Private lessons for Singers:
    1. Utilize two rooms linked via low-latency systems for all applied lessons (e.g., a video interface such that the singer is in a separate room from the instructor and accompanist). NOTE: The UC study will release preliminary findings on the aerosol disbursements associated with singing including general recommendations for instruction on July 25, 2020.
    2. Teacher and accompanist will be in one room, masked at all times, at 6 ft social distance.
    3. Student singer in the second room, unmasked.
    4. Lessons of no more than 60 minutes.
    5. 1-hour vacancy for the room used by unmasked singer, to allow for adequate air exchange.
    6. 30 minutes room vacancy in the faculty/accompanist room if there is a different accompanist for each lesson.
    7. Daily disinfection via disinfectant mister/fogger and/or disinfectant wipe down per OWU recommendations.
    8. Faculty/students responsible for cleaning of music stands, piano keyboards and other surfaces via disinfectant wipes before and after each lesson.

Ensemble Classes

Except for the number of participants (outdoor no more than 50 participants), all of the guidelines listed below apply to both indoor and outdoor instruction.

Weather permitting, outdoor rehearsals in an open-wall tent offer the safest ventilation option for large ensemble rehearsals and applied music instruction. Close proximity of a tent to Sanborn for ensemble rehearsals will facilitate equipment moving for large instruments and percussion.

  1. Instrumental Ensembles, Repertoire and Studio Classes:
    1. Masking required for all individuals. Masking removed by brass and wind students only when playing their instrument.
    2. Storage areas should be managed to limit the number of students at a time in the room. Anyone who enters the storage room should bring a 70% alcohol wipe to wipe all surfaces before and after touching. The wipe should be discarded properly upon leaving the storage area.
    3. Social distancing of 6 ft (7.5 ft on-center markings) for strings, piano, percussion and 15 ft for brass and woodwinds. Or, a 6x6 foot space around each student with the student using bell covers as "masks" for wind instruments. Bell covers can be made of multi-layered high denier nylon material and provide a barrier for aerosols.
    4. Utilize plexi shields for flutes and trumpets in lieu of face shields.
    5. Limit to no more than 10 individuals per room (conductor/coach plus 9 students), regardless of room size.
    6. Rehearsals of no more than 60 minutes (not including time for set up, sanitation, and cleaning).
    7. 30-minute room vacancy between rehearsals for ensembles that remain fully masked, and 1- hour room vacancy between rehearsals where wind or brass players are included to allow for adequate air exchange .
    8. Daily disinfection via disinfectant mister/fogger and/or disinfectant wipe down per OWU recommendations.
    9. Wind and brass instrument bells should not be directed towards others.
    10. Practice water key etiquette. Water keys should not be emptied on the floor. Drape water valve and collect condensate in towel, bucket with disposable plastic bag, puppy pad, or WindSorb Disinfect towel/WindSorb after use.
    11. Faculty/students responsible for cleaning of music stands, piano keyboards and other surfaces via disinfectant wipes before and after each lesson.
  2. Choral Ensembles and Opera Scene classes:
    1. Fabric masking required for all individuals (singers, faculty, everyone) at all times, including while singing.
    2. Social distancing of 12 ft.
    3. Limit to no more than 10 individuals per room (conductor/coach plus 9 students).
    4. Rehearsals of no more than 30 minutes.
    5. 30-minute room vacancy between each rehearsal to all for adequate air exchange.
    6. Daily disinfection via disinfectant mister/fogger and/or disinfectant wipe down per OWU recommendations.
    7. Faculty/students responsible for cleaning of music stands, piano keyboards and other surfaces via disinfectant wipes before and after each lesson.