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MSM 2021-2022 COVID-19 Guidelines

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The latest information about COVID-19 protocols for the the 2021-2022 academic year at Manhattan School of Music

Updated Mask Policy Effective August 24

Masks required indoors

All faculty, staff, students, and approved vendors/guest artists must wear masks when indoors through at least October 1 in all settings, including lessons. A faculty or staff member may remove their mask only when:

  • Alone in a teaching studio/office;
  • Eating and drinking in designated areas like the cafeteria, personal office, or studio.

No member of the MSM community, regardless of vaccination status, may remove or be asked to remove their mask during class or performance-related activities.

Mask Materials

Masks must be made of suitable material: fabric, KN95, N95, KF94, or surgical masks are all acceptable;

Neck gaiters, scarves, or masks with vents in them are not acceptable.

Area Specific Mask Requirements

Voice/Musical Theatre

All voice and musical theatre students and faculty must wear a mask when in auditions, rehearsal, lessons, or performances.

Winds, Brass Players

All winds and brass players must utilize both a mask designed for playing AND a bell cover when in auditions, rehearsal, lessons, or performances.

  • The mask may have a single, straight slit of approximately 1-3 inches to allow the mouthpiece/reed to pass through. The slit must close around the mouthpiece/reed when it passes through. Larger slits, cutouts, or holes are not acceptable.
  • Masks may be either surgical masks with an appropriately sized slit cut in them, or commercially available masks designed for playing that meet the above requirements.
  • Students are responsible for procuring masks that meet our requirements.
  • Performance venues will have surgical masks and scissors available if needed.
  • Anyone observed in violation of this mask policy will be subject to disciplinary action, including expulsion or termination.

Campus Improvements since March 2020

As a majority of faculty have not been on campus since March 2020, I want to provide a summary of important environmental improvements made as we prepared for the last academic year, when more than 500+ students and approximately 85 faculty were on campus for instruction.

  • In Summer 2020, MSM consulted with a mechanical engineer who evaluated all our various HVAC setups on campus. The engineering firm provided recommendations that aligned with industry guidance to reduce the risk of airborne exposure.
  • We implemented mechanical equipment to improve fresh airflow and filtration. In instances where that was not possible (primarily some practice rooms, teaching studios, and offices in the main building), we invested in air filter units for those rooms.
  • 150 air filtration units from AtmosAir have been installed. These units are primarily located in the Main Building, specifically in teaching studios, practice rooms, and offices.
    • The units incorporate a multi-layered filtration system, which includes HEPA, UV sterilization, and an ionizer.
    • These environmental elements are still in place and will be utilized through this year.
  • 21 studios/classrooms have Zoom and WiFi capabilities. The equipment, viewable in one of the attached photos, will be available for use along with our permanent audio cabinets installed in most classrooms.