updated August 2020

Supplemental COVID-19 Plans


On June 18, the FSU Board of Trustees approved a tentative reopening plan for the Fall 2020 semester. The Board of Governors of the State University System conferred their approval of the plan on June 23. The full text of the plan is publicly available at FALL2020.FSU.EDU. The College of Music offers this Operational Framework as guidance regarding implementation of the University’s reopening plan. The Framework seeks to answer questions specific to the College, and to provide a system of support for our broader College community. Due to the highly fluid nature of the current health crisis, these guidelines are subject to change at any time pending directives from the federal government, the State of Florida, the Board of Governors, the FSU Board of Trustees, FSU administration, or Leon County.


The opening sentence of the College of Music mission statement declares the most foundational aspect of our purpose: “To provide a comprehensive educational environment that develops the abilities of students to become consummate music professionals as performers, educators, scholars, composers, conductors, music therapists, entrepreneurs, commercial musicians, and arts administrators.” We affirm the centrality of this fundamental responsibility, and maintain that we must protect and advance this work, even under times of duress.

At the same time, we assert our professional and ethical obligations to promote a healthy and safe environment for our students, faculty, staff, patrons and supporters. Although the health risks presented by this virus cannot be completely eliminated, we endeavor to provide every reasonable accommodation to mitigate the risks to our community. 


As the Covid health crisis emerged in March 2020, the College of Music converted all instruction to remote or online delivery. For Fall 2020, our intention is to return many applied lessons and most music ensembles to a face-to-face format, albeit with intentional modifications to promote safety and to mitigate health risks. The purpose of this approach is to better fulfill our core mission, as described above. Requests for specific modifications should be addressed to the appropriate faculty member and to Associate Dean Bill Fredrickson. Most other courses in the College, including lecture courses, will continue to be delivered through remote or online formats. Many faculty members have devoted considerable time to migrating their courses into this domain effectively. In accordance with the University reopening plan, social distancing guidelines are in place and face coverings will be required for all members of the university community as well as visitors.


Many applied lessons are scheduled to be delivered in a face-to-face format.  Modifications may be made to mitigate health risks, and potentially include changing locations from applied studios to larger spaces (e.g., classrooms or other open spaces).  Plexiglass shields may be available to add separation between teacher and student.  Students of percussion, strings, piano or organ should wear face coverings.  Wind students should wear face coverings to the extent possible.  Voice lessons will continue to be delivered through remote formats.  Students should view the published schedule of classes in Student Central for the specific instructional format for lessons.


Ensemble directors at FSU are national leaders in their fields.  By consulting the most recent research and analyzing best practices, they are developing innovative procedures for in-person music ensembles.  Rehearsal venues have been evaluated to determine the maximum number of students that can be accommodated while maintaining appropriate spacing.  Instrumental ensembles may rotate personnel (e.g., brass on certain days and woodwinds on others).  Ensembles’ instrumentation may be adjusted.  Rehearsals may relocate to larger venues, or to outdoor spaces.

Please note that face-to-face meetings of indoor ensembles will be delayed until at least September 21.  Directors will communicate with their respective students regarding specific details on auditions, rehearsal schedules, venues, and other procedures.  As an outdoor ensemble, the Marching Chiefs remain scheduled for an August start.

Students should consult with their applied teacher and/or Area Coordinator regarding the availability of chamber music opportunities.  Some chamber experiences may take place in a modified environment or may be deferred to another semester.  Students of Early Music, New Music, or World Music ensembles should contact the appropriate Area Coordinator for additional information.


Most academic classes in the College will be delivered in remote or online formats in the Fall 2020 semester. Note that most courses are expected to meet in a synchronous fashion as specified in the published schedule of classes. See the class schedule in Student Central for further information. This directory should largely be finalized by July 16.


As stipulated in the campus reopening plan, no face-to-face instruction will take place following the Thanksgiving break (November 25-27). All in-person lessons, rehearsals and performances must be completed by that time, although remote lessons may continue after the break. Remote or online classes will continue through the end of the semester (December 11).


Fall 2020 Building Hours

7:00am – 9:30pm Daily
Please be prepared to leave the building no later than 9:30pm

Building Security
  • All exterior doors will be locked.
  • You will need your valid FSU ID to enter the buildings through card-swipe enabled doors.
  • Practice room hallways will also be locked and will be accessed via card swipe.
  • Plan to carry your ID card with you at all times.
  • Please do not prop open doors for any reason.


General practice rooms (those normally unlocked for general use) will be allocated to applied studios and scheduled within the studios. Studios will report practice room assignments to the Instrument Library. Please use only your assigned practice room.

Please DO NOT bring students or other individuals who are not College of Music students into practice rooms. Practice rooms are designated for individual practice only.

For those instruments previously using assigned practice rooms, scheduling and/or keyed access where in use will be maintained as usual.


    Although subject to change, our tentative plans include the resumption of live music performance, with substantial modifications.  As of this writing, recitals and concerts will remain closed to public audiences until further notice.  

Student Recitals

Formal degree recitals represent an essential experience for our students, and they are very difficult to replicate in alternative formats. Consequently, we expect these recitals to resume in the fall semester. However, recitals will not be open to the public. Audience participation will be limited to the student’s advisory committee as appropriate and no more than five (5) immediate family members and/or guests. Proper spacing should be exercised by anyone in attendance, and face coverings will be required. Proper spacing on stage should be observed by all performers. Students and faculty should work with hall staff in preparing for events.

Large Ensembles

Performing in large ensemble settings also represents an essential student experience.  Therefore, we anticipate the resumption of large ensemble concerts, with performances shared through video or livestreaming resources.  As of this writing, we are hopeful that large ensemble concerts in RDCH and Opperman could be open to live audiences at some point during this academic year.  However, if audiences are permitted, capacity would be strictly limited to align with spacing requirements as stipulated in the campus reopening plan.  We anticipate that all events would be ticketed, including free concerts, in order to manage patron placement and spacing. 


We understand that even with the best mitigation efforts, some students may prefer to opt out of face-to-face lesson or ensemble instruction. Likewise, faculty and/or staff members may prefer alternative formats for carrying out their activities. This may particularly be true for members of our community who have preexisting health conditions or who belong to a higher risk demographic. We affirm our responsibility to make every reasonable accommodation for those who request modifications. Students should make their requests for accommodation to the appropriate office by August 27.

  • Undergraduate students should make their requests to Dr. Joanna Hunt, Director of Undergraduate Studies.
  • Graduate students should make their requests to their Major Professor (or Area Coordinator) and to Dr. Douglass Seaton, Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Director of Graduate Studies.
  • Faculty members who wish to request modified spaces (e.g., larger classrooms for applied instruction) should make their requests to Dr. Bill Fredrickson.
  • Faculty members or graduate assistants who wish to deliver their applied lessons through alternative formats should communicate with Dr. Fredrickson. College IT staff may be available to assist with technology support.


Due to the nature of music performance and the extensive use of face-to-face instruction in the College, effective monitoring of any viral infections will be essential. Consequently, the College will align with University testing protocols as specified in the campus reopening plan. In accordance with the plan, all individuals who intend to be physically present on campus are urged to undergo clinical testing for COVID-19 through a recognized testing procedure of their choice before returning to campus. Some specific programs may have additional testing expectations. In addition, the University is planning a surveillance program to randomly test faculty, staff, and students, in order to detect when community spread may be increasing.


New graduate student orientation is currently scheduled to take place in an online format on Monday, August 17, at 8:30 AM.  Please see information from the Office of Graduate Studies for additional details.

The opening fall faculty meeting is scheduled to take place via Zoom video conference on Wednesday, August 19, at 10:00 AM.


Florida State University has offered instruction in music since 1900. The College has consistently carried out its mission through the decades, even during times of war, economic upheaval, civil unrest, or pandemics. Since music is essential to the human condition, we profess our commitment to the ongoing work of creating music and mentoring students in the discipline. We also declare our commitment to carrying out our work in the most responsible, judicious and prudent manner possible. This is our professional and ethical responsibility, as our faculty, staff and students truly are our greatest treasure.

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