Fall 2020 Updates

Dear Students and Families,

We are reaching out to you with this very important message about lessons, classes, and ensembles at the Eastman Community Music School this fall.

For nearly 100 years we have kept our promise to the Rochester community to bring the best music instruction, and this year will be no different.  We are making our decisions based on the latest information and recommendations from national experts on music and medicine, and our priority is the safety of our entire community.

We hope that the following information helps you decide on the best way to personalize and continue your musical activities at the Eastman Community Music School.  Registration is open, and we are looking forward to welcoming you back!

Since March 2020 our belief in importance of music for our community was confirmed and reinvigorated.  We are in a much better place than a few months ago as a community, and we are proud that we are prepared for any situation we can encounter in the fall.

We are looking forward to starting a new year together on Monday, September 9!

Our ECMS office is still working remotely, but if we can help do not hesitate to reach us at community@esm.rochester.edu .  Please visit Preparing for Fall 2020 website for latest information and FAQ.


ECMS Faculty and Staff


Private lessons

  • All ECMS faculty are expected to continue offering online lessons.
  • Additionally, ECMS faculty can decide if they also want to teach in person or hybrid online/in person.
  • Once they make a decision, faculty will inform you and work on scheduling lessons.
  • We recommend that the majority of voice lessons be offered online, though limited opportunities for periodic in person teaching can be considered pending space availability.


  • Ensemble coaches will have the options to choose the mode of teaching and will inform you about their choice (online, in person, hybrid) and plans for rehearsals.
  • For in person rehearsing, rehearsal spaces and times will be evaluated on a per ensemble basis. Decisions will be made based on space availability, ensemble type (winds, strings etc.), and enrollment (size) of the ensemble.

Academic Classes (Theory, Aural Skills, History)

  • Academic classes will only be offered online. Classes will be meeting weekly at the set times and will be interactive.

Theory in Motion

  • TIM Classes will be offered in person or hybrid mode.

Early Childhood (MusicTime, Music Times Two, Music Makers and Clef Club)

  • Early Childhood classes will only be offered online.

New Horizons

  • New Horizons ensembles will only be offered online.


  • All current ECMS teaching studios are approved for teaching and can accommodate at least 2 or more people.
  • For spaces approved for 3 people, one parent would be able to join student if necessary and keep 6 ft. distance from the teacher (but not from the student).
  • If a parent cannot be present in the room, then they can follow the lesson via Zoom (or other phone platform). The seating space in waiting rooms in the building will be very limited.
  • Most classrooms that ECMS is currently using are approved to accommodate 9 or more students.


  • Please view this short training (PDF) to prepare for in person study with us this fall.
  • ECMS Office will not be staffed until September 1 and can give support students only remotely.
  • Procedural or cloth face masks are required in all common areas (hallways, restrooms, break areas). Face masks must be worn in indoor public spaces any time there is more than one person in a given space, including times of brief interaction between individuals, and anytime another person is within six feet.  Masks must be worn outdoors when 6-foot separation is not feasible.
  • All studios will be provided with cleaning and disinfecting equipment, and teachers will be responsible to clean keyboards, chairs and stands after each student.
  • Airflow and filtering will be optimized in University buildings in order to help reduce airborne transmission of infection.
  • For details regarding campus cleaning measures, visit Preparing for Fall 2020 website