Reviewed with Faculty on 1 December 2022 without objection
The Eastman School of Music strives to create an environment that is respectful and comfortable as well as nurturing and productive. We recognize that in the ordinary course of musical instruction, an instructor may believe that some physical contact could be helpful to convey a pedagogical idea. In these cases, the following guidelines are intended to clarify safe and reasonable practices for interactions between music teachers and students.
When a pedagogical reason for physical contact arises, the instructor will first ask for the student’s consent, explaining the need for contact and the form such contact will take in that situation. Consent is about communication, and it should happen verbally every time for every occurrence of physical contact. Consenting to physical contact one time does not mean a student gives consent for additional physical contact on other occasions. Additionally, students can withdraw consent at any point if they feel uncomfortable.
In all cases, two-way communication is key. If at any time a student feels uncomfortable about the use or the degree of physical contact during instruction, they should make their concerns known so that accommodations can be made. Under no circumstances will a student be penalized for or otherwise retaliated against for declining physical contact from an instructor or for raising concerns about touch. If addressing such concerns directly with the instructor proves uncomfortable, the student should contact the Office of Academic Affairs for additional support. The goal of the entire Eastman Community is to provide a safe and supportive learning environment that empowers all students to excel in their chosen fields of study.
 Students always have the option of reporting concerns directly to the University’s Office of Equity and Inclusion or the Title IX coordinator. Students should know that asking questions, expressing concerns, or making a complaint of harassment or discrimination will not affect a student’s standing.