Information for Students and Families

Please check back frequently for updates and additions throughout the spring semester.



Updated 4/15/2022

What is the updated masking policy at Eastman?

  • Everyone needs to wear a non-cloth mask (N95, KN94, surgical mask, etc.) at all times – in classes, lessons, rehearsals, performances, and all other academic and non-academic spaces.  The one exception is for professionally-made masks for musicians, which may continue to be used when performing as these masks are typically constructed with multiple layers and/or have additional filter material built into the mask.  In non-performance situations, however, everyone must follow the non-cloth mask policy.
  • Musicians who play an instrument with a mouthpiece must cut a small hole/slit in their mask so that their nose and sides of the mouth remain covered when they are playing.
  • Brass and woodwind musicians are required to use a bell cover at all times.
  • Brass players must use a container/rag to collect their condensation.

Exceptions to the masking requirement are limited to the following situations:

  • A single musician may be unmasked when performing in a jury or recital, but only if they can maintain 6’ of distance from others on stage.
  • A single instructor may be unmasked when teaching, but only if they can maintain 6’ from the rest of the class.

Updated 4/15/2022

What policies and restrictions are there for recitals and performances?

A single musician may be unmasked when performing in a jury or recital, but only if they can maintain 6’ of distance from others on stage

All our performances remain open to the public and there are no other restrictions on gatherings, activities, or dining at this time.  These rules will be in place through the conclusion of final exams, and at that time University leadership will determine if it is safe to go back to a “masks recommended” policy for senior week and commencement weekend. 

At the current time we expect no other restrictions on audience size, and our concerts remain open to all visitors.  We reserve the right to change these policies at any time should COVID case numbers rise, but we continue to hope that these drastic steps will not be necessary.

Updated 4/15/2022

Can an individual faculty member be unmasked during instruction?

As we did in the fall semester, we will continue to allow a single instructor to be unmasked when teaching as long as that individual is fully vaccinated, including their booster, and can maintain six feet of distance from the students at all times.

Updated 1/26/2022

When can I move back to Student Living Center?

Student Living Center Move-In
Students living on campus may return to the Student Living Center beginning on Thursday, January 27.  All SLC residents are required to upload a negative COVID-19 test prior to returning to campus, and this requirement can be met with either a PCR test or rapid home test. All students who have received their COVID test should upload proof of a negative test result—or proof of having COVID within the past 90 days—to UHSConnect.

Updated 1/26/2022

Will I need to test before returning to campus?


As a reminder, undergraduate residential students are required to have a negative COVID-19 test prior to their campus arrival. Students can fulfill this requirement by getting a COVID PCR lab test (72 hours prior to arrival) or rapid at-home antigen test (24 hours prior to arrival) before returning to campus. All students who have received their COVID test should upload proof of a negative test result—or proof of having COVID within the past 90 days—to UHSConnect. If you are unsure how to upload documents to UHSConnect, more information is available here.

Updated 1/26/2022

What options are there for online learning beginning in February?

While in-person instruction resumes on Monday, January 31, we expect there will be a small number of international students who may arrive a little late due to travel issues.  Therefore, we are asking instructors to provide an online option for these international students for an additional week, but after February 7 we expect all students to be on campus.  Domestic students and international students who are already in the United States are expected to return to in-person classes on Monday, January 31.

As we have previously communicated, we expect that students will continue to require short periods of quarantine or isolation throughout the remainder of the semester should they get exposed to the virus.  Instructors should make plans to provide additional flexibility, as needed, to students who are ordered to quarantine or isolate at any time this spring.

Updated 1/26/2022

Will masks be distributed?

As has been the case from the beginning of the pandemic, surgical masks will continue to be available for everyone at the Officer’s Desk in Lowry Hall.  In addition, ESM has purchased a supply of KN95 masks that will be made available to our community at the following locations:

  • ESM Faculty and Staff – Welcome Center in Lowry Hall (faculty masks will be placed in mailboxes)
  • ESM Students – Student Living Center front desk
  • ECMS Faculty – ECMS Office, 3rd floor of Messinger Hall

At this time, it is necessary to limit our KN95 mask distribution to just one complimentary mask per individual.  Please note that these masks are readily available through pharmacies and online outlets, such as Amazon.

Updated 1/7/2022

Will there for room and board adjustments for January?

Room and board charges will be adjusted on a pro-rated basis for students affected by the request to delay returning to campus, and financial aid will not be reduced. The University will apply the pro-rated amount to student accounts once the official return-to-campus date is determined; no action is needed on the part of students and their families at this time.

Updated 1/7/2022

What will access be to Eastman Facilities in January?

Our facilities will remain open during this time, but students should expect limited in-person services as many faculty and staff will be working remotely.  Additionally, the practice rooms will remain open, but we are asking students to limit their time making music with others.  Given that the Omicron variant is so contagious, we are asking everyone to make smart choices about gathering in groups of any size.

As of right now, we expect the Sibley Music Library and the Eastman Media Lab to remain open and maintain their regular hours.

Updated 1/7/2022

How will student work be affected in January?

Students should not make plans to return for campus just for an on-campus job.  We are awaiting guidance from Student Employment, but we hope students will be able to continue their work online if the job lends itself to remote work.  All other student employees should expect to hear from the supervisors with a plan to resume working once we have the all-clear to return to campus.

All graduate students will receive a separate communication with additional information as soon as it is available.

Updated 1/7/2022

Who is best contact for questions about access or item retrieval, etc?

Requests or questions regarding access or item retrieval from SLC, etc, should be sent to and someone will get back to you quickly.

Updated 1/7/2022

Is Basic Needs Hub available should I need assistance?

We understand the hardship this rapid transition places on some students, so if you are in need of additional support please submit a request through the University’s Basic Needs Hub.  The hub provides urgent, essential student necessities, such as food, clothing, housing, and access to academic tools, and we are usually able to respond very quickly to any requests.

Updated 1/7/2022

What is the booster Mandate for students?

For the spring 2022 semester, as a condition of enrollment all students must receive a COVID-19 booster when they become eligible. Eligibility is determined by CDC guidance, and all students currently eligible must submit proof of their booster shot by February 1, 2022, and instructions for sharing this information will be announced shortly.  Students who are not yet eligible will have 30 days from becoming eligible to receive their booster shot.  Anyone with a previously approved medical or religious exemptions will continue to be exempt, and all other are expected to receive a booster to remain enrolled at the University.

Updated 1/5/2022

What is the masking policy for fall for ensembles or chamber music groups?

All members of an ensemble or chamber music group must wear a mask and, if appropriate, a bell cover.  Musicians who play a wind instrument will be expected to cut a small slit in their mask to allow for their mouthpiece, but this slit must be modest so that the majority of the mask is left intact.  The sides of the mouth and chin must remain covered by the mask at all times.

Updated 1/5/2022

What is the masking policy for lessons?

All individuals (students and teachers) must be masked at all times during individual lessons.

Updated 8/19/2021

What Physical Distancing Requirements are there for fall?

There is no physical distancing requirement for musicians who play a non-aerosol producing instrument (strings, percussion, and keyboard instruments), regardless of vaccination status.

There is no physical distancing requirement for vaccinated musicians who play an aerosol producing instrument (brass, woodwinds, and voice).

Unvaccinated musicians who play an aerosol producing instrument must be distanced at least 6’ from others at all times.

Updated 8/19/2021

What is the practice room policy?

We will revert to our pre-COVID practice room policies for all students.  When alone in a room, fully vaccinated students may remove their mask when practicing.  However, students with an approved exemption to the University’s vaccine requirement must leave their mask on at all times – even when practicing alone in a room.  Additionally, unvaccinated woodwind and brass students must leave their bell covers on as well while practicing.



Updated 8/2/2021

What is the University’s Vaccine Requirement?

Updated 8/2/2021

If I am unvaccinated, do I need to have a mask or use a bell cover?

Unvaccinated musicians, regardless of instrument, must wear a mask and bell cover (if applicable) at all times.  The only exception is if an unvaccinated musician is alone in a practice room, as they may remove their mask and bell cover in this case.  Vaccinated musicians may perform without a mask and bell cover but may choose to wear them if they have concerns about their safety.

Updated 8/2/2021

Is physical distancing required for strings, percussion, and keyboard instruments?

For musicians playing non-aerosol producing instrument (strings, percussion, and keyboard instruments), no physical distancing is required regardless of vaccination status.

Updated 8/2/2021

Is physical distancing required for brass, woodwind, and voice)?

For musicians who produce aerosols (brass, woodwind, and voice), unvaccinated musicians must be distanced at least 6’ from others at all times (e.g. ensembles, chamber music, private lessons, other performance or practice scenarios). Vaccinated musicians have no distancing requirement while performing or practicing.

Updated 8/2/2021

Is downtime still needed in between rehearsals and performances?

No downtime or air exchange is required between rehearsals and performances regardless of whether unvaccinated musicians are using the space.

Updated 8/2/2021

If I am unvaccinated, are there certain practice rooms and rehearsals spaces I should use?

Unvaccinated students will be restricted to specific practice rooms and rehearsal spaces.  Practice rooms will be set aside for unvaccinated students, and these rooms will follow the same safety protocols that were in place last year.  These rules include the requirement that the students sign out their practice rooms in advance, that there be 30 minutes of downtime between practice sessions, and that an individual student occupy the room for a maximum of 2 hours.  Unvaccinated students may be unmasked in a practice room if they are alone, but if another individual enters the space then masks must be worn along with bell covers, if applicable.  In the designated unvaccinated rehearsal spaces, all students, faculty coaches, and/or collaborative pianists – regardless of vaccination status – must wear a mask, maintain 6’ of distance, limit music-making to 30 minutes for aerosol-producing instruments or 60 minutes for non-aerosol producing instruments, and ensure that there is 30 minutes of downtime in between sessions.

There are no additional restrictions on unvaccinated musicians beyond masking and, if applicable, distancing.  Otherwise, unvaccinated musicians may perform in all ensembles alongside their vaccinated colleagues.



University of Rochester's CARE Network

The University of Rochester’s CARE Network enables members of the University community to help each other! You can express their concern about a person, incident, or issue by submitting one of the following reports online:

  • CARE Referral
  • Bias-Related Incident Report
  • Community Concern Report

Making a referral or submitting a report initiates a review process and/or coordinated response involving the appropriate individuals, staff, and offices. For report forms and other information about CARE, go to


**Any additional questions regarding Safety and PPE should be directed to:
Kevin Gibson, Executive Director of Operations

**Any additional questions regarding Residential Life should be directed to:
Robert Bones, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs