COVID Protocol for Eastman School of Music

updated August 18, 2021

In addition to the University of Rochester’s the general face-masking requirement, the Eastman School of Music has implemented the following music-making protocols for its students, employees, and visitors for the 2021–22 academic year. As guests of the institution, all conference attendees are expected to comply with these protocols.

Physical Distancing

  • 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.


  • 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.
  • The conductor/coach of an ensemble may be unmasked when leading rehearsals as long as they remain 6’ away from all members of the ensemble.  If the layout of the room prevents the conductor/coach from maintaining appropriate distance then a mask must be worn.  We will not be able to accommodate requests for a new room assignment solely to meet this requirement.
  • For performances and dress rehearsals ONLY, a musician may be unmasked in the following situations:
    • The musician is performing alone on stage,
    • The musician is performing on stage with a pianist (the pianist must be masked and the soloist must be at least 6’ away), or
    • The musician is a soloist with an ensemble (the ensemble members must be masked and the soloist must be at least 6’ away).

Practice Rooms

  • When alone in a room, those who are fully vaccinated may remove their mask when practicing.  However, those with an approved exemption to the vaccine requirement must leave their mask on at all times – even when practicing alone in a room.  Additionally, unvaccinated woodwind and brass performers must leave their bell covers on as well while practicing.

For additional information regarding health and safety guidelines, please visit the University of Rochester’s online COVID-19 Resource Center.