John J. Cali School of Music's Leshowitz Hall.

Fall 2020 Restart FAQs

Return to Campus Guidance for Instruction

This short guide contains recommended health and safety protocols to put in place when John J Cali School of Music begins its Fall semester. We anticipate that these guidelines will evolve as the changing severity of the pandemic and our ability to respond to it allow us to move through the phases of our return-to-campus framework, subject to state and local regulations and our own public health assessment.

Please make sure you fully read MSU’s Red Hawk Restart Plan found here. 


Campus Density and Social Distancing
  • Social distancing is important for everyone—and required by the university—especially to help protect people who are at higher risk of getting very sick. Everyone on campus is expected to follow social distancing practices. Specific recommendations for applied instruction are detailed below by discipline.
  • Please refer to MSU Restart Plan Pages 5-13 for general safeguards
  • All rooms will be designated with signs indicating maximum capacity for specific instructional use.
  • Cali Administration and staff will be onsite during the semester
Universal Face Coverings
  • Montclair State University will require all students, faculty, staff and visitors to wear cloth face coverings in all public and shared spaces and whenever it is difficult to maintain a minimum of 6 feet between people. Some limited exceptions will be permitted as described below. The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads through small droplets that are exhaled. A person might be infected and not know it. By wearing a face covering, a person is helping to protect every other person with whom they come in contact. We are all in this together and need to help our entire community be as safe as possible.
Hand Hygiene

Washing hands with soap and water mechanically removes pathogens and dissolves the oily membrane on a virus which, in effect, causes the virus to expel its contents. Laboratory data demonstrate that alcohol-based hand rub formulations with the recommended alcohol concentrations will inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19. Therefore, the University strongly encourages all students, employees and visitors to practice enhanced and rigorous hand hygiene. Through signage, training and digital information, the campus community will be reminded to wash your hands often, and especially:

  • After you have been in a public place and touched an item or surface that may be frequently touched by other people, such as door handles, tables, desktops, or electronic registers/screens.
  • Before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Before, during, and after preparing food.
  • Before eating food.
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound.
  • After using the toilet.
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet.
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste.
  • After touching garbage.

The CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water whenever possible because handwashing reduces the amounts of all types of germs and chemicals on hands. If soap and water aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer with a final concentration of at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol, which will inactivate viruses that are similar to the virus that causes COVID-19. Keep in mind that hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy and might not remove harmful chemicals like pesticides and heavy metals.

Good hand hygiene using soap and water has five steps:

  1. Wet hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of the hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  1. Scrub hands for at least 20 seconds. Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  2. Rinse hands under clean, running water.
  3. Dry hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

If using sanitizer or alcohol-based hand rubs:

  1. Read the label to learn the correct amount of product to apply.
  2. Apply the product to the palm of one hand.
  3. Rub hands together.
  4. Rub the product on all the surfaces of hands and fingers until hands are dry. This should take around 20 seconds. The University will provide ample supplies of soap and paper towels or drying machines in restrooms. It will position hand sanitizer stations throughout all buildings on campus, including outside of bathrooms and elevators, to ensure easy access and frequent use. Stations will be positioned at a height that ensures young children cannot accidentally consume the sanitizer. Stations will be refilled regularly with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that meets CDC criteria.
Cleaning and Sanitizing
  • Housekeeping will clean surfaces once daily, as well as disinfecting of high-touch surfaces in common areas once daily

Ensemble and practice rooms:

  • Routine daily cleaning by Housekeeping
  • Facilities will provide spray bottles of disinfectant and towels or disinfecting wipes; Faculty and students are responsible for wiping high-touch surfaces between lessons.

More info found in MSU Restart Plan pages 13-17

Practice Rooms and Pianos

***Large rooms for private instruction may be reserved by faculty on a weekly basis every Sunday through Linsay Setzer.  Small practice rooms are available to students on a first come/first serve basis and will not be reserved***

  • Routine daily cleaning by Housekeeping
  • Each practice room will be supplied with disinfecting spray and a towel or wipes. Students will be responsible for wiping down surfaces, music stands, chairs, doorknobs, light switches, and other high-touch areas before and after use.
  • Housekeeping will disinfect each space daily
  • It will be the student’s responsibility to clean keys in Practice Rooms and Faculty’s responsibility in Studios, and instructors and Piano Maintenance staff will ensure that keys are wiped down after each use.
  • Facilities will provide cleaning supplies and necessary signage for cleaning instructions.
Teaching studios and Office spaces

***Large faculty studios may be shared for teaching and scheduled by the faculty member in collaboration with their colleagues and communicated to Linsay Setzer– our will not schedule lessons in faculty offices***

  • Routine daily cleaning by Housekeeping
  • Facilities will provide spray bottles of disinfectant and a towel to occupied offices.

More info found in MSU Restart Plan pages 13-17

Ventilation/Mechanical Systems
  • Rooms G55 and 201 will be outfitted with UV Sanitizers in air ducts
Private Instruction

Private lessons for Strings, guitar, harp, percussion, piano, and composition and use of Recording Studios

  • Masking for all participants
  • Teaching studio must accommodate social distancing of 6 ft (7.5 ft on-center)
  • Lessons of no more than 60 minutes
  • 30-minute room vacancy between each lesson to allow for adequate air exchange
  • Daily disinfection following MSU recommendations for classrooms
  • Faculty/students responsible for cleaning of music stands, piano keyboards, and other surfaces via disinfectant wipes before and after each lesson
Private Instruction for Wind and Brass
  • Masking and face shield required for teacher and accompanist. Masking also required for the student and only to be removed when playing their instrument.
  • Teaching studio must accommodate social distancing of 15 ft
  • Lessons of no more than 30 minutes
  • 1-hour room vacancy between each lesson to allow for adequate air exchange
  • Daily disinfection per MSU recommendations
  • Faculty/students responsible for cleaning of music stands, piano keyboards, and other surfaces via disinfectant wipes before and after each lesson
  • Practice water key etiquette. Drape water valve and collect condensate in towel or WindSorb
  • Disinfect towel/WindSorb after use
  • Instrument bell should not be directed towards others
Private Instruction for Singers

Four possible scenarios:

  • Teacher, students, and accompanist face-to-face with plexiglass (optional) and HVAC UV filters (G55 and 201 only)
  • Utilize 2 rooms linked via low-latency systems for all applied lessons;Teacher and accompanist will be in one room, masked at all times, at 6 ft social distance; student singer in another room, unmasked
  • Student and accompanist on campus; teacher remote
  • Lessons completely remote
  • Lessons of no more than 50 minutes with 10 minute break in UV HVAC rooms
  • Lessons of no more than 30 minutes with ½ hour break in other rooms
  • ½ hour vacancy for the room used by unmasked singer to allow for adequate air exchange
  • 30 minutes room vacancy in the faculty/accompanist room with any changeover in personnel
  • Daily disinfection via disinfectant down per MSU recommendations
  • Faculty/students responsible for cleaning of music stands, piano keyboards, and other surfaces via disinfectant wipes before and after each lesson
Private Instruction for Ensemble Classes

Instrumental Ensembles, Repertoire and Studio Classes

**Bands will rehearse in the Red Hawk Parking Deck; Orchestra will rehearse in 201 and G55**

  • Masking required for all individuals. Masking removed or altered, if appropriate and allowed by current mitigation practices, by brass and wind students only when playing their instrument.
  • Social distancing of 6 ft (7.5 ft on-center markings) for strings, piano, percussion and 15 ft for brass and woodwinds.
  • Utilize plexi shields in lieu of face shields for designated brass and woodwinds.
  • Brass and woodwinds will be required to conform with all current mitigation practices (bell coverings, key coverings, water key practices, etc) as designated by the most current research. These practices may evolve over time.
  • For indoor rehearsals, individuals are limited to no more than 10 individuals per room (conductor/coach plus 9 students), regardless of room size
  • Indoor rehearsals of no more than 60 minutes in length
  • 30-minute room vacancy between rehearsals for ensembles that remain fully masked, and 1-hour room vacancy between rehearsals where wind or brass players are included to allow for adequate air exchange; this may be altered when in parking deck
  • Daily disinfection per MSU recommendations
  • Faculty/students responsible for cleaning of music stands, piano keyboards, and other surfaces via disinfectant wipes before and after each lesson

Bands specific:

  • No school music stands (with only a few exceptions) will be used during outdoor rehearsals. Each student is required to provide their own music stand for all rehearsals and performances.
  • No school chairs (with only a few exceptions) will be used during outdoor rehearsals and performances. All students are required to stand during all rehearsals and performances, except in the case of a physical limitation.
  • All individual parts will be distributed electronically via pdf copies. Each student is responsible for printing/bring all music and/or use their own devices to view music during all rehearsals and performances.

Choral Ensembles

**Chorale and Singers will rehearse in the Red Hawk Parking Deck and the Ampitheater; chorale meeting with no singing involved will occur in G55, 201, Leshowitz**

Chorale:  HawkLIVE with 5 modules taught simultaneously by 5 faculty. Students in groups of 20.

  • G55, 201 & Lesh for F2F component of teaching with livestreaming
  • 100% online for 2 of 3 modules

University Singers:  HawkLIVE with F2F rehearsal retreats

  • HawkLIVE during regular class times utilizing G55 & one other Chapin Hall room if we need to accommodate more than 20 non-singing students F2F.
  • RHD Level 6 for undercover tutti rehearsing
  • Amphitheatre for tutti outdoor rehearsing

ALL F2F instruction for Choirs will involve use of Singers Resonance Mask.

Indoor singing: max 10 people with masks @ 12 feet for max 30 minutes.

Outdoor singing: max 70 people with masks @ 6 feet for 75-90 minute periods with breaks as needed for hydration.

  • 30-minute room vacancy between each rehearsal to all for adequate air exchange
  • Daily disinfection per MSU recommendations
  • Faculty/students responsible for cleaning of music stands, piano keyboards, and other surfaces via disinfectant wipes before and after each lesson
Applied Lessons and Practice Room Policy for AY 2020-2021 Classes

It is strongly recommended that applied lessons are conducted in-person, unless both the instructor and student agree they are comfortable conducting virtual lessons. Both the instructor and student are responsible for following the COVID safety protocols outlined by the University and the Cali School.

What spaces will be available?
Large classrooms and rehearsal spaces will be utilized for in-person applied lessons in lieu of the smaller practice rooms. No practice rooms will be scheduled for applied lessons except for special circumstances.

Rooms will be available for scheduling 7 days a week, between the hours of 8am-8pm.
The rooms available for scheduling are:


*Due to size, room 206 will only be available for piano and string lessons.

How can I schedule a room?
An initial survey will be emailed to all full time, part time, and adjunct faculty members on August 10th, 2020. This survey will ask if you intend to utilize the above spaces for applied lessons. If you select YES, you will be added to a weekly email list for scheduling. If you select NO, you will not be added to the weekly emails.
If you initially select NO, but want to be added to the email list at a later time, please send an email to Linsay Setzer and she will update the list.
Linsay will send an email every Monday detailing the availability of each room for the following week. Room reservations will occur on a first come first serve basis. All requests must be in by Thursday night as the schedule will be made final on Friday.

Timeline Example:

Monday – Sept. 14th: The availability for the week of 9/21-9/25 will be sent out
Thursday – Sept. 17th: Final day for room requests
Friday – Sept. 18th: Schedule is finalized and confirmation emails sent to those with rooms reserved

Rooms can only be reserved on a weekly basis. Due to the constant flow of information, updates, & changes surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, semester-long requests will not be honored. If you require a regularly scheduled space, you must speak to your coordinator.

What are the safety protocols for using these spaces?
Please refer to the Cali School’s Return to Campus Guidance for Instruction

Can private studios be used for instruction?
Studios belonging to full time faculty members will not be scheduled through staff. If a FT faculty member wishes to make their studio available for instruction, they are responsible for the scheduling of their space.


Questions regarding the Cali restart plan may be directed to:

Anthony Mazzocchi