Covid-19 FAQs

Graphic for the Schulich School of Music Covid-19 FAQ page

Last updated on November 24, 2020

Please note that the Schulich School of Music facilities are currently closed to the public. Some students, faculty, and staff will be granted limited access, for instance to access their in-person lesson or a practice room. Details can be found below as well as in your McGill email.

We would like to applaud the work of all our students, faculty, and administration who have demonstrated strength and perseverance while adapting to our new circumstances. We wish you the best this academic year!

Important resources to stay up to date:

  • McGill University’s COVID-19 webpage remains the most up to date source of information for the McGill community. Resources available to students, instructors, and staff are available here as well an FAQ section.
  • Schulich’s COVID-19 FAQ webpage has been developed to share the information specific to the Schulich community providing complimentary support for Schulich students, faculty, and administrative staff. It will be updated regularly.
  • Your McGill email inbox, where updates are sent regularly from the University as well as the Schulich School of Music.

Answers to your questions

Please see McGill’s COVID-19 Protocol page for information on identifying symptoms, numbers to call if you have flu-like symptoms, and where to find support if you are feeling distressed or overwhelmed. Disclosure of exposure or illness is required in order to safeguard the health and safety and restrict the outbreak in the McGill community.

We encourage you to stay connected, but we count on all of you to exercise the utmost responsibility in supporting the massive efforts to limit the spread of the virus.

Does Montreal’s COVID-19 alert level affect the current access to the Schulich School of Music?

As of Thursday, October 8, McGill University will be operating at a Red Alert level, consistent with the city of Montreal.  

In-person activities that can continue: 

  • Approved in-person lessons and sound recording classes 
  • Assigned access to practice rooms 
  • Scheduled recitals and exams 
  • Rehearsals directly related to an upcoming recital/exam 
  • Research activities with previously approved resumption plans 
  • Scheduled webcast faculty concerts 
  • Essential administrative staff services (your supervisor will confirm) 

In-person activities that cannot continue: 

  • Research involving human participants, including performers 
  • Visits to campus by anyone other than current students, faculty, and staff 
  • Events, including student association activities 

We strongly urge our community to work remotely if you can. If you must come to the music buildings for one of the approved activities, please adhere strictly to safety protocols, abide by the scheduled time for your in-person activity, and do not linger in the buildings. 
 

Protocols for staff

Prior to entering campus, every employee needs to submit the self-assessment form in Minerva.

Employees who have received a clinical diagnosis of COVID-19 must consult McGill’s COVID-19 prevention page and follow the directives under What to do if a McGill member receives a COVID-19 diagnosis? The Disability Management unit (HR) will contact you to document your condition. 

All information will be treated confidentially.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, have tested positive, or have been in contact with a case, you must follow the Government and University guidelines. A new McGill webpage provides information on what to do if you have symptoms, think you may have been exposed, have travelled recently, or have tested positive.

Protocols for students

Students who have tested positive for (COVID-19) should fill in the self-reporting form for students found in Minerva.

Information collected will be kept safely and confidentially: any personal information will not be disclosed unless as required by law or with the student’s express consent.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, have tested positive, or have been in contact with a case, you must follow the Government and University guidelines. A new McGill webpage provides information on what to do if you have symptoms, think you may have been exposed, have travelled recently, or have tested positive.

Am I required to wear a mask when at Schulich?

Yes. All permitted individuals on campus are required to wear a mask or face covering at all times. A few exceptions are: 

1. Instructors are allowed to remove their mask to teach, provided they remain at least 2 meters away from others. 

2. Masks may be removed to eat or drink, provided you are at least 2 meters away from others. 

3. Masks may be removed if you are alone in a room such as a closed office. 

4. Music-specific exceptions, following the CNESST guidelines for the performing arts

  • Woodwind and brass players and singers are exempted from wearing a mask during their lessons. 
  • In performance situations such as practical examinations, recitals and concerts, performers are not required to wear a mask during their performance; they should do so at all times when moving in and out of the performance situation. 

What safety measures have been put in place for in-person teaching (practical instruction only)?

Each studio, classroom, and large ensemble room has been designated by size for two instrumental categories of in-person instruction:

  • Category 1: Strings, Keyboard Instruments and Percussion lessons
  • Category 2: Woodwinds, Brass, and Voice lessons

All in-person lessons have been booked by the Building Director’s Office for the Fall term and rooms have been booked according to these categories. Rooms being used for Category 2 teaching will be equipped with large plexiglass shields.

Once in the teaching studio, faculty and students are asked to exercise their own judgement and be respectful of each other’s preference regarding masks and setup. Teacher and student are always required to maintain at least 2-meter distancing. For Woodwinds, Brass and Voice, a minimum of 3 meters is recommended. When singing or playing with a keyboardist, students are asked to not face the keyboard player (designated Category 2 rooms only).

It is the responsibility of instructors and students to clean surfaces with which they have come in contact during a lesson. Cleaning supplies and instructions will be made available in each teaching room.

All members of our community are expected to abide by provincial and University policies at all times with regards to precautionary measures. We also all need to exercise good judgement and common sense with regards to engaging in any activity that might put ourselves and others at risk, and, within the parameters of approved precautionary measures, to be respectful of each other’s degree of comfort with respect to transmission risk.

For more information on ventilation, please see the next question.

What steps are being taken to improve the ventilation in the music buildings?

McGill’s Facilities Management and Ancillary Services is closely following the recommendations of several organizations including Public Health Canada and the Institut national de la santé publique. They have increased the air circulation throughout the buildings, and you can find more information on their HVAC operations page.

Many of the rooms currently designated for in-person brass, woodwind and voice teaching are equipped with an independent HVAC system (Wirth Opera Studio, C-201, C-204, C-209, C-310, Redpath-202). Rooms attached to the central HVAC systems of the Strathcona and Elizabeth Wirth Music Buildings and that are being utilized for in-person brass, woodwind and voice teaching (C-301, C-304, C-412, C-413, E-109) have been equipped with an air purifier as an additional precautionary measure.

How will McGill University and the Schulich School of Music ensure that people with access to the building are following the safety guidelines?

It is important for each individual to understand their role and responsibilities in ensuring a safe environment. The University will continue in our communication to reinforce the need for each member of the community to be an agent of safety, not only by their personal behaviours, but also by helping and reminding others to respect the health and safety directives.

During the Fall semester, several McGill employees will act as Safety Ambassadors. They will be doing rounds in our facilities, with a role of helping individuals follow the directives, and reminding individuals of these directives. In cases where more serious issues arise, security will also be onsite and the procedures for reporting non-compliance can be found here.

Failure to comply with the safety guidelines could result in reduced access, exclusion from the building, and/or disciplinary measures.

Are administrative services available to Schulich students and faculty?

Some staff members will return to campus part-time for front-facing services.

  • The box office, located at the entrance of the Strathcona Music Building, will be open for general inquiries weekdays from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
  • The building director’s office (E223) will be open weekdays from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
  • Additionally, several units will be available for online appointments, please see the list of administrative contacts for more information.

As per the recommendation of the University and Quebec government, administrative employees will continue to work from home until a progressive return is possible. Regular meetings are taking place online between University leaders, the Schulich Executive Committee, and administrative staff.

Administrative contacts

Administrative services are available during regular business hours and emails are being monitored regularly. Until further notice, email is the best way to contact staff members. Below is a list of resource accounts to contact each unit:

  • Admissions: undergraduateadmissions.music [at] mcgill.ca OR graduateadmissions.music [at] mcgill.ca
  • Communications and Production: publicity.music [at] mcgill.ca
  • Finance: elise.quinn [at] mcgill.ca
  • Graduate Studies: graduatestudies.music [at] mcgill.ca or Book an appointment with Graduate Studies
  • Music Performance: performance.music [at] mcgill.ca
  • Music Research: research.music [at] mcgill.ca
  • Student Affairs: studentaffairs.music [at] mcgill.ca or Book an appointment with Student affairs
  • Building Director’s Office: buildingdirector.music [at] mcgill.ca 
  • Visit the McGill Conservatory website for the most up to date information or to book an appointment online.

See a complete list of administrative contacts here

To allow students to begin and continue their academic path no matter where they are in September, courses are being offered through remote delivery platforms. The safety of our students and staff is our priority.

Will international graduate students receive funding packages even if they choose to pursue remote instruction from their home country?

Yes, these students will receive their stipend during the Fall, even if they are studying remotely. Please contact graduatestudies.music [at] mcgill.ca as they have been given instructions on how to disburse the stipend. More information on graduate and postdoctoral studies can be found here.

How does COVID-19 affect ongoing research?

As of Thursday, October 8, McGill University will be operating at a Red Alert level, consistent with the city of Montreal. Research involving human participants, including performers, is one of the in-person activities that cannot continue.  

Will all courses be delivered?

Every course offered must be deliverable remotely to allow students to progress in their program, regardless of their physical presence on campus. Courses that cannot be delivered remotely will not be offered. The in-person teaching that has been approved by the University’s Emergency Operations Committee will equally be available online. (Updated June 23, 2020)

Will practical instruction take place in-person in Fall 2020?

As of Thursday, October 8, McGill University will be operating at a Red Alert level, consistent with the city of Montreal. Approved in-person lessons and sound recording classes are two of the in-person activities that can continue. 

The School’s application to request in-person practical instruction (lessons and voice coachings) and access to the practice rooms has been approved by the University’s Emergency Operations Committee for Fall 2020, contingent on favourable public health conditions. Students who do not have an instrument at home (pianists, percussionists, organists, harpsichordists) will be given priority access to practice rooms, as well as to those unable to practice in their place of residence. All teaching activities and practice time will be scheduled centrally. Visit our “COVID-19 and your health” tab to learn what safety measures have been put in place.

As a reminder, all courses offered in Fall 2020 must be deliverable remotely. We recognize that not every student and faculty may be able to be present on campus in the fall term, as a result of travel restrictions or individual health concerns. Those who are unable to be present on campus will have the option of online lessons.

Read Schulich’s “PDF icon Brief Guide for Remote Practical Instruction” compiled by Jennie Ferris and Prof. Douglas McNabney

Will large ensembles take place?

Most large ensembles will not be offered in the Fall term. This includes the McGill Symphony Orchestra, McGill Wind Orchestra, McGill Contemporary Ensemble, McGill Baroque Orchestra, and all choirs. Opera McGill and all jazz ensembles will be offered remotely. The School has developed a set of courses suited to each area that will enable students to actively engage with matters relating to ensemble playing and will allow students to maintain regular progression in their programs.

Refer to our Ensembles page for the most up-to-date information on large ensembles and course replacements.

How will small ensembles be organized?

Most small ensembles courses will not be offered in their usual format, but ensemble playing will be addressed in a set of remotely delivered ensemble skills courses tailored to each area. All students connecting remotely will be able to complete all requirements. To the extent possible, actual in-person collaborations may be arranged. Jazz combos will be offered remotely and will focus on recording projects using current online platforms.

Refer to our Ensembles page for the most up-to-date information on large ensembles and course replacements.

Will recitals presented in Fall 2020 be open to the public?

Recitals will not be open to the public, but students will have the option to webcast. 

Will concerts take place?

The Schulich School of Music has planned a concert season including student recitals with performances available online. Please view our events calendar for more details.

How will undergraduate placement exams for theory, musicianship, and keyboard proficiency take place?

All placement exams will be delivered online. Detailed updates about dates and times will soon be provided on our Undergraduate Music Placement Exams webpage.

Are incoming undergraduate students able to defer their degree?

Deferrals are not permitted for incoming undergraduate students, though some flexibility may be considered on a very limited case by case basis. Some non-renewable entrance scholarships may be deferred to Winter 2021 (pro-rated) and to Fall 2021.

There is a limit to the number of deferrals that can be granted, subject to available space and student flow in specific programs. A large number of deferrals may adversely impact new applicants in the subsequent admission cycle.

Students, including international and those concerned about travel restrictions may also wish to consider part-time status for Fall 2020. Studies in academic subjects can be undertaken remotely and practical instruction and ensembles can be delayed until Winter 2021 or later. However, please keep in mind funding agencies requirements for full-time status and requirements for in-course scholarship consideration (27 graded credits per year).

Find more information on undergraduate deferrals.

Are incoming graduate and postdoctoral students able to defer their degree?

Under exceptional circumstances, admission to a particular semester can be considered for deferral. Normally, the deferral period granted will not exceed one academic year (two terms). This can be considered only if the student has not registered. If the student has already registered, no deferral can be granted. The student must withdraw from the University and apply for admission to a later term. If granted deferral, a student may also defer some Entrance Scholarships (pro-rated for Winter 2021 admission).

Find more information on graduate and postdoctoral deferrals.

What is the policy on leaves of absence for current undergraduate students?

A leave of absence may be granted to current undergraduate students for reasons related to:

  • Maternity or parenting
  • Personal or family health
  • Professional development
  • Required military service

Such a leave must be requested on a term-by-term basis and may be granted for a period of up to 52 weeks. A leave of absence request should be submitted to the Student Affairs Office along with appropriate documentation. Find more information on undergraduate leaves of absence.

Students who are granted such a leave will have "leave of absence" recorded on their transcript. Students may NOT attend another university while on leave.

Note:

  • Personal objectives, such as travel or time off, and financial matters are not grounds for a leave of absence. 
  • Normally, a student shall be in Satisfactory Standing when requesting a leave of absence; exceptions may apply and will be determined by the faculty and, if applicable, the professional program.
  • Since students on a leave of absence pay no fees, the Student Services are not available; however, an opt-in option is available at the usual rate.
  • Students who are eligible for scholarship renewal will not have scholarship monies transferred to their account while they are on leave of absence but will maintain eligibility for renewal upon registration in subsequent terms.

What is the policy on leaves of absence for current graduate and postdoctoral students?

A leave of absence for current graduate and postdoctoral students may be granted for reasons such as:

  • Maternity or parenting
  • Personal or family health
  • Professional development
  • Required military service
  • Employment that precludes progress towards the degree

A leave must be requested on a term by term basis and may be granted for a period of up to 52 weeks. Students and postdocs must submit a request by completing the appropriate  web form to their department along with supporting documentation justifying the leave.

The department shall forward the request for approval to Enrolment Services, Management of Academic Records. A status of “leave of absence” will display on the records of students and postdocs during the specified period of the authorized leave. It remains the student's responsibility to verify their own record; in particular, as it pertains to term and course registration to ensure that the accurate information is reflected.

Renewable Scholarships can be carried forward during a leave of absence.

Find more information on graduate leaves of absence.

What is the Schulich’s School of Music withdrawal policy for undergraduate students?

Students who withdraw (or do not register) must apply for readmission and re-audition if absent more than 2 terms. Scholarships will not be renewed for students who withdraw and later apply for readmission.

Readmission after withdrawal is not guaranteed. Due to COVID 19, enrolment fluctuations may lead to possible limited program space at the time of readmission. If students are withdrawing for reasons that align with the Leave of Absence policy, then they should request a Leave of Absence to ensure their ability to re-enrol. If students are withdrawing for reasons other than those covered by a Leave of Absence, we are unfortunately not able to guarantee their readmission.

While it is our intention to accommodate future requests for readmission to the best of our ability, and it is important for students to be aware of the risks in a context where there is potential for heightened enrolment fluctuations due to COVID 19. We are not able to predict what might happen in coming months.

Find information on withdrawal policies for undergraduate students.

What is the Schulich’s School of Music withdrawal policy for graduate students?

Students who are considering withdrawing from the University are strongly encouraged to consult with their academic unit before making a final decision. The date the request for withdrawal is submitted is the official date of withdrawal. Students who do not register in a given term are subject to University withdrawal. If you wish to return to complete your program in a later term, you must submit a Request for Readmission. Master’s thesis and Doctoral students who interrupt their studies and are readmitted to the same program will be charged fees for the semesters they were absent. Scholarships and financial packages will not be carried forward for students who withdraw.

Find information on withdrawal policies for graduate students.

Are music buildings and their facilities accessible at this time?

As of Thursday, October 8, McGill University will be operating at a Red Alert level, consistent with the city of Montreal.  

In-person activities that can continue: 

  • Approved in-person lessons and sound recording classes 
  • Assigned access to practice rooms 
  • Scheduled recitals and exams 
  • Rehearsals directly related to an upcoming recital/exam 
  • Research activities with previously approved resumption plans 
  • Scheduled webcast faculty concerts 
  • Essential administrative staff services (your supervisor will confirm) 

In-person activities that cannot continue: 

  • Research involving human participants, including performers 
  • Visits to campus by anyone other than current students, faculty, and staff 
  • Events, including student association activities 

We strongly urge our community to work remotely if you can. If you must come to the music buildings for one of the approved activities, please adhere strictly to safety protocols, abide by the scheduled time for your in-person activity, and do not linger in the buildings. 

Can I remotely access software on the Marvin Duchow Music Library’s PC workstations?

Music students, faculty, and staff can now connect remotely to some of the Library’s PC workstations. Finale, Sibelius, Transcribe! and Dorico are available for remote access on certain machines. The service is available through McGill IT's AnyDesk Service. Off-campus users must be connected to the McGill VPN to access the site, and only one user may be signed into a given computer at a time. Note that certain functions of the programs might respond more slowly when used remotely.

For more information about the remote access service, please see the McGill Library announcement.

How do I access the music buildings?

As of Thursday, October 8, McGill University will be operating at a Red Alert level, consistent with the city of Montreal. Everyone is strongly urged to work remotely when possible. See the list of in-person activities that can and can’t continue in the first question under “Facilities and Equipment”. 

The music buildings are open with restricted card access, so you must have your McGill ID and a room reservation for in-person lessons, remote lessons or a practice room. Once your booking request has been approved, you will be granted card access. If you do not have an ID card, please follow these instructions:

McGill Students: New students should visit the Service Point website to book an appointment.

Staff: Guidelines for McGill staff members are accessible through the McGill Human Resources website

Other users: Students from Marianopolis or part-time instructors, for example, should email buildingdirector.music [at] mcgill.ca for an appointment to pick up a temporary access card.

The security agent or Safety Ambassador at the front entrance will open the door to the Strathcona Music building when you do not have an ID, please follow the instructions posted at 555 Sherbrooke West.

A new card reader has been added at 555a Sherbrooke for stairless entry, please email your request for card access to buildingdirector.music [at] mcgill.ca

How do I book a room for an extra lesson or rehearsal with an accompanist?

For the remainder of the Fall term, booking requests can be made using the online room booking system. In the description box please include your instrument, the name(s) of your student and/or accompanist (if applicable). Please indicate if you do not currently have card access to the building for practice or in-person lessons. All persons on campus must be accounted for and your instrument helps confirm the appropriate room size and equipment as well as the amount of time to leave between bookings.

Requests will be processed on a first come, first-served basis and can take up to 2 days to process during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Weekend booking requests will only be processed on Monday starting at 10 h, it is highly recommended to submit booking request as early as possible. Booking requests cannot be made over the phone.

How do I pick up keys for the room I’ve been assigned for in-person teaching?

Once your booking has been confirmed, instructors can pick up keys from the Building Director’s office (E223) open weekdays from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

How can I retrieve items from campus?

Any Schulich instructor, staff or student who has not requested to work or practice on campus may request temporary access by emailing buildingdirector.music [at] mcgill.ca

Will practice rooms be accessible during the Fall semester?

As of Thursday, October 8, McGill University will be operating at a Red Alert level, consistent with the city of Montreal. Assigned access to practice rooms is one of the in-person activities that can continue. 

Practice rooms are currently open. As a result of COVID-19, circulation in and out of the buildings will be strictly regulated (see above question). Unlike past years, all practice time this year will need to be scheduled and there will be no unregulated access to practice rooms.

The eligibility criteria for practice rooms in the Fall semester (September 1-December 22):

  • Everyone who can practice from their home or residence is requested to do so
  • Priority access will be given to students who do not have an instrument at home, or cannot practice where they live
  • Wearing a mask is always required when entering, circulating in, or exiting the building (enter through Strathcona Music at 555 Sherbrooke West and follow signage in the building; exit from the Wirth Music Building)
  • Only one person at a time is permitted to ride in elevators; follow directional signage in staircases
  • Congregating in hallways is not allowed 
  • There should only be one person in each practice room. You cannot rehearse with a colleague or accompanist in a practice room.
  • Non-compliance with guidelines will result in immediate revocation of practice privileges

Access to the building requires a valid McGill ID card. New students must get their McGill ID activated before entering Schulich’s buildings.

Booking requests can be made using the online room booking system. In the description box please include your instrument and the name of your accompanist (if applicable). Please indicate if you do not currently have card access to the building for practice or in-person lessons. All persons on campus must be accounted for and your instrument helps determine the appropriate room size and equipment as well as the amount of time to leave between bookings. 

Requests will be processed on a first come, first-served basis and can take up to 2 days to process during regular business hours Monday through Friday.  Weekend booking requests will only be processed on Monday starting at 10 h, it is highly recommended to submit booking request as early as possible. Booking requests cannot be made over the phone. 

Requests will be processed on a first-come first-served basis.

Can lockers be accessed at this time?

To register for a locker for 2020-2021 contact lockers.music [at] mcgill.ca
To request access to retrieve or clear out items contact buildingdirector.music [at] mcgill.ca .

Are there study spaces on campus?

Yes, in collaboration with the libraries, McGill has re-imagined safe spaces on campus that are designed for quiet and individual study. More information and bookings can be found on the Study Hubs Website

Will students be fined for overdue library materials?

The Library has automatically renewed all check-out items that were originally due after March 1. All loans have been extended until January 4, 2021, and no fines will be accrued during the closure. Students are responsible for the materials they have during this time. Please visit McGill Libraries’ FAQ for more information.

How can I return books to the library?

Returns can be done in person or by mail. Please visit McGill Libraries’ FAQ for up to date information.

Is the music library open for pick-up?

Requested Music Library materials can now be picked up in the Wirth Lobby on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11 am – 2 pm. Library materials can be returned during the service hours as well. 

Library users must have their McGill ID to enter the Wirth Music Building Lobby. Please note that access for all other purposes is through the Strathcona Music Building only. Users will be asked to leave the Wirth Lobby after picking up or returning library materials. 

A limited selection of the Music Library’s AV equipment, which is being made available only to Schulich School of Music users, can also be borrowed as part of the service. 

Note that it is not possible to request materials directly at the Wirth Lobby. Books, scores, CDs and DVDs must be requested in advance through the Library Pickup form, and A/V equipment, through the equipment reservation form

Service details are available on the McGill Library Pickup Service page. 

How can I go about accessing information from McGill libraries?

All McGill Library branches, including the Music Library, are closed until further notice. Online access to many library materials remains available, and certain items are available through the Terrace Pickup Service. Music Library staff are available to answer your questions or to arrange one-on-one virtual consultations, and you may also chat with, email or text a McGill librarian. For more information, see the McGill Libraries FAQ page.

Information on McGill graduation and diplomas can be found on McGill’s regularly updated Convocation FAQ page.

How are the Schulich School of Music's Convocations being held?

Graduating students will be honoured by two Convocation ceremonies.

  1. In person ceremonies are postponed until Spring 2021, provided that government and local health authority recommendations allow us to gather safely at that time.
  2. McGill has also hosted virtual ceremonies for each Faculty for Spring and Fall 2020.
    Visit McGill's page on virtual ceremonies for more information.

How will travel for academic purposes (conferences, internships, etc) be affected?

In keeping with government directives, McGill has suspended all student travel outside Canada for internships, student exchanges, international mobility programs, competitions, or conferences. See the most up to date policies for University travel here. Staff and students can apply for exceptions for mission critical and time-sensitive travel through their Faculty Dean or unit head (associate vice-principal or higher).

See the most up to date policies for University travel here.

Where can international students find information about travel?

McGill’s International Student Services has a complete FAQ on travel related questions. Please refer to this page for more information.

Will international students moving to Montreal be required to self-isolate?

International students arriving from abroad for the semester or any community member returning from international travel will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in Canada, as per Canadian government directives. More information can be found on McGill’s International Student Services’ travel FAQ.

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