Covid-19 FAQs

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

Last updated on April 3, 2020

The Schulich School of Music of McGill University will be closed until further notice. 

Following the directives of the Government of Quebec and with the health and safety of our students, staff, faculty, and dedicated audience in mind, the Schulich School of Music will be closed until further notice. All classes are currently suspended until March 29 and will resume remotely on March 30.  

  • All concerts and public events scheduled by the Schulich School of Music are cancelled effective Friday, March 13 at noon and until further notice. (Ticket refund information
  • McGill University’s coronavirus webpage remains the most up to date source of information for the McGill community. This webpage has been developed to share frequently asked questions pertaining to the Schulich community and to provide additional support for Schulich students, faculty, and administrative staff. It will be updated regularly. 

 Other important resources to stay up to date

The Schulich School of Music remains committed to providing support and clarity to our community. We hope that in addition to the updates and FAQs provided by McGill University, we can stay connected and help navigate you through this period.

Answers to your questions

Please see McGill’s Coronavirus FAQ 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.

Protocols for staff

Staff members who have been infected by or exposed to COVID-19 and who work on campus to provide necessary functions should fill in this self-declaration form as soon as possible. Employees who are not working on campus no longer need to complete the self-declaration form.

Employees who have received a clinical diagnosis of COVID-19 must complete the the confirmation of illness form and send it by email to disability.hr [at] mcgill.ca. The Disability Management unit (HR) will contact you to document your condition.

Employees required to work on campus to provide necessary activities and functions, but who have a weakened immune system, chronic condition or are aged 70 years and older, should remain at home and must send an email to disability.hr [at] mcgill.ca to inform them of their situation. The Disability Management unit (HR) will contact them to document their condition.

All information will be treated confidentially. Supervisors, Human Resources representatives, and the Disability Management Unit (HR) must keep the information collected safely. Any personal information must not be disclosed unless as required by law, or with the employee’s express consent. 

Protocols for students

Students who have been diagnosed with (COVID-19) should fill in the self-reporting form for students found in Minerva. Read instructions on where to find the form.  

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. 

Why has McGill University suspended activities for two weeks (March 15-29)

Following the Government of Quebec’s directives, McGill University suspended all activities (except for theses defense) March 15-29. Activities resumed remotely on March 30. The University continues to remain operational and only necessary functions and activities continue to be provided on campus. All McGill in-person events, on or off campus, are cancelled until June 5. 

The purpose behind this shutdown is to apply social distancing measures in order to mitigate the spread of the virus. Learn more via McGill University’s coronavirus webpage

How can I find the latest information on how coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting the Schulich School of Music and McGill University?

Are administrative services still available to Schulich students and faculty?

Yes, but as per the recommendation of the University and Quebec government, all administrative employees have been encouraged to work from home. Regular meetings are taking place online between University leaders, the Schulich Executive Committee, and administrative staff.

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
  • Music Performance: performance.music [at] mcgill.ca
  • Music Research: research.music [at] mcgill.ca
  • Student Affairs: studentaffairs.music [at] mcgill.ca
  • Building Director’s Office: buildingdirector.music [at] mcgill.ca 

Will the Winter 2020 semester be extended?

No, the semester will not be extended.

When will academic activities resume?

Academic activities resume on March 30 but will take place remotely. Instructors have been in contact with students to communicate how teaching will resume in their course as well as any possible adjustments to modes of assessment. All exams and assessments for this term will take place online. 

Will exams take place?

Exams will take place online. There will be no in-person exams or assessments at the end of the semester. Instructors have been in touch with students to explain how this may or may not affect your courses. 

Will MUEN and MUIN courses resume on March 30?

MUEN and MUIN courses will not resume on March 30. In all cases, students will be assessed on work accomplished up to March 12 and the courses are considered complete. This means that no end-of-term performance will be presented in the context of any MUEN course. 

Students who do not wish to be assessed on their work through March 12 will have the option to withdraw. The University will communicate policies on late withdrawals in the coming days.

Will undergraduate practical exams (including final recitals) take place?

No, all public performances in the 2019-2020 season have been cancelled or postponed.

Graduating undergraduate students registered in MUIN 452 (LMus), MUIN 482 (BMus), as well as students registered in MUIN 283 (Concentration Final) have a choice of two options:

  1. A mark of S (Satisfactory) will be entered for their exam, provided they have received a passing grade for their MUIN practical instruction course this term (lessons).
  2. Students can postpone their exam to the September deferred exam period and delay graduation to Fall 2020.

Students registered in those courses will be contacted shortly to indicate their preference. We strongly encourage students to choose the first option, as no one knows how the current situation will develop over the summer.

Returning undergraduate students who have registered for a practical exam in April 2020 will receive a K and their exam will be deferred to the 2020 Fall term.

Will graduate recitals take place?

All public performances in the 2019-2020 season have been cancelled or postponed. 

Graduating M.Mus. and Diploma students have a choice of two options: 

  1. An assessment will be made by three faculty members who have observed the student’s work in any capacity over the course of the academic year. On the basis of that assessment, and provided that the student also receives a passing mark for their practical instruction (MUIN) course this semester, the student will receive a Pass for their recital course, up to a maximum of 9 credits. Basis for assessment can include: studio classes, class concerts, large or small ensemble participation, small ensemble coachings, etc. 
  2. Postpone the recital to late August/early September and delay graduation to Fall 2020. 

Students registered in those courses have been contacted to indicate their preference. We strongly encourage students to choose the first option as no one knows how the current situation will develop over the summer. 

Graduating D.Mus. students will be exempt from the recital portion of their lecture-recitals, unless the performance can be presented remotely without compromising social distancing measures in effect at the time. Arrangements will be made with supervisory committees for the lecture to be presented remotely.

Returning M.Mus. and D.Mus. students who have registered for a recital have the following options:

  1. *An assessment can be made by three faculty members who have observed your work over the course of the year. On the basis of that assessment, and provided that you also receive a passing mark for your practical instruction (MUIN) course this term, you can receive a Pass for the recital course for which you are registered. Basis for the assessment can include: studio classes, large or small ensemble participation, small ensemble coachings, etc. 
  2. Provide a video recording of the recital program by Sept. 15 as long as their circumstances allow them to do so. It is understood that the recording can be made from home using whatever equipment is at the student’s disposal.
  3. Reschedule the recital to Fall 2020

*The addition of option 1 for returning M.Mus. and D.Mus. students was sent to students on March 27 by Prof. Stéphane Lemelin.

How can a returning student reschedule their performance exam?

Returning undergraduate students will be contacted by Jennifer Stephenson to reschedule their performance exams as soon as planning of the 2020-2021 Concert Season resumes. Returning graduate students who have decided to postpone their recital rather than provide a recording will be contacted by Graduate Studies and the Communications and Production office as soon as planning of the 2020-2021 Concert Season resumes.

Will music courses be eligible for the satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U)option?

The Schulich School of Music and McGill University are working on determining which music courses will be eligible for the S/U option. News on which of these courses it applies to will become available shortly (updated 27-mar). For MUIN and MUEN courses, please see questions listed above.

Exceptionally, the date by which students may exercise the S/U option is May 22. The switch must be made on Minerva through a webform. Further instruction will be available soon.

How will attendance marks be calculated given the circumstances?

This will be left to the discretion of the instructor. They may choose to base marks on attendance prior to the suspension or instead decide to include attendance data from remote lectures. Please be in touch with your instructor should you have any concerns.

Will any non-recital concerts and events (such as large ensemble, chamber music, conferences, and more) take place?

No, all public events and performances in the 2019-2020 season have been cancelled. Students with recitals should see the above two questions.

All tickets to affected events will be reimbursed in the following manner: 

  • Tickets bought online will be refunded automatically.
  • Tickets bought in person at our Box Office via credit card can be reimbursed over the phone. We will contact customers using the phone or email address provided at purchase. Within the email please provide your name, phone number, and date of your tickets purchased.
  • Tickets bought in person at our Box Office via debit must be refunded in person. If an email or phone number was provided, we will contact you to confirm when the Box Office will resume normal hours.

Please note that our staff will begin to process refunds as soon as possible; they can be contacted at:  boxoffice.music [at] mcgill.ca. We appreciate your patience as we navigate this difficult time.  

How will MUSP courses (musicianship) proceed through remote learning?

Ongoing MUSP courses have been adapted for online completion. This has been done differently for each course, and revised course outlines have been distributed to students and posted on myCourses.

How will COVID-19 affect ongoing research?

On-campus research activities must ramp-down. Researchers must suspend on-campus research by 11 pm, Thursday, March 19. Exemptions must be requested right away to give the Dean time to evaluate them before the deadline.

My internet connection is slow and unstable and does not guarantee my full access to online classes. How should I proceed?

Instructors are asked to take this issue into consideration, so please keep them aware of your situation. Instructors may be able to offer alternative modes of delivery. Should you feel the situation becomes too stressful, we recommend visiting McGill’s page on Adjusted Academic Measures to see what other options are available to you. Teaching and Learning Services (TLS) is also offering assistance through their Remote Learning Resources.

How has COVID-19 affected the deadline to apply for intra-faculty transfer?

There are no changes to deadlines for intra-faculty transfer. Find the requirements, important deadlines, and more on McGill University’s Internships and Student Affairs’ website.

Will spring and summer courses take place remotely as well?

Yes, spring and summer courses will go ahead through remote instruction.

Will summer courses increase class sizes now that they are going to be switched to remote learning?

Traditionally, summer courses have lower caps due to the absence of teaching assistants. The Schulich School of Music and McGill University are currently looking into how remote learning may influence class sizes.

Will all summer courses in music be offered?

The goal is to offer all originally scheduled courses.

Will work-study employees continue to be paid during this period?

During the University's initial two-week suspension all casual and work study employees will be paid. Hours will be determined in the following manner:

  • Those with scheduled shifts will be paid for those shifts.
  • Employees with ad-hoc hours will be paid based on the average number of hours worked in the four weeks prior to the original suspension (excluding Reading Week).

Following the two-week suspension, only casual employees previously scheduled to work over the course of the suspension period will be paid until the end of their current contract.

For more information specific to your position, please contact your immediate supervisor.

How should TAs handle their workload if it is nearing the hourly limit set in their contract?

It is the responsibility of the instructor that all work done by TAs be properly paid. Should TAs require hours outside of their pre-determined allotment, the instructor will need to make an official request for additional hours. These requests will be considered on a case by case basis. If the department cannot give additional money, the TA should not be given extra work.

I’m a student with urgent and immediate financial concerns, what resources are available?

Students with urgent and immediate financial concerns relating to travel, living expenses, or to access remote learning (internet or equipment related), may apply to McGill’s Scholarships & Student Aid Office for In-Course Financial Aid. This is a bursary and loan program for students, based on demonstrated financial need.

Will courses be partially refunded?

Only private instruction fees will be partially refunded. These partial refunds have already been issued for the four weeks of instruction that were not delivered. An explanation on how these refunds will be reflected in your student account will be sent to all affected students.

Are music buildings and their facilities accessible at this time?

In order to reduce the propagation of coronavirus COVID-19, regular access to all music buildings including studios, libraries, labs, offices, halls, ensemble rooms, classrooms, practice rooms, and more has been revoked as of March 24 at 5:00 pm. This information was sent to the Schulich community via email on March 23 by Prof. Whitesell. Those deemed as essential services will continue to have access to the buildings.

Is it possible to borrow a keyboard at this time?

We are aware that the closure of our buildings has negatively impacted those who do not own their own instruments, but at this time, we do not have instruments available for loan.

I currently have in my possession a loaned instrument from the Building Director’s Office. What should I do with it?

Should you be in possession of a loaned instrument from the Building Director’s Office, please contact with José Vasquez (buildingdirector.music [at] mcgill.ca) if you haven’t done so already

I have keys that need to be returned to the Building Director’s Office.

For the time being, please hold on to all keys. They can be returned once the University has re-opened.

Will lockers be emptied while the building is locked?

Lockers will not be touched during this time.

Is the building still being cleaned during the closure period?

Yes, McGill’s Building Services maintains their usual cleaning schedule and have put in place a stringent cleaning protocol to help reduce exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

How are building renovations being affected through this closure?

All renovations are currently on hold and will resume once the School reopens.

Will students be fined for overdue library materials?

As stated in an email from Deputy Provost Fabrice Labeau on April 2, the Library has automatically renewed all check-out items that were originally due between March 1 and June 14. Please disregard all overdue notices and due date notifications you may have received during the suspension. The new due date for these materials will be June 15. Students are responsible for the materials they have during this time. Please visit McGill Libraries’ FAQ for more information.

How can I go about accessing information from McGill libraries?

All McGill library branches are closed until May 1. Online access to library material remains available and all reference services will be done on a remote basis for the next two weeks. You may chat, email or text a librarian from Monday to Friday, 10AM-6PM starting March 16. For more information, see the McGill Libraries FAQ page.

Will there be convocation ceremonies this Spring?

As described in an email from Principal Fortier on March 20, unfortunately Spring Convocation ceremonies will not take place. The University is currently exploring alternative ways for the community to come together to commemorate these academic achievements.

When will graduating students receive their diploma and proof of graduation?

The University is currently working on a plan to deliver physical (paper) diplomas to graduating students. Electronic official transcripts are available for order in Minerva. Printed transcripts are currently unavailable. Another resource for confirmation of your degree is AuraData.

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. All international outbound student travel for academic activities scheduled for Summer 2020 is cancelled as well.

I am an international student. Can I go home?

The Schulich School of Music and McGill University will support your decision whatever it may be. We strongly recommend you reach out to your country’s consulate to determine if you can go back and on what terms.

Please use careful judgement when considering personal travel; restrictions imposed by other countries could delay your departure from Canada.

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