Frequently Asked Questions

Summer and Fall 2021

Policies are subject to change to reflect updates in University guidelines or as conditions demand.

Please check back regularly for updates.

Most Recent Update: May 17, 2021, 10:00 pm


ISYM and other summer program participants: This FAQ applies only to University of Illinois students. For up-to-date information on COVID guidance for summer programs, please email


Building Access and Regulations

Q: What will the hours for the music buildings be for the summer?

A: The Summer 2021 hours (Monday, May 17 to Sunday, August 22) are outlined below. These times will be strictly enforced. Please also note that these times are subject to change. Students must continue regular COVID testing, including those who are vaccinated. Even if the Wellness Support Associates (WSAs) are not present, your Safer Illinois app must read "Building Access Granted" for you to enter the building. There are absolutely NO EXCEPTIONS to this rule.


Music Building and Smith Hall

Monday thru Friday – 7:30 AM to 9:00 PM

Saturday – 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Sunday – 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Buildings are closed on Monday, May 31 (Memorial Day) and Saturday, July 3 – Monday, July 5 (Independence Day weekend)

Please note that entrance to the Music Building is through the Oregon St. doors only, and to Smith through the north side entrance only.


Harding Band Building

Building is open by appointment only, please contact Joy McClaugherty ( for questions.

Sousa Archives access is also by appointment only: Make an Appointment (


Q: What are regulations about masks (for both faculty and students)?

A: The University has recently changed its guidance on mask wearing. Please see


Q: What do I need to do to be able to access the music buildings?

A: All students must participate in on-campus COVID testing as required by the University. For complete current testing policy and instructions, see

To enter any of the music buildings, you will need to show the “Safer in Illinois” app on your phone to the building monitor who will be controlling access. The app will indicate that you are (or are not) up to date on your testing. Even if the Wellness Support Associates (WSAs) are not present, your Safer Illinois app must read "Building Access Granted" for you to enter the building. There are absolutely NO EXCEPTIONS to this rule. For more information about the app, see For more information about building access, see

For more detailed information about the use of University facilities, please see


Health and Safety

The School of Music will be following University guidelines regarding health and safety policies. Please see the Health and Safety section of the University’s Covid-19 FAQ for any policies not discussed here.


Q: Do I have to get tested in order to use the music facilities (even if I’m taking all my classes online)?

A: Everyone must follow the University’s policy for getting tested in order to enter any of the music buildings, even if it’s just to use the practice rooms. See


Q: What is being done to make attending classes, lessons, and rehearsals safe?

A: All members of the School of Music—students, faculty, and staff—need to do their part to contribute to a safe and healthy environment within our buildings and classrooms, which includes wearing masks during classes and rehearsals.

We have also been very careful to make sure our in-person instruction is taking place in spaces where we can have adequate social distance, good ventilation, and that can accommodate the unique challenges that aerosol producing instruments (voices, winds, and brass) create.

We also have wipe and sanitizer dispensers stationed throughout our buildings and have established an active cleaning regimen.


Q: What should I do if I am uncomfortable wearing a mask in classes or rehearsals?

A: The University is very strict about mask compliance. For the most recent policy updates, see For further assistance on this issue, please contact Jenny Phillips ( or Rebecca Spennetta (


Q: What kind of mental health resources are available for students?

A: The FAA embedded counselor, Bryan Deutsch, is still meeting with students over the summer. He can be emailed directly at or contact the Counseling Center to schedule a meeting with him.

UI Student Affairs has posted a page with information about many other resources that are available to our students, whether you’re on or off campus. Please visit

The State of Illinois also provides resources, which you can learn more about at

See also:

Campus and Champaign Urbana Community Resources

Off Campus Counseling Resources

Most important, if you’re experiencing an emergency that prevents you from participating in class or is impacting your work, please reach out to your professors and/or advisor and let us know what we can do to help!


Classroom and Logistics Concerns

Q: Will School of Music classes be back in person in the fall?

A: The vast majority of our classes (including our ensembles and lessons) are being offered in person this fall. But we will still have a few that will be online or a mix of face-to-face and online teaching.

The Course Explorer system ( will indicate whether the course is entirely online (the course will say “Online” for the type and/or location) or face-to-face (a specific room assignment will be indicated). It will also indicate (in the “Section Info” row) whether the course is hybrid or not. This is the best place to learn about the courses you’re interested in. (You sign up for your courses in the online registration system, but that system provides only minimal information about how the courses are taught.)

For students who have questions, please contact Jenny Phillips (, graduates) or Rebecca Spennetta (, undergraduates) for assistance (they will be in touch with the relevant instructors as needed).


Q: How are undergraduate placement exams in musicianship, piano proficiency, and music theory going to work?

A: They will be offered in person this fall. Our academic advisor, Rebecca Spennetta, will be sending information to incoming undergraduate students about these exams.


Q: How are graduate entrance exams in musicianship, music history, and music theory going to work?

A: The graduate entrance exams in music theory and musicianship will be offered in person this fall in the Music Building Auditorium.  The graduate entrance exam in theory will be held on Wednesday, August 18, from 7 to 10 PM.  The graduate entrance exam in musicianship will be held Thursday, August 19, from 11 AM to 12 PM. The School’s Office of Academic Affairs will be sending information to incoming graduate students about these exams.

The music history entrance exam has been discontinued. Instead, there will be a self-assessment survey for incoming students to identify areas of interest and opportunities for growth. This will take place during the first week of MUS 528A, which all entering graduate students are required to take as early as possible in their degree. The instructor of MUS 528A will follow up individually with course recommendations as needed.


Q: How are graduate exams (qualifying exams, preliminary exams, and final doctoral project defenses) going to work?

A: All graduate exams will remain online during the summer. We plan on offering qualifying exams in person once the fall semester begins, but other options are under consideration.  Beginning in the fall semester, preliminary exams and final defenses may be in person, hybrid, or remote. Please contact Jenny Phillips ( with specific questions.


Q: Are students able to use practice rooms this summer and fall?

A: Yes. Music majors and minors will have access to an assigned practice room. The rooms will be shared with up to three other students. Please fill out the Practice Room Request Form and you will be assigned a space.

Continuing students are not required to be registered for a class this summer in order to request use of a practice room. However, students wishing to use the practice rooms in the fall must register for MUS 499 PR for 0 credits and be registered for lessons. (Students who are not registered for lessons may petition for practice room use through the Practice Room Petition Form.)

Once your request is received and cross-checked, you will receive an email with your room assignment.

Percussion, harp, organ, and harpsichord students must also contact their applied professors directly for access to those spaces. (Again, in the fall, you must also be registered for MUS 499 PR.)

Only one student may be in a practice room at a time—collaborative work (e.g., working with an accompanist, performing with another student, etc.) must take place in one of our chamber-music spaces (these can be reserved through the Atlas Room Scheduler on the SoM Operations & Facilities page).


Q: How will recitals work? What are the capacity limits for the audience and/or performers?

A: During the summer, recitals may take place in-person (i.e., on campus in our halls) or remotely. Students should discuss all details of how their recital will be performed—including the repertoire and number of performers involved—with their applied instructor in advance of scheduling. Fall recitals will all take place in person.

All recitals must observe local and/or state room-capacity limits and social-distancing requirements for both performers and audience members. School of Music performance spaces will be scheduled with mandatory empty times (30 minutes minimum) between events to allow rooms to ventilate. Recitals that involve aerosol-producing instruments (woodwinds and brass) and/or voices must include a 20-minute intermission to allow the room to ventilate.

All recitals should be recorded to share with faculty members who are not able to attend.

Information on recital scheduling and policies may be found here: Required degree recitals have priority in scheduling.



Q: How will lessons be taught this fall?

A: The vast majority of lessons will take place in person; however, some faculty may wish to conduct some or all lessons remotely. Your instructors will be in touch to discuss your and their teaching preferences.

Masks must be worn during in-person lessons by both the student and faculty member. We have also purchased HEPA filters that will be used during lessons involving aerosol-producing instruments and voices.


Q: How will juries work this fall?

A: The vast majority will be taking place in person.


Q: Will ensembles be meeting in person this fall?

A: Yes.


Q: Do I need to audition for ensemble in the fall?

A: Yes. These auditions will take place on campus in the days leading up to and during the first week of classes. More specifics about the ensemble auditions are posted here:



Q: Can School of Music sponsored Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) still meet?

A: Yes, School of Music sponsored RSOs can meet, but must hold to the same health and safety standards outlined above and on the Health and Safety section of the University’s Covid-19 FAQ. Room requests may be made through the Room Scheduler.

Note that building access regulations and staffing restrictions may impact the groups that are able to meet in School spaces and the times that are available. Please contact Nathan Mandel ( with any questions.

For performance-oriented RSOs, contact them directly to find out about auditions and rehearsal times.


Q: Is the library open for in-person services?

A: MPAL has a COVID-19 FAQ. Please view their guidelines here: