Director's Message: Fall 2020

Dr. Christopher Barrick
Dr. Christopher Barrick
Dr. Christopher Barrick

Dr. Christopher Barrick

EMU returned to class for the Fall 2020 semester on August 31, but nearly the entire campus began instruction online. Dorm move-in and the beginning of most in-person instruction was delayed until September 21.  For information on campus-wide instruction, safety protocols, and more, please see the Campus Messages page.  Detailed information on campus safety measures during the Covid-19 crisis is available at Stay Smart Fall 2020

How is the School of Music & Dance operating in Fall 2020?

The vast majority of courses in the School of Music & Dance are being presented online or remotely in Fall 2020. Since September 21, some classes are meeting in-person based upon pedagogical needs.  These are all being conducted according to the guidance of health and safety officials, professional organizations, and campus safety protocols.  Our current courses are formats include:

  • Traditional in-person
  • Online (asynchronous online delivery)
  • Remote-online (online with synchronous/scheduled class “meetings”) 
  • Hybrid (mix of online and in-person instruction)

Here’s what to our students are doing in a few specific areas:


  • Most music ensembles are being held in-person this semester, with a number of safety protocols in place.
    • Protocols adhere to university policies, as well as research and guidance presented by numerous professional music organizations.
    • Several ensembles are utilizing smaller chamber groups in multiple spaces to enable proper social distancing.
    • Face covering requirements are in place for all ensembles.
    • For questions regarding specific protocols, please contact the ensemble director.
  • Ensembles meeting in Fall 2020:
    • EMU Marching Band
    • Wind Symphony
    • Symphonic Band
    • University Orchestra
    • Percussion Ensemble
    • Emerald Flutes
    • EMU Choir
    • Women’s Chorus
    • Jazz Ensemble
  • We have chosen to focus our ensemble efforts and as a result, some ensembles will not be meeting this semester.  We hope to offer them again soon.  These include:
    • Chamber Music
    • Opera Workshop
    • Jazz Combos
    • EMU Express


  • Concerts and recitals will be held.
  • However, no audiences are permitted at this time.
  • We’ll have an increased online streaming presence, as well as recorded performances.,


  • Lessons are being held in a variety of formats, ranging from in-person to hybrid to remote.
  • Some in-person lessons are being taught in classrooms to allow for greater distancing.
  • Studio Classes are being taught both in-person and remote, depending on the specific needs of the area.
  • All campus safety protocols apply to in-person lessons.  

Practice Rooms

  • Practice rooms in Alexander Music Building are open from 8:00am – 5:00pm, Monday – Friday.
    • We apologize that night and weekend access is not available at this time.
  • General practice rooms are available for sign-out at the building check-in table.
  • Specialty practice spaces (percussion, organ, piano major) are being administered by their respective areas.
  • All practice rooms must be signed out prior to use.
  • “Dead hours” between practice sessions are being used in all spaces.
  • “Sani Stations” are located in each practice area, with wipes and hand sanitizer available.
  • Students are asked to wipe down surfaces they touch after their practice session, such as piano keyboards and music stands.
  • Only one student per practice room.  No exceptions.
  • For more information, please see Practice Room Policies Fall 2020.

Classroom Courses

  • Traditional lecture and music techniques classes will be taught in one of a number of formats, ranging from in-person to hybrid to online/remote.
  • First-year Music Theory is being offered in both online and in-person formats to best serve our new students’ individual needs.
  • Percussion and Violin techniques courses are being offered in-person this semester.
  • Nearly all other lecture and music techniques courses are being taught online or remote in Fall 2020


  • The Dance Area is teaching all non-major courses remotely this semester.
  • The Dance Area is offering some in-person classes and performances for Dance majors/minors, but with a condensed and limited schedule.
  • The Dance studios have strict safety protocols in place this Fall, including face coverings. 
  • Dance students with in-person class or rehearsals will need to enter Warner Gymnasium at the West Circle Drive entrance and show their COVID Pass upon entry.
  • Stay tuned on information regarding the Dance Area’s upcoming performances, including the exciting Solo Series Project.

Alexander Music Building

  • Currently, Alexander Music Building is open from 8:00am – 5:00pm, Monday-Friday. 
    • Any student activities (evening classes, lessons) after 5:00pm are under faculty supervision only, with prior approval of the School Director.
  • Students need to enter Alexander Music Building at the south breezeway entrance and show their COVID Pass upon entry.
  • Face coverings are required at all times while on campus, both indoors and outdoors.
    • Face covering requirements apply to everyone, including singers and wind instrumentalists.
    • The only exceptions are for faculty/staff working alone in a private office, or students practicing alone in a practice room with the door closed.
  • Please observe directional signs and other posted signage.
  • The “Four Point” student lounge area is open for individual student use, but seats have been moved to ensure physical distancing.
  • Congregating in the Four Point or the practice areas is not permitted.
  • Students are encouraged to vacate the building after class/practicing.
  • Students are not permitted in Alexander Music Building after 5:00pm, unless under the direct supervision of a faculty member.

Music & Dance Main Office

  • The Music & Dance Main Office is open 9:00am-12:00pm and 1:00-4:00pm, Monday-Thursday.
  • The office is closed during the noon hour as well as all day on Fridays.
  • To get to the office, students and others needed will need to:
    • Enter through the breezeway entrance, showing your COVID Pass upon entry.
    • Follow signs to the stairwell (or elevator) and proceed to the 2nd floor.
    • Go north all the way down the hall and then back down to office on the 1st floor.
  • Office staff are working hybrid schedules to reduce staff on-campus.
  • The office is available to assist via phone at 734-487-4380.
  • Main Office staff can be reached via email at [email protected].

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of uncertainty in many facets of all our lives.  But for the School of Music & Dance, “the show must go on.”  With a great deal of online/remote course offerings and select in-person classes with strict protocols in place, we aim to continue doing what we do while making safety a top priority.  

We wish our students nothing but the best for their Fall 2020 semester.  Stay tuned for information regarding the upcoming Winter 2021 term.

Thank you,

Dr. Christopher Barrick

Director, School of Music & Dance