Tufts to allow the practice of singing, wind instruments in Mods


University officials sent an email October 13 to all students studying music informing them of a new policy which would allow the practice of vocals, wind instruments and brass in two of the Mods on the Medford / Somerville campus.

This is a revision of a previous policy, who detailed that no vocals or playing of wind and brass instruments are permitted on or off campus this fall.

According to the email, E and F mods are the only spaces on campus where singing or playing wind instruments or brass is permitted for students pursuing degrees in music.

The identified Mods have approximately 40 separate rooms in which a person can exercise once a day. The rooms must be requested and scheduled in advance and are professionally cleaned at the end of each day, according to the email.

James Glaser, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, explained that the original policy was implemented because singing or playing instruments creates aerosols that can lead to the spread of COVID-19 if the person singing or playing is infected.

“When the university’s health policy makers created our COVID-19 prevention protocols, it was determined that singing [and] the playing of wind or brass instruments could not be safely permitted on campus ”, Glaser wrote in an email to The Daily. “Because we are committed to our host cities to apply the same health policies to students living off campus as to students living on campus, singing [and] playing the moratorium was applied to all students.

Glaser added that sstudents will also be isolated from others while practicing in The Mods.

Currently, the only students allowed to use Mods as the practice rooms are majors, minors and graduate students in music, according to Richard Jankowsky, Director of the Department of Music.

“The pursuit of the chosen university degree is potentially affected by the restrictions imposed on their musical activities”, Jankowsky wrote in an email to The Daily. “When conditions allow, it is hoped that the list of approved users can be expanded to include other musicians on campus. “

Clara Scheutz, who hopes to get a minor in music and studies vocal performance, said she would like to take advantage of this new policy even thoughuh she hasn’t declared her minor yet.

“Not only do majors and minors like to sing or play their wind instruments,” Scheutz, a first year, noted. “For a lot of people, I think music is a huge outlet… it’s unfortunate that [the university is] limiting accessibility for this, but I obviously understand their need. “

Glaser spok to the college decision-making process and how politics can change if there is a slight increase in COVID-19 cases on campus.

“We recognized that the ban on singing and playing wind instruments disadvantaged students pursuing a music degree, and we worked hard to find a solution. “ Glaser said. “However, it is important to note that if at any point the need to use the units for isolation and / or quarantine purposes, their use as practice spaces would end.”

Jamie Kirsch, Senior Lecturer in Music and Director of Choral Activities, said that while the initial policy meant that the department had to consider other ways of running classes, he was able to give music theory lessons and start working on the directory.

Kirsch expressed his gratitude for the Tufts music community and spoke of his hopes for the future.

“I feel very lucky to have such supportive colleagues and thoughtful and talented students” Kirsch wrote in an email to The Daily. “We are all looking forward to the moment when we can sing together again. “

Jankowsky added that the classes in the department have adapted to politics in various ways.

“Thanks to all these adaptations, we have been able to offer over 95% of our fall study program (and with a very good number of registrations), which is a testament to the creativity of our faculty. and the flexibility of our students. Jankowksy said.

Scheutz mentioned that in his music theory class, students are allowed to hum scales, as long as they are required to wear masks. She expressed her enthusiasm for singing in The Mods.

“For me at least singing is… a hobby and I think it’s just a way for me to relax and take time from my other college classes, so when this opportunity arose , I thought… I definitely would. “ said Scheutz.

Jankowsky praised the way the Tufts community came together during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We at the Music Department are extremely grateful to the entire campus community for the strong sense of responsibility and care we have for one another in these difficult times.” Jankowsky said.

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