Covid-19 FAQs

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

Last updated on July 27, 2020

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 facilities are closed until further notice.

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. Congratulations on the completion of another academic year!

Important resources to stay up to date:

  • 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.
  • McGill University’s coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs),
  • Your McGill email inbox, where updates are sent regularly from the University as well as the Schulich School of Music.

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. 

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
  • 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 

See a complete list of administrative contacts here

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.

See a full list of administrative contacts here

How does COVID-19 affect ongoing research?

As per government directives, research on campus has been suspended since March 19. On Sunday, April 26, the Quebec government informed universities that it will soon allow research activities to be phased back in. The University is organizing the first stages of the progressive research phase-in now in science and medical research facilities in various buildings around campus. Stay tuned for more details on how and when Schulich’s research activities will begin to resume.

Can faculty members make brief visits to their offices and labs to retrieve research and teaching materials?

The Government of Quebec has now given universities permission for individual researchers to access their offices to retrieve materials needed for research or teaching. To request access to retrieve items from your office please complete and submit PDF icon this form

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 MUSP 240 and 241 be offered this summer?

MUSP 240 will be offered in the May summer session but MUSP 241 will not be offered in the June summer session. Exceptionally, one section of MUSP 241 will be added next Fall.

Will all summer courses in music be offered?

The goal is to offer all originally scheduled courses.

McGill University has announced that Fall 2020 activities will start as scheduled. To allow students to begin and continue their academic path no matter where they are in September, courses will be offered through remote delivery platforms. The safety of our students and staff is our priority. In June, the University’s Emergency Operations Committee approved Schulich’s application to offer in-person practical instruction (lessons and coachings), some practice room access, and some sound recording courses, all contingent on favourable public health conditions. These courses will remain available to all students, regardless of their physical presence on campus. More specific information will be available soon. (Updated June 23, 2020)

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.

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?

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. Over the summer, safety measures will be put in place regarding access to the building and use; size of rooms where teaching can take place, protective equipment required, number of people allowed in the building, and circulation of people within the building will all be considered. All teaching activities and practice time will be scheduled centrally. (Updated June 23, 2020)

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.

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 practice rooms be accessible during the Fall semester?

The School’s application to request 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. (Updated June 23, 2020)

When will recitals that were deferred from Winter 2020 be rescheduled?

Graduate student recitals that were deferred will be rescheduled in September, October, and November. This applies only to performances that can be presented in keeping with prevailing social distancing and safety measures.

Undergraduate practical exams will take place in December. Students who had to defer an exam scheduled for April 2020 will be able to complete their exam requirements then.

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

At this time, we do not expect recitals to be open to the public, but we are looking at making video options available.

Will concerts take place?

The Schulich School of Music is planning a concert season including student recitals with performances available online. More details to come.

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.

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.

Are music buildings and their facilities accessible at this time?

In order to reduce the propagation of COVID-19, regular access to all music buildings including studios, libraries, labs, offices, halls, ensemble rooms, classrooms, practice rooms, and more has been revoked. Those deemed as essential services will continue to have access to the buildings. Staff members with tasks that are impossible to carry out from home may be granted limited access. Further details can be found in the next question.

Is it possible for staff members to access facilities for tasks that are impossible to be carried out from home?

It is now possible to request occasional access to campus offices for staff to perform tasks that are impossible or inefficient to be carried out at home. This will be given out on a limited basis. Forms can be found at the bottom of this page and should be submitted to Prof. Whitesell. We encourage staff members to reflect on safety measures for their work and to consult with the Logistics Working Group.

How can I retrieve items from campus?

In recognition of the extended work-from-home period, staff may now request permission to retrieve personal items or necessary mobile work items from campus. To request access to retrieve items, please complete and PDF icon submit this form   to Prof. Lloyd Whitesell.

Students may also request to retrieve items from their locker by completing this form.

Am I required to wear a mask when I retrieve items from campus?

As per recent government directives, people accessing closed public spaces, including universities, are required to wear a mask or face covering as of July 18. We invite you to bring your reusable masks, and to wear them when entering McGill buildings.

Will practice rooms be accessible during the Fall semester?

Plans for re-opening practice rooms under controlled conditions are currently in development. (see more under Fall 2020 FAQ)

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?

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. Music Library staff are available to answer your questions or to arrange one-on-one virtual consultations, and you may also chat, email or text a McGill librarian from Monday to Friday, 10AM-4PM. 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 will the Schulich School of Music's Spring Convocation take place this year?

Graduating students will be honoured by two Convocation ceremonies.

  1. In person ceremonies will be postponed until Spring 2021, provided that government and local health authority recommendations allow us to gather safely at that time.
  2. Until then, McGill will also host a virtual ceremony for each Faculty with Schulich's occurring on June 18 at noon. Details on how McGill's virtual ceremonies will take place can be found here.

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. 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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