messages from the dean

It's time to make music

September 3, 2020

Dear YSM students, faculty, and staff,

Welcome to what will be a unique year at Yale. While many of you have been in New Haven since the pandemic arrived, some are just now returning to campus and others remain scattered around the globe. It is in these fractured conditions that we begin the academic year and continue our work—learning, teaching, and sharing music with one another and with the wider world.  

The success of this academic term will be determined by the responsibility we each take to ensure the health and well-being of those around us, as outlined in the Yale Community Compact. You have all been showered with information about the forthcoming fall semester, and in these details you have seen the extraordinary efforts of colleagues who have thoughtfully addressed and implemented the health and safety practices and policies that guide us in this moment.  

Yes, giving and receiving instruction will be different. Yes, our approach to live performance and much of our chamber music and ensemble curriculum will be different. Yes, most of our interactions will be virtual instead of in person. And yes, some of us will be affected in more consequential ways than others. 

Extraordinary times call forth our creativity, reminding us of the opportunities we are privileged to seize. It is the promise of yet-unimagined discoveries that brought us to this place. To embrace education is to develop skills that help us make sense of our lives and work in the context of the world around us—to reason, to think, and to nurture and exercise our curiosity, even as we confront a pandemic, systemic racism, a national election, and natural disasters. Today, as we chart our collective future, we must deepen the insights and understanding that inform our distinctive musical voices. 

Our commitment to the school’s mission to prepare artists and cultural leaders for service to society remains steadfast and undeterred. Welcome, one and all, to the Yale School of Music. Be safe, be considerate, and be inspired.


Best and warmest wishes,

Robert Blocker
Henry and Lucy Moses Dean of Music