Messages from the Dean

Renew your commitment to the health of our community

February 4, 2021


Dear YSM students,

We begin the spring semester facing the reality that we are still in the midst of a pandemic. Even as we have found ways to minimize the risk of infection and transmission of the coronavirus, and with the administration of vaccines underway, it is imperative that we all remain committed to the health, safety, and well-being of those around us. 

University President Peter Salovey disseminated a letter yesterday afternoon that I urge you to read. Many of the COVID-19-related precautions outlined therein will be familiar. Still, adherence to these guidelines will reinforce our commitment to one another as we continue to make music this spring. Below you will find additional protocols that require your attention as we begin the new term.



All YSM students who are studying in-person are required to receive weekly COVID-19 tests starting this week. Each week you will need to schedule a test. We recommend you test on the same day each week and test sites are open daily. Failure to comply with weekly testing will result in loss of ID access to campus. Please see the YSM COVID-19 webpage for more information. 



The university is strictly adhering to government regulations regarding travel. This semester, if at any point you need to travel outside the Greater New Haven Area for more than 24 hours, please remember that you must obtain permission from the YSM Health and Safety Leader. The Greater New Haven area is defined as New Haven County. For complete steps to take for travel, please see the YSM COVID-19 webpage


Performance activities outside of Yale 

Until conditions improve, we are asking all students and faculty to exercise extreme caution about engaging in any music-making outside of Yale, whether out-of-state or anywhere in Connecticut. After participating in any of the following activities outside Yale, you are asked to quarantine and test as a safety precaution, as described in the travel guidelines. Please contact the YSM Health and Safety leader to discuss any potential engagement.  

  • In-person teaching at another institution 
  • Performances with an in-person audience (or religious services with an in-person congregation and/or in-person choir) 
  • Rehearsals, recordings, or performances with a large ensemble 

The following masked and physically-distanced activities do not require quarantine or additional testing: 

  • Rehearsals with your primary chamber ensemble (i.e. a quartet) 
  • Recordings and performances (without a live audience) with the same primary chamber ensemble 

We are here because we share the belief that what we do is vital to the pursuit of progress. I remain hopeful because I know the spirit of this community. Camaraderie and collaboration are at the heart of our work, as are trust and support. 

I welcome you back to your studies enthusiastically and look forward to a time when we can once again gather in one of our concert venues to make and be made whole by music. Let us look to spring with cautious optimism.

Warmest regards, 

Robert Blocker
Henry and Lucy Moses Dean of Music