Yale School of Music

Spring 2021: Town Hall FAQs

Frequently asked questions

Leaves and remote study

If a student takes a leave of absence when will they graduate?

  • If a student takes a leave of absence for the spring 2021 semester, they will graduate a semester later than their original graduation date. In their last semester, they need to complete their graduation recital.


If a student takes a leave, when will they be required to return, and will any of this impact the number of students accepted for the coming school year?

  • If a student applies and is granted a leave of absence, they will receive a letter that outlines the condition of their leave. We ask that you submit your intention to return to YSM in the fall by April 1. It is difficult to say how student leaves will impact the incoming class, but we will look at the number of students in each studio and adjust accordingly. Our biggest priorities are the needs of individual students and to ensure academic continuity within each area and the school.


If a student takes a leave, are they eligible for student employment?

  • No, you will not be eligible for student employment at the School of Music. You may be eligible for other jobs at the university.


Can we use the YSM practice rooms while on leave if we are unable to practice at home?

  • No, if you are on leave you will not have access to any university facilities. These are official university regulations and there is no flexibility on the restrictions.


Will leaves be available in fall 2021?

  • Depending on the status of the pandemic, there may be an opportunity to take a leave in the fall, but at this point that option is unknown.


When is the request for remote study for the spring 2021 semester due?

  • The application deadline for spring 2021 remote study is Dec. 1. You can submit your application here.


Will we know how many students are studying remotely next semester?

  • No, this information will not be available.


If I want to apply for remote study for the spring 2021 semester, will my graduation be delayed?

  • No, if you complete the spring semester remotely, you will graduate on time.


How will I be able to satisfy my graduation degree recital if I'm studying remotely?

  • Area coordinators and faculty can make arrangements to satisfy the degree recital, whether it’s a recording or streamed for the jury. Faculty will work with students to determine the best way possible to meet this requirement.


Is there going to be a cap on the number of students who are allowed to take a leave of absence?

  • No, we will look at each student's request individually.


What are the ramifications for students who choose to study remotely? Will we still receive our stipend?

  • Students who choose to study remotely will not have access to any university facilities. You will still receive your full stipend if you have a U.S. bank account.


Are students able to study remotely for a portion of the semester and in-person for the rest of the semester?

  • No, you must choose between studying in-person or remotely for the full semester.


Is a partial-remote option possible if one feels safe for one-on-one instruction and small ensemble work but not for participation in large ensembles?

  • No, you must declare either in-person or remote study for the full semester.

Degree requirements and curriculum

Should current students not apply to the master of musical arts degree program?

  • Students should apply for any degree they wish to pursue. Admission is open to all applicants in all degree offerings. You must apply and audition, the same as you would in any typical year.


Are there any plans to address current restrictions on out-of-state faculty teaching in person?

  • This is being discussed on a case-by-case basis. It depends on conditions on the ground in February. There are two issues here: the safety of faculty coming to New Haven, and the safety of their students. Each of these situations has an impact on how the restrictions must be applied.


Are other options for fulfillment of the degree recital requirement going to be possible? For example, creating videos, self-recording an album, or other kinds of creative projects that might respond better to the current conditions of the industry?

  • Yes, these options should be discussed with your major teacher.


Will there be any flexibility in terms of excused absences for performance opportunities in the spring?

  • We will continue to examine this in correlation with travel restrictions.


What will the curriculum for winds and brass look like for the spring semester? Will it be much different from what we received this semester?

  • The faculty members will work on an expanded remote and in-person curriculum during the holiday break and will present it to students by Jan. 20.


If students are leaving mid-year for graduation having taken a leave, what does that mean for the students who remain in terms of having a full ensemble? Will YSM still take in the same number of students as usual or will there be a reduction based on the number of people who take leave?

  • We will seek to create the normal balance of students for the fall 2021 semester, which might mean accepting fewer students in some areas depending on how many take leaves. This is the reason for the early deadline. We will have to address the various programs based on the number of students in the school.


What will the remote learning curriculum be, and will there be possible issues fulfilling chamber music credits?

  • The faculty in each area of the school will review the remote learning changes in the syllabus and provide them to students before the start of the semester.


Will the school be adding more virtual opportunities and performances as this is the way the industry is operating right now?

  • Yes, we will discuss with faculty and staff different approaches to online performance opportunities. We also intend to offer students workshops on virtual resources.

Financial assistance and employment

Will additional stipends be released during the fall semester?

  • No additional stipends will be awarded, but the regular stipend amount will be disbursed to those who haven’t already received it.


How do I apply for the Student Relief Fund?

  • Eligibility guidelines and details, as well as the application link, can be found on ArtsVision.


Can the school provide students with personal microphones and good-quality recording equipment for recording at home?

  • Associate Dean Michael Yaffe will provide the details on technology funding in his update to students on Friday, Nov. 20.


If I have already applied for the Student Relief Fund, can I apply again?

  • Yes, if you have a new expense that qualifies, you may reapply as long as you do not exceed a total of $500 in funding for the academic year.


Am I eligible for student employment jobs while studying remotely?

  • Remote students can apply for remote School of Music jobs only. Jobs held in the other university departments must also be remote, as remote students will not have access to university facilities.


Will there be more remote work-study opportunities next semester?

  • Jobs working remotely for the Music in Schools Initiative and others are available for students. Jobs will be advertised in the student newsletter.


Will secondary lessons be an option next semester?

  • No, secondary lessons will not be offered in the spring semester.


Will studio production assistant jobs continue in the spring semester?

  • Yes, but better utilized and organized with the media production team and faculty.


Can you expand the hours to use the new wired rooms?

  • We are working to examine the function of these spaces and the times and days in which they can be open. We plan for these rooms to be open the same hours as other YSM facilities. We are working to maximize the performance experience for everyone while working with EHS in ways to do so safely.


Will ISM students be able to access YSM practice rooms next semester?

  • We are reviewing the use of practice rooms and hope to share the details for the spring semester in the next few weeks.


Will 320 Temple St. be available in the spring?

  • Due to the airflow of the building, it is unlikely it will be opened for use.


Can string players get an extension on the amount of practice time in Hendrie Hall? Can the halls be open for large ensemble rehearsals? Can Temple Street and the Sprague building be opened for an increase in practice rooms/time flexibility?

  • Again, we are working to examine the function of these spaces and the times and days in which they can be open. We are working to maximize the performance experience for everyone while working with EHS in ways to do so safely.


Are we able to make professional recordings in the orchestra rehearsal hall in the spring semester?

  • Potentially. However, this is a scheduling issue with both the availability of the hall and the availability of the media production staff.


Can vocalists work with pianists in rehearsal next semester?

  • Most likely. We are working to ensure that the proper safety measures are in place prior to making this possible.


Has the school discussed finding off-campus spaces to use?

  • No, this won't be possible because of testing requirements and health and safety restrictions.  


Will the school provide two-week quarantine accommodations for international students before the spring semester starts on Feb. 1?

  • No, students will need to quarantine in their residences.


Have there been any new discussions regarding wind and brass players performing in the same room if they are roommates?

  • In December, we will begin planning the health and safety parameters for the spring semester with the university's Environmental Health and Safety office. We will look at new studies and also consult with peer institutions. We will allow this if it meets the university standard for health and safety. We are also reviewing the use of masks with openings and instrument covers in addition to room tests.


Assuming a vaccine won’t be available by summer, will practice rooms be open?

  • It will depend on the conditions on the ground.