A Safe Return to Campus


Fall 2020

A Message from Dr. Kristen Queen, Interim Director of the TCU School of Music
July 7, 2020

The TCU School of Music is working hard to assure a safe, healthy, and music-filled Fall 2020. As one might imagine, these have not been easy decisions and certainly stir a range of emotions. Concern for everyone’s safety and well-being is paramount – whether one is in a lesson, in a classroom, onstage, backstage, or in the audience. We also believe that music plays a crucial role in both today’s world and in a liberal arts university like TCU, so many take comfort in this time knowing we will be able to support one another’s successes and performances safely from anywhere in the world. Some decisions and details will continue to be refined as we receive more empirical research and get closer to August, so I appreciate our School of Music community's patience as we work through those. For now, please stay safe, continue creating, and find moments of peace and rejuvenation when and where you can.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and TCU’s public health initiative to help protect the health and well-being of our community, the TCU School of Music will be unable to welcome audiences in-person at any events this fall and until further notice. However, many experiences will be available to enjoy online in a virtual or digital format. We invite you to visit the TCU School of Music YouTube channel to view the event livestreams. We hope you’ll join us, albeit virtually, and send along your support and applause as we continue creating and sharing music from the TCU Campus to our friends and family from around the world.
Visit our Calendar of Events and follow @TCUMusic on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest events information.

Please review the Fall 2020 Checklist for a list of required, recommended, and provided items.


Lessons are not canceled in the TCU School of Music. Some lessons will occur on campus with physical distancing, face masks/shields, plexiglass room dividers, portable air filtration systems, and/or other equipment designed to minimize risks. Some lessons will occur online. In the case of online lessons, the TCU School of Music is currently assembling a list of recommended apps, microphones, and other technology that will aid in a good experience for both faculty and students.

Yes! Ensembles are NOT canceled at TCU. We are currently identifying repertoire, instrumentation, rehearsal and performance locations, entry/exit protocols, and equipment that will support a variety of sizes and types of ensembles. TCU requires that ALL faculty, staff, and students wear facial coverings. We will utilize larger spaces, physical distancing of 6 or more feet, face masks/shields, plexiglass room dividers, and more to minimize risks. Many ensembles are thinking creatively about sizes of ensembles, locations of performances, usage of video and virtual collaboration, and much more. Much like all other classes at TCU, ensembles will have an online option for those students and/or faculty who are unable to be on campus. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to ensemble faculty with additional questions or suggestions.

ALL required music classes will be offered in Fall 2020, but the format of each class is still being determined. Some courses will have a hybrid option (in person or online) and some may be fully online. Please continue to check your TCU e-mail for information on how to know if your course is being offered hybrid or fully online.

TCU is still in the process of defining Phase 3 of the Return to Campus plan, particularly due to the spike of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Tarrant County. Therefore, we are unable to allow students to utilize the practice rooms at this time. Once TCU has determined it is safe for additional faculty, staff, and students to be on the campus, we will share protocols for safety and health in our practice rooms with TCU School of Music faculty, staff, and students.

Yes, though there will be some changes. Unlike previous years, juries will need to occur during final exams since TCU will not have designated study days in the Fall 2020 calendar. Therefore, juries and barriers will be scheduled across all five final exam days (November 18, 19, 20, 23, and 24) so as to minimize conflicts with final exam schedules. Juries and barriers may be heard live on campus, pre-recorded, or through videoconference. We are still working to define expectations in each area and appreciate your patience as details will be shared soon.

If your Spring 2020 recital was postponed, please work with your applied faculty member and Mrs. Nita Ferrell to identify an agreeable date, time, and location. If a student is not able to perform their recital on campus, they must work with their applied faculty member to identify an alternate option, such as a recording, livestream from home, or similar.

All other Fall 2020 recitals will be scheduled with the same priority process as in previous years. ALL recitals must plan for physical distancing of all participants and usage of masks/face coverings. Some recitals may also require the use of plexiglass room dividers. Much like our ensemble faculty, please begin to think creatively about your repertoire, collaborators, and performance location.

Student Recital Guidelines

  • All performers must wear a face mask or similar covering for the duration of the performance.
  • The performers, applied professor, and stage manager will be the only people in the hall for the duration of the performance. No other TCU students, faculty, staff, or external guests or visitors will be permitted to attend.
  • No food or beverages will be served.

Performers may perform without a mask if they meet the following criteria:

    • All repertoire is either solo and unaccompanied or performed with a recorded track.
    • In-person audiences will be strictly prohibited.
    • Applied professor has approved performing without a mask and plans to either sit in the booth or watch remotely from the live stream.
    • Performer is required to wear a mask when entering and exiting the venue, backstage, and at all other times on the TCU Campus.
    • Only one stage manager will be assigned to the event and will remain in the booth for the duration of the performance.
    • Prior to the recital hearing, the student and applied professor must inform Dr. Kirkendoll and the stage managers of plans to perform without a mask.
  • The default recital option is no in-person audience
    • Students will be contacted by Dr. Kirkendoll with the option for an in-person audience.
    • Students must submit in writing to Dr. Kirkendoll and their applied professor that they would like an in-person audience.
    • By opting for an in-person audience, the student and applied professor agree to the additional guidelines outlined below.

Recital Guidelines for In-Person Audiences

  • All performers must wear a face mask or similar covering for the duration of the performance.
  • Audience members must be TCU students, faculty, or staff with an advanced seat reservation. Maximum of 30 in the audience who will reserve a seat on OvationTix no less than 12 hours prior to the event. A TCU ID card and valid OvationTix reservation must be presented upon arrival at the student recital.
  • No external guests or visitors will be permitted to attend. Please ask family and friends who are not permitted to join via livestream.
  • Audience members must wear face mask/covering for the duration of the performance and sit in their reserved seat.
  • Performers and audience will greet each other without physical contact.
  • Performers and audience members will practice physical distancing of at least 6 feet.
  • All performers and audience members will wipe down their chair, music stand, or similar shared surfaces at the conclusion of the performance.
  • No food or beverages will be served.

No student’s academic progress may be impacted by how classes are offered in Fall 2020. ALL required classes for students to graduate will be offered in Fall 2020. If you have concerns about your academic progress, please reach out first to your academic advisor and then Dr. Karen Click, Assistant Director of Academic Programs.

Students may begin using practice rooms Monday, August 10. Please reserve a practice room using the links below and follow safety guidelines.

  1. Wait 5 minutes before entering the practice room
  2. Wash/sanitize your hands before and after using the practice room
  3. Wear a mask when entering and exiting the practice room
  4. Leave provided cleaning materials in the room

General Music Practice Rooms


Piano Wing


Please use the following web-based practice room reservation system. QR codes with links to these pages will be available outside of each practice room.

General Music Practice Rooms


Piano Wing


All students must wear a mask/face covering/shield when entering and exiting the practice rooms. Students must continue wearing a mask/face covering/shield when using the room unless their instrument precludes the ability to wear one (such as woodwinds and brass). Singers will be expected to wear a face shield. Flutists will be expected to use a Win-D-Fender on their flute.

Hand sanitizing stations are readily available throughout the building. We plan to have some hand sanitizer bottles placed inside practice rooms. It is vital to everyone’s health that these remain in the practice rooms. Students are expected to wash and/or sanitize their hands both before and after using practice rooms.

All practice rooms will have their own H13 HEPA Filtration system that utilizes four levels of filtration to remove 99.9% of particles down to 0.1 microns. Based on the square footage of our practice rooms, these portable systems will clean the air in 5 minutes. Therefore, all students must wait 5 minutes before entering a practice room to allow the room’s air to clear.

First, we’ve gone through all our practice rooms and removed any chairs that have fabric. Seating in these rooms will either be a piano bench or Wenger Student Chair – both of which are solid surfaces that can be wiped down.

Second, the only practice rooms with carpeting are in Waits Hall. Therefore, we plan to have antibacterial spray (similar to Lysol spray) available in those rooms for students to spray the carpet.

Next, all students in the School of Music will be provided with a towel to wipe up any moisture they leave behind on a surface and/or to blow condensation off a key.

Last, the School of Music classrooms and practice rooms will be e-misted by our TCU Facilities team once per day at 7:00am to help minimize virus lingering in the space.

All rooms with pianos will have bactericidal/virucidal wipes available to clean the keyboards of the pianos. These wipes are rated to clean a surface in 1 minute following application. It is vital to everyone’s health that these wipes remain in the practice rooms. In addition, our piano technician and his contractors will be regularly cleaning the piano keyboards with a 60:40, 99% alcohol solution. Students are asked to make time for piano technicians to clean.

TCU and the School of Music’s offerings satisfy the hybrid model that will include in-person classes, classes with a mixture of in-person and online study, and online classes. At least one or more of your classes in the School of Music will be on campus at this time. Any additional questions or concerns should be sent to https://internationalservices.tcu.edu/

Please stay in close communication with your embassy as some appointments do become available from time to time. However, please know that wherever you are in the world, you can still take classes online at TCU and in the School of Music. Please also let both Mrs. Liz Branch and Dr. Paul Cortese know of your current plans.

Each person’s circumstances will be different. Please consult with both Mrs. Liz Branch and Dr. Paul Cortese on your plans.

Classes begin on Monday, August 17 and the last day of final exams is Tuesday, November 24. The last day for scheduled recitals and concerts in the School of Music will be Tuesday, November 17. For more information on the Fall 2020 academic calendar, visit: http://www.reg.tcu.edu/3_acad_cal_tab.asp

Details will continue to be shared with all faculty, staff, and students via their TCU e-mail address. Please visit https://www.tcu.edu/coronavirus for campus-wide updates.

Contact your applied instructor, ensemble director, or division chair. Their contact information can be found in our online directory.

If you are unsure who to contact, email music@tcu.edu

Visit https://www.tcu.edu/coronavirus for campus-wide updates.

Details will continue to be shared with all faculty, staff, and students via their TCU e-mail address. In the meantime, this video can give you some extent of TCU’s plans and expectations of all members of the campus: https://youtu.be/Ol0cxlRiWGY Additionally, for the latest campus-wide updates, please continue to check https://www.tcu.edu/coronavirus/index.php


Review TCU’s Healthy Campus checklist for additional steps you’ll need to take for fall.

Please also review TCU’s Connected Campus Guide for students and families and the Student Daily COVID-19 Decision Tree.

You can view updates on TCU Dining Services here.

All faculty, staff, and students will use their TCU ID to swipe into buildings. Doors may not be propped nor held for people behind you. All Horned Frogs are expected to individually swipe into buildings for access and maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from the people around them.

Being together this Fall and keeping everyone safe will require working together. Faculty, staff, and students are being asked to disinfect shared spaces before and after use, using cleaning materials provided by TCU.

We know that the Horned Frog experience shapes ethical and responsible leaders who will solve big problems in a world of uncertainty. Regardless of whether you will be in person, online or a combination of both, we have prepared an outstanding academic experience. To hear more about the improvements and innovations TCU has planned, watch the short video below.

Please check the Additional Resources tab for a list of on-campus and virtual support services.

Additionally, TCU Student Affairs has compiled information about key student experience groups across campus. https://www.tcu.edu/connected-campus/student-experience.php

TCU Student Resources has additional information about returning to campus.

Please review TCU Student Resources’s guide on Fall 2020 Student Programming.

With difference comes opportunity, and we invite you to learn more about what Horned Frogs will experience on campus this fall including small group activities, enjoying more outdoor events, and virtual gatherings that bind our community, no matter where we choose to engage. To learn more about the student experience we have planned, watch the short video below.

All faculty and staff contact information can be found in our online directory.

Faculty – Visit Ramping Up Rapidly for TCU Online and course design resources.

Students – Visit https://tcuonline.tcu.edu/students-how-to-access-courses-in-tcu-online/ to get started with TCU Online

Students – International Services: https://tcuonline.tcu.edu/students-how-to-access-courses-in-tcu-online/

Students – Student Access & Accommodation: https://www.tcu.edu/access-accommodation/index.php

Students – Scholarships and Financial Aid: https://financialaid.tcu.edu/

Students – Virtual Support Services: https://studentaffairs.tcu.edu/virtual-support-services/

Counseling & Mental Health Center: https://counseling.tcu.edu/

CARE: https://care.tcu.edu/

Brown-Lupton Health Center: https://healthcenter.tcu.edu/


The TCU Student Emergency Fund provides financial assistance to TCU students involved in a catastrophic or emergency situation. These include circumstances which are sudden, unexpected, and/or affect a student’s ability to function. Examples include but are not limited to: an accident, illness, emergency or necessary travel, family emergencies, fire damage, or need for temporary housing. Grants are awarded up to a maximum of $750. Some funds may be counted as income and are subject to federal taxes.

Apply: https://faith.tcu.edu/support-and-care/