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Course Modalities

  • The majority of music courses will be taught online. There are approximately 20 courses that have been identified as blended. These designations were determined after a careful review of current health guidelines and pedagogical needs.
  • Courses identified as online will not change to blended at any time during the semester. Blended courses will only offer in person instruction when health and safety considerations allow.


  • All large ensembles will be split into smaller groups to allow necessary physical distancing for in-person rehearsals and better facilitate virtual ensembles. Students will choose one of the following three options for ensemble participation in the Spring. 
    • Blended. Ensembles (up to 15 students) will meet for rehearsal 1-2 times per week. These rehearsals will be no longer than 45 minutes in one space, and scheduled to allow adequate time for air exchange (at least 30 minutes) in between. In some cases, ensembles will rehearse in one location for 30 to 45 minutes, and then move to a secondary location for another session.
      • Choral ensembles will meet in Lagerquist Concert Hall and MBR 306 and maintain 9ft spacing. Due to space constraints in the Choir Room, choral ensembles will be up to 12 singers.
      • String ensembles will meet in Lagerquist Concert Hall and MBR 322 and maintain 6ft spacing.
      • Students in wind and brass ensembles (Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, or Wind Ensemble) will meet in MBR 322 and maintain 9ft spacing. Bell covers will be provided for all instruments. Students may remove their mask or play with an altered mask, but must wear an unaltered, three-ply surgical mask when not actively playing.
      • Percussion students should enroll in MUSI 381: Chamber Ensemble, which will meet in MBR 322.
    • Virtual. Students will meet per conductor discretion for virtual coaching, collaboration, masterclasses, etc.
    • No Participation. Students may elect not to participate in an ensemble in the Spring semester. Students who are on scholarship will receive an automatic exemption from the expectation to participate in an ensemble, though the requirement to enroll in private instruction remains. The credit requirement for music majors is not waived: a music major who does not participate in an ensemble in the Spring will need to make up the credit during a semester later in their degree program.
  • Current guidelines require three-ply surgical style masks in rehearsals. As supplies allow, the Music Department will provide masks for students as they enter rehearsals. Students will be asked to wear a new mask for each rehearsal, and dispose of it following.

Studio Instruction

  • For aerosol-producing lessons (brass, voice, woodwinds)
    • All applied lessons will be conducted virtually. No aerosol-producing lessons will take place in faculty studios. Accommodations for a lesson in an alternate space will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If approved, the student may remove their mask or use a modified mask only when playing their instrument. Distancing of at least 15ft should be maintained.
  • For non aerosol-producing instruments (keyboard, percussion, strings), lessons may be conducted virtually by request of either the student or faculty. If lessons are offered on campus:
    • Masks are required, at all times, for the instructor and student.
    • Physical distancing guidelines must be followed. 
    • Faculty and students are responsible for disinfecting all contact surfaces, including keyboards, stands, and chairs, before and after lessons.
    • Lessons must be scheduled at least thirty minutes apart to allow adequate time for air exchange.
  • Seminars/Masterclasses. Since most instruction will necessarily be virtual, we will work to schedule times for masterclasses or seminars for students to interact with peers and faculty. Students who have elected to attend courses online for the semester will not be required to attend these gatherings.
  • Assessments. All assessments will move forward as scheduled. Videos of Sophomore Assessment Juries and BA/BMA Junior Assessment performances will be due on Friday, May 14, by 5:00pm. If piano accompaniment is required, students may contact collaborative pianists for recordings or use pre-recorded tracks. Since MUSI 445: Conducting III is a blended class, Music Education assessments for juniors will be coordinated by the course instructor.
  • Juries. Semester juries are required. Videos of semester juries will be due Friday, May 21, by 5:00pm. If piano accompaniment is required, students may contact collaborative pianists for recordings or use pre-recorded tracks.

Ensemble Performances

  • As of this writing, there will be no indoor live performances. Ensemble conductors may schedule a live streamed performance or recording sessions as appropriate.
  • We will continue to evaluate the possibility and logistics of outdoor performances throughout the semester.
  • Regardless of the medium, all musicians must follow current masking and distancing guidelines during performances.

Degree Recital Performances

  • Private performances. Recitals will be treated as a “private performance”. The student may invite up to 6 family members who live in the same household. A list of family members must be provided to the Music Office at least 7 days prior to the performance. All must complete forms to comply with the PLU campus visitors policy. 
    • Masks are required for all family members, and a minimum of 20 feet must be maintained between the performer and audience.
  • The Music Department will provide one lobby staff member who will facilitate opening (10 min pre show), lights, and closing the house, and will offer cleaning supplies for family members to disinfect their seats.
  • Students may perform without a mask, though they must be 15 feet downstage of a masked pianist.
  • This policy applies to degree recitals only. There are no non-degree recitals in Spring.
  • No chamber or collaborative works.
  • No printed programs.
  • No post show events.
  • Recital juries. The recital performance will be livestreamed and recorded. Members of the music faculty will evaluate the recording, and this will serve as the recital jury. Students will receive scores and comments approximately two weeks after the recital performance.
  • Dress rehearsal. Approximately three weeks prior to the recital, once the student’s studio instructor has confirmed an appropriate level of preparedness, the student may schedule a dress rehearsal. Due to time and space limitations, dress rehearsals will be limited to one hour. Since this may not be sufficient to perform all of the recital repertoire, this rehearsal should be considered a sound check in the hall.

BA/BMA Capstone Presentations

  • Capstone presentations will be broadcast via Zoom, from MBR 334 or location of student’s choice. The student’s Capstone chair can assist with hosting a session to avoid any time limitations on a student’s personal Zoom account.

Practice Rooms

  • To the extent possible, students are encouraged to practice in their dorm rooms or other living accommodations. Since dorm rooms continue to be single occupancy, it is safer for students—particularly those who are practicing high aerosol-producing instruments—to practice outside of MBR. For students for whom that is not possible or practical, the practice rooms in MBR will be available.
  • Schedule. Times will be scheduled in 45-minute blocks, with 30 minutes between students to allow for air circulation. Assigned practice times will begin at 6:00am and continue until 12:30am. To reduce hallway traffic, alternating practice rooms will be on different schedules.
  • Requesting time. Students will request practice room time using a link. Times will be assigned by the Music Office for the following Monday through Sunday, where the schedule becomes available the Wednesday prior. Due to limited practice room availability, students may request up to four sessions a day, and may combine up to two sessions in a row for a 2-hour time block. Requests will be on a first-come, first-served basis, and students should make their requests as soon as possible – no later than one day in advance to the session time.
  • Under no circumstances should more than one person be in a practice room at a time.
  • Music Stands. Music stands will be removed from all practice rooms. Students will be required to bring their own music stands.
  • Chairs. One Wegner Student Musician chair will be placed in each practice room. These chairs are plastic and should be disinfected after each use. Chairs with cloth covers, including cello chairs, will not be used in practice rooms in Spring 2021.
  • Masks. Students may remove their masks for practice while alone in a practice room. Masks must be worn at all times otherwise, including time spent disinfecting the space.
  • Disinfecting. Disinfectant and other cleaning supplies will be placed in the practice room hallway, and near the third floor practice rooms. Students must wipe down the piano and chair BEFORE and AFTER each practice session. Trash cans will remain outside the rooms.

Recommended Purchases

  • A Music Stand. In an effort to reduce contact points, students will be required to use their own portable music stand for all rehearsals, individual practice, and performance. 
  • A USB Microphone. The Music Department encourages students to purchase a USB microphone to enhance sound quality, particularly for higher volume instruments.
  • Headphones. If your budget allows, consider a quality pair of over the ear headphones. Open-back or semi-open headphones allow air to pass through the headphones, making it easier and more natural to hear yourself.

Building Information

  • Students enrolled in Private Instruction and blended music classes for Spring 2021 will have swipe access to MBR. Building hours for these students will be 6:00am to 12:30am to allow time in the practice rooms. Students who are not registered for Private Instruction may request access by contacting the Music Office.
  • No students will have swipe access to the Music Office.
  • Students who have checked out an instrument or locker for personal use will be provided access to the locker room.
  • All teaching spaces (Lagerquist Concert Hall [MBRC-330], 306, 322, 323, 334) will remain locked. Faculty will be responsible for unlocking these larger spaces when they are used for blended instruction.
  • Signage. Signage and stickers have been placed throughout MBR.  These include advisory information for using specific rooms, but also directional information for improved traffic flow throughout the building.  Please pay attention to posted signage and adhere to messaging and directions provided.
  • Room Cleaning & Cleaning Kits. Cleaning kits will be supplied and maintained in the locations listed below. Facilities will be regularly replacing the microfiber cloth and refilling the disinfectant solution provided. Faculty and students are responsible for disinfecting classrooms and other spaces used. If you notice that a kit is missing, or needs service, please let one of the Music Office staff know.
    • Third floor
      • Percussion Studio (323)
      • Instrumental Rehearsal Room (322)
      • Choral Rehearsal Room (306)
      • Lagerquist Concert Hall (Stage)
      • Lagerquist Concert Hall (Organ Loft)
      • Keyboard Lab (331)
      • Classroom (334)
      • Outside of Studio 335, to be shared with Practice Rooms and any faculty studios further down the hall.
    • Second floor
      • Practice Room Wing (Amphitheatre Door)
      • Practice Room Wing (Mid Hallway)
      • Practice Room Wing (Mid Hallway)
      • Practice Room Wing (Outside Studio 202B)
      • Music Office Lobby
      • Music Office Workroom
    • First floor
      • Room 116 hallway, left outside the door to be used by any Faculty Studios
  • Hand sanitizer stations are located just inside of the three main entrances to the building, including:
    • Third floor exit to Wheeler Street
    • Third floor lobby
    • First floor lobby

Music Office Information

Beginning Tuesday, February 16th the Music Office will operate with adjusted hours and access during Spring semester. One staff member will be in the office Monday through Thursday, 8am-12pm, and Friday, 8am-10am.  All staff will continue to work remotely in what would be the usual Music Office hours of 8am-12pm and 1-4pm, and can readily be contacted via email during this timeframe.  Please note that unexpected closures may occur.

If the Music Office is not open and you need to reach someone, contact information and specific office hours are listed below.  You are encouraged to send an email with any questions you might have, if you are unable to visit in person.

Additionally, if you have specific questions for any of the following areas, please contact the appropriate staff member listed:

  • Registration for lessons, ensembles, or other music classes – Tabi Looper
  • Instrument or locker checkout – Tabi Looper or Ryan Marsh
  • Student employment – Mercedi Benien (lobby staff can contact Ryan Marsh)
  • Access-related questions – Tabi Looper or Ryan Marsh
  • Practice room scheduling – Mercedi Benien
  • Scholarship-related questions – Tabi Looper
  • General scheduling-related questions – Ryan Marsh
  • Recitals – Ryan Marsh
  • General inquiries or questions not listed here – Ryan Marsh

Ryan Marsh
Office phone: 253-535-7602

  • Office hours:
    Monday and Tuesday from 8am-12pm
  • Working remotely:
    Monday and Tuesday from 1-4pm; Wednesday-Friday 8am-12pm and 1-4pm

Tabi Looper
Office phone: 253-535-7603

  • Office hours:
    Wednesday and Thursday from 8am-12pm
  • Working remotely:
    Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 8am-12pm and 1-4pm; Wednesday and Thursday from 1-4pm

Mercedi Benien
Office phone: 253-535-7627

  • Office hours:
    Friday from 8am-10am
  • Working remotely:
    Monday-Thursday from 8am-12pm and 1-4pm; Friday from 10am-12pm and 1-4pm

Instrument & Locker Checkout

Instrument and locker checkout requests will be handled using the online request form and processes supplied here.  There is no need to make these requests in person by visiting the Music Office.

Instrument and locker checkout for Spring semester is now available.  Please contact either Tabi Looper or Ryan Marsh in the Music Office at loopert@plu.edu or marshrl@plu.edu if you have any questions.

Please note that any instrument that is checked out will not be assigned to multiple persons, and should not be shared.

Instrument Checkout

If you are in need of a specific instrument please follow the steps outlined below:

  • Fill out and submit the form supplied at the bottom of this section once you have confirmed with your ensemble director or lesson instructor what instrument you will need to be assigned
  • Have the appropriate ensemble director or lesson instructor follow up with an email to both Tabi Looper and Ryan Marsh in the Music Office at loopert@plu.edu and marshrl@plu.edu with all of the following information:
    •  Name of student requesting instrument
    • Which instrument is being requested (make/model if known)
    • Specific timeframe the instrument will need to be used (i.e.):
      • Academic Year (Sept-May)
      • Fall Semester ONLY (Sept-Dec); J-Term (January)
      • Spring Semester ONLY (Feb-May)
      • Summer Only (Jun-Aug); or
      • Other (indicate specific dates needed)
  • Once the Music Office receives both your request form and an email of approval from your instructor you will be emailed the appropriate locker information and will have access to the instrument

Locker Checkout

If you require a locker for your own personal instrument please email both Tabi Looper and Ryan Marsh in the Music Office at loopert@plu.edu or marshrl@plu.edu with your request.  Please indicate what type of instrument you need the locker for.

Also note that you must be registered for an instrumental lesson-type or ensemble in order to have access to an instrument locker.

Once your request has been approved by the Music Office your locker information will be emailed to you and you will have access to the locker.

String Lab

For students taking String Lab, the Music Office will email you a checkout form for you to complete and submit, once instrument assignments are completed.  Locker information will be provided prior to your first class meeting.