Faculty of Music Operational Update - April 27, 2022

27 April 2022

April 27, 2022 Faculty of Music Operational Update

Dear Music Students, Staff, and Faculty:

I hope that exams, projects, juries/recitals, grading, and other end-of-year activities are moving along as smoothly as possible for everyone. I am writing with a few pieces of information related to COVID-19 and building operations.

Campus Mask Requirement

On April 26, the University announced that the campus mask requirement will continue until June 30, 2022. (Full details about the University’s mask policy can be accessed here.) In brief, for individuals in both of the Faculty of Music buildings, this means that masks are required when in common and shared spaces, such as hallways, lobbies, washrooms, student services offices, classrooms, rehearsal halls, Walter Hall, MacMillan Theatre, and the Music Library. Masks may be removed in common areas when eating/drinking and in shared areas when doing musical activities that require mask removal (playing winds or brass instruments, solo singing in a performance space), but physical distancing is expected when unmasked. For individuals who are in an environment where physical distancing can be predictably maintained (e.g., in an office, in a practice room), masks may be removed.


As previously announced, the University is pausing the UCheck vaccination status and symptom screening requirement as of May 1, 2022. Members of our community are strongly encouraged to continue to do symptom screening before coming to campus and to remain at home if feeling unwell. We have a number of recitals and other activities in the month of May, and I hope that with continued vigilance and care we can minimize not only the amount of illness in our community but also the number of cancellations or postponements.

EJB Building Access

As of May 1, 2022, with the pausing of the UCheck requirements, access to the Edward Johnson Building (EJB) will also be changing:

  • The EJB doors will be unlocked at both the Queen’s Park and Philosopher’s Walk entrances during the hours of 7:00a.m.–8:00p.m. Monday–Friday and 9:00a.m.–8:00p.m. Saturday–Sunday.
  • The EJB will be locked and accessible only by fob from 8:00p.m.–11:00p.m. daily. At the present time, this means the only evening access point to the EJB will be the Queen’s Park entrance; however, a fob reader will be installed later this spring on the Philosopher’s Walk entrance. We will update the community when the Philosopher’s Walk entrance becomes accessible via fob.

Please note that 90 Wellesley (90W) will remain fob access only and with the same hours of availability (7:00a.m.–11:00p.m. Monday–Friday; 9:00a.m.–11:00p.m. Saturday–Sunday).

Please continue to reach out to the appropriate person or office (e.g., Registrar’s Office, Graduate Office, Performance Office) with any questions in the weeks ahead or should you need any resources or support.

Thanks to everyone for their flexibility, understanding, patience, and dedication throughout the past year. I wish everyone the best as you wrap up the academic year and plan for the summer ahead.



Ryan McClelland (he/him)
Professor of Music Theory
Associate Dean, Academic & Student Affairs
Faculty of Music
University of Toronto
(416) 946–0802


April 6, 2022 Update from U of T Music

Dear Music Students, Staff, and Faculty:

As the 2021–22 academic year heads into its final weeks, I am writing with a few updates and thoughts on operational matters related to Covid-19.

Last week, the University announced changing health measures effective May 1, 2022, specifically pauses in the requirements to complete UCheck health screening prior to attending campus, to be fully vaccinated to participate in University activities, and to be masked in indoor campus spaces. The University also noted that some or all of these requirements may be reinstated on short notice should public health conditions or guidance change.

Please note that all of these requirements continue to be in effect until May 1, and the Faculty of Music will be continuing with its additional precautions throughout the month of April (e.g., FOB-only access to the Edward Johnson Building; verification of UCheck green screens; limited number of external guests for recitals; restricted audience numbers at ensemble concerts). I strongly encourage all members of our community to take appropriate steps to safeguard their health when off campus as well, such as masking and avoiding crowded venues. Given that there has been an increase in the number of students, staff, and faculty absent from campus in recent days, we hope that a bit of extra vigilance on everyone’s part will keep our community as healthy as possible throughout the remainder of the academic year and help to minimize disruptions (e.g., postponed recitals and deferred juries/exams).

The University’s policies around self-isolation and illness reporting have changed in the past week, so I will recap them here:

(1) If you have symptoms of Covid-19 or have tested positive (i.e., a “red” screen in UCheck), you must self-isolate for at least 5 days (counting from the day after your symptom onset or positive test, whichever happened first). If you reach the end of your isolation period and continue to have symptoms, you must continue to self-isolate until your symptoms have improved for at least 24 hours, and you have no fever. (Students who are living in residence should self-isolate in their room and inform residence staff.)

(2) If you have come into contact with a case of Covid-19 in the community, you do not need to self-isolate if you have no symptoms, but you should monitor yourself carefully for the development of symptoms.

(3) If you have a household contact with a suspected or confirmed Covid-19 infection, you no longer need to self-isolate if you have no symptoms and have received a booster dose (or a confirmed Covid-19 infection in the past 90 days), but you should monitor yourself carefully for the development of symptoms. If you do not meet either of these two criteria, then you must self-isolate for the same period of time as your household contact (i.e., 5 days).

(4a) Students who are self-isolating should self-declare their absence in ACORN and inform their instructors but are no longer required to inform UofT Environmental Health & Safety.

(4b) Faculty and staff who are self-isolating should inform their supervisor/Dean’s Office but are no longer required to inform UofT Environmental Health & Safety.

(5) Faculty who become aware of Covid-19 case(s) in their classes/studios may inform others (without revealing the name or names of persons self-isolating). UofT Environmental Health & Safety is no longer undertaking contact tracing and notifications.

I want to thank everyone for their flexibility and understanding as we have navigated another challenging year. Please continue to reach out to the appropriate person or office (e.g., Registrar’s Office, Graduate Office, Performance Office) with any questions in the weeks ahead or should you need any resources or support.

With best wishes for the end of classes and the exam period ahead,


Ryan McClelland (he/him)
Professor of Music Theory
Associate Dean, Academic & Student Affairs


March 14, 2022 Update from the University of Toronto

In order to minimize uncertainty and disruption and to continue to support our students, staff, faculty and university communities, Ontario’s universities, including the University of Toronto, will maintain their COVID-19 vaccination and masking policies until at least the end of the current term. 

For more information visit UTogether, your guide to the 2021-22 school year at U of T. 


January 19, 2022 Update from Dean Hisama

Music Faculty, Staff, and Students:

As announced in today’s communication from Vice-President & Provost Regehr and Vice-President Hannah-Moffat, the University of Toronto will continue with predominantly remote operations until Monday, February 7. I am writing with information on current plans for teaching and learning at the Faculty of Music as of that date.

Effective Monday, February 7, most instruction at the Faculty of Music is expected to take place in the mode of delivery in which it was originally scheduled. For many courses, this means in-person teaching and learning following the general safety measures applicable throughout the University. The Ministry of Colleges and Universities has confirmed that for post-secondary institutions there are no restrictions on in-person instruction and no distancing or capacity limits for instructional spaces. However, as was the case in Fall 2021 (and throughout the pandemic), some Faculty of Music in-person instructional activities—especially in performance—will be subject to additional protocols to protect the health of our community, following public health and university guidelines. These guidelines will continue to evolve over the coming weeks, and we will keep our community apprised of changes to Music-specific health and safety protocols.

The resumption of in-person delivery on February 7 marks yet another turning point in our journey through the pandemic, but not its end. We anticipate that members of our community—faculty, staff, students, and their families—will continue to be impacted by Covid-19, to varying extents, throughout the weeks ahead. Some class meetings or other activities will likely have to be cancelled, shifted to online delivery, or rescheduled, sometimes on short notice. Your continued flexibility and understanding will be essential as we return to in-person instruction and interaction, as will your continued adherence to health and safety protocols. Should any member of our community have questions or need support in the weeks ahead, please do not hesitate to reach out for assistance.

Between now and February 7, the Edward Johnson Building and 90 Wellesley Building remain open via fob access for members of our community who cannot complete their work or learning at home. Note that Reception (EJB Room 145) is open but with hours reduced to 9:00a.m.–3:00p.m. At this time, Reception is the sole point-of-contact for students, faculty, and staff as the Graduate Office and Performance Office do not currently have regular in-person hours. Although some Student Services staff might be working on campus occasionally, interactions until February 7 will be by email, phone, or Zoom.


Faculty of Music Building Access and Operations - January 2022

Hello Music Faculty, Staff, and Students:

In response to the projected rise of Covid-19 infections in the community over the coming weeks, the University of Toronto has announced that in-person instruction will be suspended for the first three weeks of the Winter semester. As communicated to you last week by Dean Hisama, all Faculty of Music classes will begin on Monday, January 10, 2022 in a virtual manner with a return to in-person teaching planned for Monday, January 31, 2022. This includes applied lessons (and studio classes), Classical Chamber Music and Small Jazz Ensembles (both rehearsals and coachings), major ensembles, and all other performance-based classes.

Since last week’s announcement, a few questions have been received in regard to building access and operations in January 2022. The paragraphs below provide some information; please note that we might be required to make further adjustments as the situation evolves in the weeks ahead.

We expect that the Edward Johnson Building (80 Queen’s Park) and 90 Wellesley will be open via fob access starting Monday, January 3 and with the same hours of operation as throughout the Fall semester, and that it will remain possible to book practice rooms and classrooms (either online or via The plans are that students may book practice rooms or classrooms only for individual use. As an exception, for those students who need to make a recording with a pianist for non-instructional purposes to meet a professional deadline in January (e.g., a graduate audition or competition), we will permit booking of classroom space (for the recording itself and for rehearsal). Note that only the student and pianist may be present, and singers recording live with a pianist would need to remain masked.

Rooms booked for classes, including applied lessons, will remain reserved for those classes/lessons throughout January. We expect that students who need to come to campus to participate in virtual instruction (e.g., to access an instrument or to access a space where music-making can occur) will be permitted to do so; those students will be able to use the space reserved for their applied lesson (or, in the case of a class, students may individually use that room). The Music Library plans to remain open, though with reduced hours; please visit its website for details. While we expect that students, faculty, and staff who need to come to campus will be permitted to do so, they should only come to campus for activities that cannot be completed from home.

Reception (Room 145) at the Edward Johnson Building will be open in January, but the hours of Reception will be reduced to 9:00a.m.–3:00p.m. Monday–Friday. (Faculty and staff—please be mindful of the reduced hours if you are expecting deliveries.) EJB Reception will be the sole point-of-contact for students, faculty, and staff (the Graduate Office and Performance Office will not have regular in-person hours). Although some Student Services staff might be working on campus occasionally, the norm for the month of January will be interaction via email, phone, or Zoom.

The University re-opens on Monday, January 3, and we will be in touch soon thereafter should there be any further restrictions on building access or operations. Thanks for your understanding as we navigate another instructional pivot. I hope that everyone and their families remains healthy in the weeks ahead and has a restful holiday break.

Best wishes,

Ryan McClelland
Professor of Music Theory
Associate Dean, Academic & Student Affairs
Faculty of Music, University of Toronto
(416) 946–0802


UCheck Green screens - For Entry into the EJB

Dear Faculty of Music Community,

I hope that the start of the semester is going well for you. It is great to see so many students back on campus and experiencing music together. I am writing with an update regarding access to the Edward Johnson Building (EJB) starting Monday, September 27.

In order to ensure that all members of the U of T Music community have uploaded all required vaccination documentation to UCheck and completed the daily health screening, campus security will be asking to see “green screens” upon entry to the EJB. Please get your “green screen” before coming to campus and have a device available to present to avoid lineups at the entrance. Should anyone be unable to show a “green screen” a Music staff member will be available to assist. Students using the paper-based UCheck will be required to show proof of vaccination for entry.

As a reminder, the link for UCheck is .

A convenient alternative to bookmarking the UCheck link is installing the U of T mobile app (which is available for both Android and iPhone). Besides a direct link to UCheck, the U of T mobile app has several customizable options, such as links to Quercus, the Library Catalogue, and a campus map. For information about the U of T mobile app:

We have had a healthy start to the semester, and we want it to remain that way throughout the year ahead. Thanks in advance for your cooperation as we undertake “green screen” verification.

Ryan McClelland
Professor of Music Theory
Associate Dean, Academic & Student Affairs
Faculty of Music
University of Toronto (416) 946–0802


Faculty of Music Safety Protocols and Building Operation

September 8, 2021

Safety Protocols

It is important to remember that our campus occupancy protocols are informed not only by U of T policy and recommendations, but also by those of public health authorities (municipal, provincial, and federal) and the degree of COVID-19 community spread that is present. We therefore must acknowledge that building protocols and teaching delivery might have to change during the semester, and we should all be prepared for the possibility of needing to make adjustments as the semester unfolds. Here is a summary of protocols for coming to the Faculty of Music buildings (Edward Johnson Building and 90 Wellesley, referred to as EJB and 90W below):

(1) All members of our community must review their health before coming to campus to ensure they are not presenting symptoms of COVID-19. Anyone who is in doubt about illness should remain at home. All faculty, staff, and students coming to campus must use the UCheck self-assessment web portal before coming to campus; the tool is available at and more details can be found at The first time that you access UCheck this semester you will be required to upload documents related to your vaccination status; if you have submitted this documentation through the Music-specific portal, you still have to do this on UCheck.

Members of the community should have their smartphone or other device with them on campus so that the UCheck “green screen” can be shown. This will be required for entry into buildings that do not have FOB access as well as to access particular services/offices on campus. Instructors may ask, but are not required to ask, students to show their “green screens” upon entering a class or attending an in-person office hour.

Students must report illness or self-isolation through the Absence Reporting tool in ACORN; like last year, medical documentation will not be required for absences.

Everyone with symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, difficulty breathing, etc.) should stay home, not work, self-isolate and complete a self-assessment using the UCheck web portal. A number of dedicated assessment centres have been established across the Greater Toronto Region to facilitate assessment and testing. Information on locations is available on local public health websites, including Toronto and Peel Region. If you live in other regions, you can find your local health unit here: .

If you are advised by a public health authority that you have tested positive for COVID-19, please contact immediately.

(2) All members of our community should try to maintain 2-metre physical distancing when outside of instructional spaces (e.g., classrooms, studios, labs). Within instructional spaces, distancing is encouraged when possible, but it is only required for activities involving winds, brass, or singing. In winds, brass, and singing, a minimum of 2-metre physical distancing is required. When a group of people are engaged in these activities, the distancing requirement applies between everyone in the group; in the case of an individual performer, the distancing requirement applies between the performer and a group of undistanced listeners/observers.

The use of plexiglass in performance situations is no longer required. However, we will be leaving the plexiglass panels in classrooms and large rehearsal spaces, in case instructors find them useful to ensure physical distancing, especially in the class setups where the plexiglass panel could be used to demarcate the performance zone and enforce the distance between the performer(s) and those observing.

(3) Signage remains in place to facilitate physical distancing in common areas outside of classrooms. Among others, measures include designating certain corridors as one-way, indicating staircases as ascending or descending, and limiting occupancy in elevators.

(4) All members of our community must follow the current U of T Policy on Face Masks. This policy requires that face masks be worn in all indoor University spaces, including classrooms, labs, lobbies, elevators, hallways, washrooms, and shared office spaces. Students will be required to wear masks in practice rooms whenever appropriate for their instrument. Faculty and staff with their own dedicated, enclosed office may remove their masks when alone in that space. For additional information on the U of T mask policy, see also the Joint Provostial and Human Resources Guideline.

Masks may be removed in teaching and learning environments if and when the instructor recommends that masks are not required on the basis that wearing them would materially impair the effectiveness of the learning activity, and where the learning activity can be carried out safely (e.g., playing a wind or brass instrument with a minimum of 2-metre physical distancing in place).

Singing in choirs will be done wearing masks and with physical distancing; solo singing in a class setting will also be done wearing masks, with distancing between the person singing and other members of the class. For the start of the semester (and until further notice), singing during in-person voice lessons will also take place with masks.

(5) Frequent, thorough hand washing is an important step all members of our community can take to reduce the spread of illness. There are several additional hand sanitizer stations in both the EJB and 90W (along with signage about the importance of hand hygiene). Sanitizers and wipes will be provided in both classrooms and practice room hallways. It is also recommended that individuals carry their own sanitizing materials should they not be near a hand washing or sanitizing station when they need to sanitize their hands.

(6) Class/Lesson Scheduling. All classes and lessons scheduled at the EJB and 90W will begin at 10 minutes past the hour. This will ensure that there is a small break for people to enter/exit the room.

(7) Studios and rooms (other than classrooms) where voice/brass/winds instruction will occur have been equipped with portable HEPA filter machines. If a machine does not appear to be working properly, please let the building manager know at

Building Operation

(1) Restricted building access. The East entrance of the EJB will be accessed by FOB only. The West (Philosopher’s Walk) side is not equipped with a FOB reader at this time and is therefore exit-only; a FOB reader will be installed during the fall semester (estimated early October installation date). As usual, the 90W building is FOB-access only.

(2) Building hours. The hours of operation for both the EJB and 90W will be 7 am to 11 pm Monday–Friday, 9 am to 11 pm Saturday–Sunday.

(3) Reception hours. The hours of operation for Reception at the EJB will be 9:00–4:30, Monday–Friday. Please note that Reception will continue to serve as the main in-person point of contact at the Faculty of Music; if there is no one in-person at another office (such as the Performance Office or Graduate Office), please visit Reception. It will be possible to schedule in-person meetings with Student Services staff this year, but much advising will remain virtual.

(4) Practice Rooms. Students will be able to book 2 hours of practice time in the online booking system . For all usage of practice facilities, please note:

(a) Everyone must sanitize hands before and after practice sessions. Hand sanitizer dispensers and sanitizing wipes will be available in hallways near the practice rooms, and classrooms but students are encouraged to carry hand sanitizer with them as well.

(b) Practice rooms and classrooms are considered to be shared spaces, and students who can wear a mask while practicing are required to do so.

(c) Students who play an instrument with a condensation (aka spit) valve must bring a cloth/receptacle into which it can be emptied. Emptying valves onto the floor is not permitted.

(d) All practice rooms in the EJB are single occupancy. Until September 22, rehearsals with a pianist or other musicians must occur in practice rooms at 90W or in classrooms. Details will be communicated about booking classrooms at the EJB within the next few weeks.

(e) Students who have access to specialized rooms for practicing (percussion, harp, double bass, oboe, bassoon, and tuba) are also required to follow the above protocols as well as any additional ones put in place by those instrumental areas.

Students who can practice at their place of residence are encouraged to do so. Students are reminded not to linger in the common areas/hallways near the practice rooms.


Fall Planning Update

August 27, 2021

Dear Faculty of Music Students:

I am writing to update you on fall planning. The Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities has not yet released the final guidelines for post-secondary education, including physical distancing and capacity limits. Until we have this information, we cannot be certain of the exact parameters for teaching in September. Should there be any changes to mode of delivery or the room location for your courses, faculty members will be in touch with you via email in the days ahead. While you should always check your UToronto email regularly, it is especially important that you monitor your UToronto email closely over the next couple of weeks since you will receive multiple emails in the coming days in regards to various aspects of coming to campus in September (including a separate email from me today about the launch of the vaccine verification portal for Music students).

Owing to the continued uncertainty around teaching guidelines, the challenges that some members of our community might face at the start of the term in attending campus, and the rising numbers of Covid infections in Toronto, we are going to have a mix of in-person, online, and hybrid teaching during the first three weeks of classes (September 9–October 1). Instructors may choose to shift the mode of delivery from in-person to online or hybrid to aid the transition in coming back to campus and to streamline delivery of classes to students who are not able to be on campus right at the beginning of the semester. This includes applied lessons, chamber group coachings, and small jazz ensembles.

In the event that a class is switched from in-person to synchronous online delivery for the start of the semester, students will be permitted to use the classroom that is booked and to Zoom from there. For students who need to be on campus while taking the class, using the classroom is probably the most comfortable option (rather than booking a library space or practice room).

In the week ahead, we will communicate in more detail about building protocols and about the requirements for coming to campus. At this time, I would like to let you know that both Faculty of Music buildings (Edward Johnson Building and 90 Wellesley) will be FOB access only for the fall semester in order to maximize the protection of our community. (Details on how to get a FOB have been previously communicated.)

Please continue to watch your emails for updates in the days ahead, and do reach out to me or to the Registrar’s Office (undergraduate inquiries: ) or Graduate Office (graduate inquiries: ).

With all best wishes,

Ryan McClelland
Associate Dean, Academic & Student Affairs
Professor of Music Theory

U of T Music Registrar's Office SharePoint Site
(updates for undergraduate students)

U of T Music Graduate Education SharePoint Site
(updates for graduate students)


University of Toronto

For university-wide information visit UTogether, your guide to fall 2021 at U of T, including resources for studentsresources for faculty, librarians and staffCOVID-19 self-assessmentshealth and wellness and frequently asked questions. 


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The Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto brings together creative and motivated students with outstanding educators. With extensive curricula in fields such as classical and jazz performance, music education, composition, music history, music theory, and ethnomusicology, the Faculty of Music also offers courses that explore music’s intersections with health sciences, technology, and humanities.

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