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Important Message for All Music Students

Dear School of Music Students:

Welcome back from your extended Spring Break. Changes occurring over the past two weeks have created challenges that most of us have never before considered! On behalf of the faculty and staff, we hope that you are healthy, are practicing social distancing, and will be over-achievers in keeping yourself and others safe as we carry on during the current COVID-19 outbreak.

The faculty has worked very hard this past week, preparing to move to instructional methods that are different than were originally planned. I have always admired our faculty for how dedicated they are to you, our students. Although we may experience some bumps along the way, and things may not be perfect, I am confident that your studies can continue successfully, preparing you to move forward after the pandemic has subsided.

All instruction for the remainder of the semester will be delivered remotely. All campus activities, including concerts and recitals, are canceled. Students are urged to find alternative places to practice and study, and stay away from campus if at all possible. This includes Murphy Hall. Here are some suggestions you should follow for the remainder of the semester:

  • Check your KU email and course Blackboard sites daily. This is how your instructors will communicate with you. You should not hesitate to contact them. They are there to help you succeed in your studies.
  • Visit the student section on remote.ku.edu. This site contains useful information that will help you succeed in your studies.
  • Obtain the latest campus updates on COVID-19 at https://coronavirus.ku.edu
  • Practice social distancing… all the time!
  • Try to establish a daily routine, get some exercise, eat a healthy diet, and drink plenty of water. These things will help you think more clearly and accomplish your tasks more efficiently.
  • Practice, practice, practice.
  • Use FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, or other communications methods to stay in contact with your family and friends. Avoid feelings of isolation by taking advantage of technology that allows for visual stimulation and communication.
  • If you experience anxiety or depression help is available at Counseling and Psychological Services


Because all faculty and most staff are working remotely, email is the best and most reliable method to communicate with School of Music faculty and staff. A directory can be found on the School of Music website at music.ku.edu/people

Access to Murphy Hall and Bales Recital Hall (updated Mon., March 23, 2020)

  • Effective Saturday, March 21, Murphy Hall is locked and closed to students 24/7.
  • In compliance with the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department “stay at home” order, no special consideration for student access to School of Music facilities will be considered until the order is lifted. More information about the order is here: https://www2.ljworld.com/news/general-news/2020/mar/22/douglas-county-issues-stay-at-home-order-similar-to-kc-metro/
  • Between now and April 7, Campus Housing is phasing moveouts from campus dormitories and apartments.  If you need to retrieve items from Murphy Hall during move out, contact Dean Walzel by email to make necessary arrangements (robert.walzel@ku.edu).

Applied Lessons

Students are responsible for communicating with their applied instructors to arrange the details of their remote instruction.


Regularly scheduled jury exams at the end of the semester are canceled. Instructors will inform students well in advance of any requirement for a final exam.

Weekly Studio Classes

Applied instructors will inform students of expectations for these weekly experiences.


All ensemble rehearsals and concerts are concluded for the year. Instructors will communicate directly with students regarding expectations for the remainder of the semester.


All School of Music recitals are canceled until further notice.

  • Degree recitals for students not planning to graduate in May 2020 or August 2020 are postponed indefinitely and will be rescheduled.
  • The requirement for DMA students to present the DMA Qualifying Recital in the first year of enrollment is temporarily suspended. More information will be available from your applied teacher.
  • For graduating students, the applied teacher will determine if the student is prepared to present the recital and will assign a grade for the recital based on the student’s preparation by the end of the semester. As a courtesy to graduating students, you will be invited to perform a recital when the pandemic situation has improved sufficiently to allow for this possibility. DMA Lecture-Recitals will be treated in the same way as other degree recitals under this policy; DMA Documents must still be defended in accordance with current policies governing Doctoral Oral Final Exams.

Recital Fee Credits/Refunds

Recital fees for all postponed recitals will remain in place and applied to the recital when it is performed in the future. Refunds will be made for all canceled final degree recitals. Refunds will be processed as quickly as possible. Students may not receive their reimbursement for several weeks and should plan accordingly.

Stay Well

We find ourselves in uncharted waters concerning so many things. For the next several weeks, our music community will miss the daily routines we have come to cherish. By working hard, being flexible, and staying focused on your studies, you will be successful in completing this semester and preparing for the future.

I appreciate your understanding and urge you to do everything possible to stay safe and healthy.

Rock Chalk!

Robert Walzel, DMA
Dean School of Music

School of Music Calendar
Music students present hundreds of public concerts every year
Students perform in KU choirs, concert bands, pep bands, ensembles, symphony orchestra, and jazz combos
The school owns one of the greatest jazz record collections in the world
KU Wind Ensemble performed the world premiere of the symphony "In the Shadow of No Towers" at Carnegie Hall
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.