The University of Tennessee at Martin music department established strict, new safety procedures in hopes to provide a safe atmosphere for its faculty and students during the global pandemic.
Musicians require more safety precautions because they play or sing with forced-air breathing, which is like sneezing or coughing.
The CDC’s recommendation of six feet is based on normal breathing.
As a result, the music department taped ten feet squares in the performance halls, rather than six, and purchased a large 60ft by 90ft tent, which is located next to Pacer Pond.
Musicians must wear a mask while playing or singing and cover the bells of their instruments as well as sanitizing before and after every rehearsal. Every room needs to air out for 15 minutes after every 30 minutes of playing also.
Dr. Julie Hill, chair of the music department, explained to her students the amazing, yet delicate, opportunity they’ve been given.
“We have set this up and now it's really in your hands,” she said. “This little glass castle is very fragile, and it only takes one of you and it breaks apart and then we go home.”
Several of the performances this fall are planned as drive-in concerts if classes remain in person. They are called “Live from the Tent” and will be held at the tent by Pacer Pond.
These will be open to the public.
For more information, go to the music event calendar on UTM’s website.