Butler School of Music cancels public events, in-person classes

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The UT Performing Arts Department received a $400,000 grant from The Andrew Mellon Foundation last week. A large portion of the grant will be allocated to the School of Music.

Photo Credit: Chris Foxx | Daily Texan Staff

Editor’s note: This story is part of The Daily Texan’s coverage of how coronavirus concerns are affecting UT-Austin. Read the rest of our coverage here.

The Butler School of Music is canceling all public events and in-person classes starting March 23 through the end of the semester, Mary Ellen Poole, director of the Butler School of Music, said in an email sent to music students Thursday.

“The most important reason for (canceling classes) is that classes must be available to every student, whether on campus or off, and that means they’ve got to go online,” Poole said in the email.

Lessons for music students will continue if social distancing can be enforced. It will be done remotely, in-person or a combination of both, according to the email.

Students planning to graduate this semester will be allowed to give their final degree recitals on campus, but these recitals will not be open to the public, and faculty will grade them remotely. Degree recitals for students not graduating this semester will be moved to the fall, the email said. 

Faculty will teach remotely on the same days and times of their in-person classes so students are not further disrupted. 

The Butler School of Music building will stay open for booking practice spaces after the two-week break. Requests to record music will begin immediately given the current circumstances. During the second week of spring break, March 23-29, reservations will be canceled unless they are related to a critical degree recital. Students should plan on bringing their own cleaning supplies to music practice rooms to ensure a sanitized space.  

“Do not come within 6 feet of other people when in our building,” Poole said in the email.

Music students with questions about the changes are advised to contact Poole. 

“We’ll slow down this virus together,” Poole said in the email. “It will be different, and imperfect and challenging — and we’ll learn a lot about ourselves.”