In-Person Rehearsal Policies due to Covid-19

In-Person Rehearsal Location:

Tennessee Youth Symphony plans to rehearse at John Overton High School. Stay tuned for more updates.

TYS ensembles will meet in three (3) separate portions of the facility.
– Jazz/Rock will meet in the Youth Building to the left rear of the facility.
– Prelude Strings will meet in the main sanctuary hall via the front entrance.
– Youth Symphony will meet in the fellowship hall to the far right of the building.

We will follow several general guidelines in our return to in-person rehearsals:

1. Participation in TYS in-person rehearsals is fully voluntary. Participating student musicians and their families acknowledge that a risk of coronavirus infection is possible in any group or social setting, accept full responsibility for any illness linked to TYS in-person rehearsals, and will hold harmless Create Hope Studios, TYS, its board members, and its ensemble conductors from any such illness.
2. For those families and student musicians choosing to not participate in in-person rehearsals, TYS will simulcast its in-person rehearsals over its Zoom channels to continue its commitment to provide a safe, virtual, music instruction option.
3. TYS seeks to provide a minimum of 45 minutes of ensemble rehearsal time for each participating student musician.

TYS will employ the following specific guidelines at in-person rehearsals in order to pursue a healthy and safe rehearsal environment:

a) Mask wearing will be mandatory at all times for all TYS participants–students, instructors, volunteers–covering both the nose and the mouth.\
b) Woodwind and brass musicians should employ additional masks for wear while playing as well as bell covers for their instruments.

1. These secondary facial masks should still cover both the nose and mouth either by modification to provide a flap that covers the mouth and instrument mouthpiece or by creating a slit in the mask to allow access to the instrument mouthpiece.
2. Bell and vent covers for woodwinds and brass must be employed. The covers should consist of two ply of cloth material as used in facial masks and should be fitted or drawn closed over the instrument opening via strings.
3. Multiple options exist for families to secure these secondary facial masks and instrument covers.

i. A local music shop in the Bellevue area (Bandwagon Music and Repair, is crafting tailor-made facial and instrument covers for woodwinds and brass; if you call or email them, mention that you are a member of TYS and was referred by Mrs. Miller. Facial masks are $8; bell covers begin at $10, depending on instrument.
ii. A national band company is also offering facial masks and instrument covers for comparable prices (plus shipping). Facial masks are $8; bell covers begin at $7, depending on instrument. Visit for more details.
iii. Families can create their own secondary facial masks and instrument covers either with two-ply cloth or plastic bags. Please contact us with any questions if you seek these at-home options.

3. Rehearsal populations for Jazz/Rock and Prelude Strings are not expected to exceed 25 students musicians at a time. Youth Symphony sessions involving woodwinds and brass will be limited to 25 student musicians at a time. Youth Symphony sessions for strings will be limited to no more than 50 student musicians at a time.
4. Students will bring their own music, music stands, and pencils. (no sharing)
5. Students will arrive and wait in line for entrance to practice spaces with a minimum of 6ft between students.
6. TYS will provide hand sanitizer at the entrance point for all rehearsals.
7. TYS will create attestation and attendance forms for each ensemble rehearsal stating that students attest to being symptom-free and clear of COVID-positive contacts in accordance with CDC guidelines (attached). Families should take student musician temperatures prior to arriving at the rehearsal facility. As students enter each rehearsal, they (or their parents) will initial next to their names (with their own pencils) to demonstrate attestation.
8. Students will be assigned seats in the rehearsal space as indicated via index cards placed on the seats. They will enter one at a time to provide time and space to find their seats. TYS will retain copies of the rehearsal seating charts and attestation/attendance list to support any necessary contact tracing.
9. Chairs will be spaced a minimum of 6ft apart and in a checkerboard fashion (diagonally offset rows). All seats will face forward. As space permits, woodwinds and brass musicians will be spaced further apart. As weather permits, exterior doors will remain open during woodwind and brass rehearsals.
10. Students will unpack their instruments at their seats and keep their cases next to their seats. Students will remain in their seats throughout rehearsal.
11. At each rehearsal’s conclusion, students will file out of the space one at a time, observing social distancing.
12. A minimum of 10 mins of air exchange will occur between different rehearsal groups in the same space.

In order to facilitate the tasks of seat assignment, rehearsal scheduling, and the potential for contact tracing, student musicians seeking to attend in-person rehearsals will need to complete the IN-PERSON REHEARSAL REGISTRATION FORM. This will be a weekly requirement. Form submission will open on Tuesday each week and close on Saturday (by 8pm).

Via the weekly form, families will acknowledge and accept the risks associated with in-person rehearsals, pledge compliance with our stated precautions, and confirm they will contact a TYS conductor or board member if their student tests positive for COVID-19.

Finally, please know we are committed to doing our very best to provide the high-caliber music education experience you and your student(s) expect and deserve, while also balancing the health and safety considerations these times demand. The return to in-person rehearsals represents a bit of an entrepreneurial endeavor for TYS. Only through testing this new approach will we truly understand what works, what needs improvement, and to what extent our families will participate. To a large extent, your level of participation will greatly inform the direction TYS takes for the remainder of the season. This said, please bear with us as we continue to adjust, and know that we welcome your questions and feedback.

Many thanks to Mark Edington and the Create Hope team for their support. We hope to see you at Create Hope Studios in the near future.

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