As a Wayne State student, you have chosen to pursue your professional training in the heart of the city, surrounded by world-class cultural institutions and a vibrant arts community. We urge you to explore and take advantage of the countless opportunities and resources available in Detroit and throughout the metropolitan area.

The Department's faculty and staff are here to support you in becoming extraordinary performers, scholars and teachers of music. As active artists and researchers, they bring real-world perspective to their advising offices, classrooms or lesson studios. You are also likely to learn a great deal from your peers, a diverse and talented group of students who are pursuing a variety of musical career paths but who all share a love for the art.

Music Department Update on COVID-19 from Dr. Norah Duncan IV, Professor and Chair, Department of Music

To the WSU Music Department Students, Faculty and Staff:  

Our lives are not without anxiety. We are living in a paradoxical existence.  We are scared, yet confident; uncertain about when things will get better, yet hopeful; cautious yet encouraged.  We feel disconnected, yet we have music, and it's the love of music and musical activity that will help us get through this difficult time.   

Tomorrow, Monday, March 23, we will be resuming our activities as teachers and students, but our university life will be quite different from what it was when we left it on Friday, March 6.  All teaching and learning will be done via the internet; lectures and lessons either via Zoom, Skype or Facetime. There are no exceptions.  I encourage faculty to be in contact with students regularly, and I encourage students to access Canvas and to check their emails at least once in the morning, afternoon and evening to get assignments and updates.  

Our college's department chairs have been in daily communication with the dean, along with regular updates from the university president and members of his administration.  The message is clear.  We must try to assure a teaching environment where we can be about the university's business of educating, one in which our faculty and students will be safe and healthy. Consequently,  student access to the following rooms and facilities have been indefinitely suspended: all practice rooms, including the percussion studio, the piano major studio, all 4th floor practice rooms and all sub-basement practice rooms;  All classrooms and ensemble rehearsal rooms;  the computer labs, synth lab, piano labs, recording studio; and the Schaver Music Recital Hall.  Any request for exception to this must be made in writing to me.  The music office access is only available to the music department staff, associate chair and me.  I know that these are difficult restrictions, but I believe that they are necessary.  Faculty members are encouraged to contact me if you have any concerns.   

Mr. Bishop and I are trying to find desktop piano keyboards for students in piano class and piano skills who may not have access to a piano.  We will be in touch with you by Tuesday, once we have reviewed our instrument inventory.  

Juries are suspended for this term.  Students required to perform a jury this term will perform one at the end of the Fall 2020 term.  Students with B.A. projects should contact me directly via email. Junior recitals should be rescheduled to the Fall term as well.  Graduate and Senior Recitals will be dealt with individually.  Applied lessons coordinators should contact me directly to discuss each case.  We will do our best to accommodate each one of them.  Recording and submitting the recital performance to the recital committee is an option.   

These are difficult times.  It is the "new normal" - for now.  Stay safe, wash your hands often, keep the recommended six feet distance, and be healthy. 



Dr. Duncan