CDI Fall 2020 Reopening

AUGUST 4, 2020 (original communication date)

The main purpose of this page is to address health and safety practices within the Clive Davis Institute facility at 370 Jay Street. This page will be updated as CDI has new or revised information to share with our community.

Our facilities operation plan has been approved by NYU Associate Vice President for Student Health, Dr. Carlo Ciotoli, as well as Tisch School of the Arts. We wish to share aspects of our plan to keep the 5th and 6th floor studios, practice rooms, edit suites, meeting rooms, tech shop, and other spaces and all their contents as clean and safe as possible for our reopening in the Fall. Needless to say, it will not be a return to exactly what was; at least not yet. While the facilities will be available for class and student use, there will be new rules to follow, and new booking procedures for student sessions. 

For the most updated general NYU information, please refer to the NYU Returns site. Parents, please visit the NYU Parents site for additional resources and answers to frequently asked questions.

Lecture-Based Courses

To start, we will be limiting student-to-teacher, and student-to-student exposure. We have moved all lecture-based courses to a blended or remote format. Lecture-based courses that have a blended format will allow for some contact if it can be done safely, however it is possible for remote students to fully engage in most of our blended, lecture-based courses. For example any in-person meetings will be limited, will be in smaller groups to allow for NYU physical distancing requirements, and at the discretion of each individual instructor. Lecture-based courses primarily fall within the curricular areas of Business & Technology, and Writing, History, & Emergent Media. Students will hear directly from their instructors by mid-August in regard to expectations and intentions for each course’s meeting pattern and modality.

Lab-Based Courses

We have moved some sections of our lab-based courses to a remote format. Lab-based courses fall in the curricular areas of Production, and Musicianship & Performance. Students in New York will be able to utilize the lab facilities to attend remote sections if they so choose.

Some lab-based courses will be offered in a blended format. We understand that calling a lab-based course blended is somewhat confusing. Blended courses combine both in-person and remote instruction. The mix of the two methods varies from course to course. Some instructors will deliver lecture materials remotely, and will periodically meet with small groups of students in-person; some instructors will alternate meetings of the course between in-person and remote from week to week, for example; a section of 12 students may alternate week to week - 6 in-person / 6 remote. Some courses will deliver large group lectures and peer review sessions remote, and regularly meet with students in-person during the semester. The main purpose of the blended format is to limit overall exposure within a particular cohort, as well as allow students the ability to go remote if they feel it is best for their personal situation.

In person lab-based courses will have a class size of no more than 6 students per lab. Labs normally include 12 workstations. We are removing 6 of the 12 workstations in each lab. The keyboard and mouse will be switched out in between sections. Spacing between in-person lab courses will be 30 minutes. We are also working on converting our very large multimedia conference room on the 6th floor (658) into an additional lab space for student and class use, to make up for the 12 workstations we have removed. 

Most courses normally held in our 5th floor hybrid practice rooms (581 and 582) have been moved to either blended, or exclusively remote. Blended courses taught in those rooms will have a reduction in class size per NYU spacing protocol. 

In regard to remote students who need access to software, please complete the survey which has already been sent. We will find out who needs what, and are at work on a plan to accommodate to the best of our ability. 

Musicianship/Performance Courses

ReMu courses that include group singing and/or singing with live playing within the same room, have been postponed until Spring. All private Vocal Coaching will move to remote only, as will all sections of Pop Singing Essentials. 

There will be no group lessons or group meetings in the 6th floor musicianship offices/classrooms. When not remote, blended portions of our Advanced Musicianship courses will meet in person, on an as-needed basis, in the larger footprint spaces of 581 or 582.

Studio-Based Courses

Studio-based courses will be divided into smaller sections to accommodate the NYU spacing directives, and to allow for air refresh rates to be effective within the studio spaces. There will be a one-hour spacing in between all studio classes. We measured each studio space on site in June, accounting for the irregular geometry and presence of equipment. We have come up with class sizes for each space that will allow us to follow the NYU spacing directives. We are changing the order in which material is presented in some of these courses; front loading all studio courses with lecture-based and music analysis-based lessons.This will facilitate easy remote access to the first few class meetings; allowing for our self-quarantined students to ease into in-person attendance, as well as reduce the population on the floor as we work through the logistics of the initial reopening. We have reduced the longer duration studio courses, making up the time difference with asynchronous posted content. When we have guests in the studio performance spaces, we will be able to maintain safe distances given the size of the live rooms, and we will use cameras and portable screens, whenever possible, to reduce exposure time.

The senior-level course Content Development for Performers, Producers, & Songwriters will be held in remote format for large group lectures and peer review listening sessions. The  critical listening, one-on-one mentoring sessions that are also part of the class will be held in-person in the studio spaces, at the discretion of the mentor and the student.

Studio Booking/Walk-in Time

We are planning on allowing students to book and use the studios, practice rooms, edit suites, and shared gear for production class assignments and projects. Booked use of the facilities will be modified to allow for tracking who is where, what they are doing, etc. We have to control the flow of people and activities in order to keep our community safe. We also need to allow for more time in between studio use for proper cleaning and disinfection. Please understand that the restrictions and safeguards we put in place will be strictly enforced, and that they will be non-negotiable. If students habitually do not follow protocol, the facilities will be forced to shut down. If protocol is blatantly and/or repeatedly ignored, students will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for disciplinary action.

Likewise, any faculty, staff, or mentors who do not follow the rules that are in place will quickly be made aware of their breach of protocol. No one is excluded from being safe.

The concept of studio walk-in time will still exist but it will be heavily modified and carefully controlled, in order to maintain safety. Generally speaking It is vital for us to know ahead of time who is using the studio, what they will be doing, and who is attending the session as a guest. While walk-in time  has had a rather loose approach in regard to what type of session a student is carrying out, we will now need to know about, and closely monitor, all activity, guests, and personnel. For those new to the department, traditionally speaking, walk-in time is studio time that has not been booked for a course, or a course project. Instead of letting the studio time  go to waste, we open the studios for students to use as they see fit, on a first-come, first-served basis. The concept will remain, but the logistics will change in order to adhere to safety standards.

Student Responsibilities

Students must be responsible for cleaning up after themselves at Clive in ways that perhaps they haven’t in the past. Students will have to be very active safe practice participants in order for this reopening to be successful. There will be clear signage, plenty of cleaning stations, masks, gloves, wipes, sanitizer, etc. available in all rooms. We are also in the process of making a series of tutorial videos outlining safe practices, proper clean up procedures, and proper use of the facilities and gear. Viewing the tutorials will be mandatory for all.

The cleaning of hallways, rest rooms, and other common areas on the 5th and 6th floors, as well as common areas at 370 Jay Street, will be managed by NYU.

Mandating the Use of a Personal Windscreen/Pop Filter

If you are a singer, or plan on having session singers from outside the department in your sessions this coming fall, you must have your own personal windscreen/pop filter(s). We ask that you carry it around sealed in a plastic bag, do not allow others to borrow it, and clean it after each use.

We will be supplying all students and faculty with disposable microphone covers, (as well as disposable headphone covers). However, while these covers will help in keeping the microphones clean, they will not work as a *pop filter.

Here are some affordable options. You of course may get as fancy as you like. However, for the most part you will be paying for aesthetics, not functionality. If the suggestions below are not to your liking, we recommend you search B&H, Sweetwater, Guitar Center, Musician’s Friend.

There are two types to choose from: (1) a molded foam filter that slips on to, and encases, the microphone, and/or (2) a screen type that mounts in front of the microphone. In regard to the molded foam filters, since the majority of students use large diaphragm condenser microphones for vocal recording, you may consider the Auray foam windscreen for large condensers, listed below. If you use a dynamic microphone like an SM57, refer to the dynamic mic links. The filters that mount in front the microphones will work with any type of mic.

If you have any questions, please email

Safeguards We Are Implementing this Fall

Clear Lexan partitions will be installed at our 6th floor reception desk and at our 5th floor equipment check-out window.

All technical / music spaces will have a minimum of 30-60 minutes in between uses, depending upon space. This will allow for proper cleaning and air filtration. 

All shared gear that is checked out from our instrument / tech storeroom, that is used by faculty and students, will enter a cleaning rotation before being put back into use. 

We will mandate that all singers use a personal microphone windscreen/filter when singing into a microphone (see above). We are researching the effects of thin, plastic disposable membranes that are 6 microns or less, to go under the traditional windscreens.

Only the person singing will be allowed in the performance area during vocal recording, and that person will be responsible for cleaning and packing up the microphone, and wiping down other gear used in the vicinity of the singing. We are making instructional ‘how to clean’ videos. We will forgo the use of our molded microphone cases, as to avoid cross contamination. We will use disposable plastic bags, and washable drawstring cotton bags to exchange gear in and out of the tech area.

We will limit the number of students that may be present during student run sessions in studios and practice rooms, and mandate spacing requirements between instrumentalists on multi-person sessions. Edit suites and practice rooms will be limited to single occupancy.

We will prohibit the use of brass instruments for student sessions. They will be allowed only during class time, if the instructor sees fit. Choirs, large string sections, large horn sections, and other tightly spaced large ensembles will be prohibited in all spaces.

We will add time to each student booking in any technical space to allow for students to clean up after themselves. An instructional video will explain their responsibilities. 

We will mandate that all students read and view detailed cleaning and safety instructions, and each student must acknowledge, via a signature, that they understand and will follow the instructions.

Cleaning procedures for microphones and headphones. After each use they enter a cleaning cycle that includes a *Hypochlorous acid wipe down with lint free wipes, UV cabinet disinfection before being put back into circulation. Mics and headphones will be transported in disposable plastic and washable cotton bags. This cleaning procedure will hold true for any handheld device. Hypochlorous acid and UV disinfection have been in use at the medical and dental school for as part of standard practice, as well as chem labs. Hypochlorous acid is commonly used by dentists to safely disinfect surfaces, instruments, tubing, etc..It is also commonly used in direct food disinfection, laundry disinfection, and water disinfection.

Musical instruments will be cleaned before and after each use as per manufacturers Covid disinfection instructions. The solvents used are dependent on the wood and the finish of the instrument. They range from isopropyl alcohol, to Dove dish soap. 

All doors on the 5th and 6th floor common spaces will be covered with NanoSeptic door handle covers and door push covers. They will be changed as per manufacturer's recommendations.

Mask, glove, wipe, and spray bottle stations will be set up throughout the facility, and in every shared room, as will foot controlled trash bins. Additional hand sanitizer stations will also be set up throughout the facility. 

We will post and enforce occupancy limits for each room on the floor. Any group disobeying the occupancy limits will be asked to disperse by NYU security.

Materials and Methods Summary

Cleaning Surfaces
1. Hypochlorous Acid|
2. Isopropyl Alcohol
3. Lint Free wipes
4. Spray Bottles
5. Alcohol wipes

Cleaning Microphones
1. Hypochlorous Acid
2. UV Cabinets - Kerkau Manufacturing F100 (3)
3. Isopropyl alcohol
4. Distilled water
5. Lint Free wipes
6. Spray Bottles

Cleaning Instruments
1. Bleach
2. Dish Detergent
3. Distilled water
4. Isopropyl alcohol
5. Hypochlorous Acid
6. Lint Free wipes
7. Spray bottles
8. Alcohol wipes

Cleaning Headphones
1. Hypochlorous Acid
2. UV Cabinet - Kerkau Manufacturing F100

Transporting gear from checkout area to studios
1. Washable cotton muslin drawstring bags
2. Plastic bags

Returning gear to checkout area
1. Washable cotton muslin drawstring bags
2. Plastic bags