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Health & Safety

COVID-19 Update 

  • Site-specific planIn accordance with Alameda County’s June 18, 2020 public health order, Cal State East Bay has updated the campus social distancing protocol. The site-specific plan also has additional protocols and safety information.
  • The university is preparing our proposed list of face-to-face courses for fall semester. It will undergo review by the Chancellor’s Office to make sure that the courses meet the criteria for exceptions.
  • Summer and Fall semesters will be predominantly online. See the Student FAQ page for more information.
  • More information on student emergency funding is found on the CARES Act Emergency Grant and the Presidential Pioneers Emergency Fund webpages.
  • COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave (CPAL): Up to 256 hours of paid administrative leave is available for most employees, including student employees. Details are available in the April 6, 2020 message from Human Resources.   
Please visit CSUEB's Information about coronavirus (COVID-19) website regularly for routine updates and illness prevention information.

Health and safety depend in large part on the personal decisions of informed individuals. Institutions have health and safety responsibilities, but fulfillment of these responsibilities cannot and will not ensure any specific individual's health and safety. Too many factors beyond any institution's control are involved. Individuals have a critically important role and each is personally responsible for avoiding risk and preventing injuries to themselves before, during, and after study or employment at any institution.

The NASM standards and applicable guidelines below, and institutional actions taken under their influence or independently do not relieve the individual from personal responsibility for appropriate, prudent, and safe behavior or action, nor do they shift such responsibility and liability for the consequences of inappropriate, imprudent, and/or unsafe behavior or action in any instance or over time to any institution, or to NASM.

Resources & Guidelines

The CSU East Bay Department of Music, as required by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), is obligated to inform students, faculty and staff of the health and safety issues, hazards, and procedures inherent in music practice, performance, teaching, and listening both in general and as applicable to their specific specializations. This includes but is not limited to basic information regarding the maintenance of hearing, vocal, and musculoskeletal health and injury prevention. This also includes instruction on the use, proper handling, and operation of potentially dangerous materials, equipment, and technology as applicable to specific program offerings or experiences.

It is important to note that the primary factor in your health and safety is you and depends largely on your personal decisions. You are personally responsible for avoiding risk and preventing injuries to yourself before, during, and after study at the CSU East Bay Department of Music. The policies and procedures developed by the Department do not alter or cancel any individual's personal responsibility, or in any way shift personal responsibility for the results of any individual's personal decisions or actions in any instance or over time to the university.

Anyone who practices, rehearses or performs instrumental or vocal music has the potential to suffer injury related to the activity. Students are encouraged to supplement information obtained in their lessons, master classes, and guest lectures regarding musicians' health and safety issues by utilizing some of the resources listed on this website.

Instrumental musicians are at risk for repetitive motion injuries or physical problems related to playing their instruments; and if they are also computer users, their risks are compounded. Instrumental injuries may include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, and bursitis.

Likewise, the demands placed on singers' voices are vast. Singers can be forced to cancel a recital or tour, take a break, or undergo a medical procedure due to problems with their voice. Vocalists can suffer from vocal fatigue, anxiety, throat tension, and pain. Musicians use their bodies in specific and highly trained ways, and injuries can occur that can have lasting impact on performance ability. Performers need to be aware of vocal and musculoskeletal health issues that can affect them. Musicians at all levels of achievement can suffer from repetitive stress injuries, neuromuscular conditions or dystonias, and psychological issues including severe performance anxiety.

Incorrect posture, nonergonomic technique, excessive force, overuse, stress, and insufficient rest contribute to chronic injuries that can cause pain, disability, and the end of a musician's career. Additional factors such as nutrition, smoking, drug use, noisy environments, and proper training (or the lack of it) all play a role in a musician's ability to perform at her/his best.

Student Information on Protecting Your Vocal Health from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA).

  • Vocal health is important for all musicians and essential to lifelong success for singers.
  • Understanding basic care of the voice is essential for musicians who speak, sing, and rehearse or teach others.
  • Practicing, rehearsing, and performing music is physically demanding.
  • Musicians are susceptible to numerous vocal disorders.
  • Many vocal disorders and conditions are preventable and/or treatable.
  • Sufficient warm-up time is important.
  • Begin warming up mid-range, and then slowly work outward to vocal pitch extremes.
  • Good posture, adequate breath support, and correct physical technique are essential.
  • Regular breaks during practice and rehearsal are vital in order to prevent undue physical or vocal stress and strain.
  • It is important to set a reasonable time limit on the amount of time that you will practice in a day.
  • Avoid sudden increases in practice times.
  • Know your voice and its limits, and avoid overdoing it or misusing it.
  • Maintain healthy habits. Safeguard your physical and mental health.
  • Drink plenty of water in order to keep your vocal folds adequately lubricated.
  • Limit your use of alcohol and avoid smoking.
  • Day-to-day decisions can impact your vocal health, both now and in the future. Since vocal strain and a myriad of other injuries can occur in and out of school, you also need to take care of your own vocal health on a daily basis. Avoid shouting, screaming, or other strenuous vocal use.
  • If you are concerned about your personal vocal health, talk with a medical professional.
  • If you are concerned about your vocal health in relationship to your program of study, consult the appropriate contact person at your institution.

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Although CSU East Bay's practice, rehearsal, and performance facilities meet OSHA Noise Standards, students must be mindful of exposure to excessive noise levels for extended periods of time. OSHA guidelines define excessive noise levels as 90 decibels or higher for more than 8 hours. For more information, please see the Decibel Comparison Chart. Please see the Musical Decibel Levels Chart for decibel levels specific to musical performance and listening.

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