Phasing to In-Person Learning

Current Phase: 1

CMSS programming is currently fully remote. CMSS faculty may use their studio space to give virtual lessons.

In Spring 2021, CMSS will begin phasing to in-person programming

Our phasing process is determined by infection rates in our local area. CMSS utilizes phasing guidelines and protocols approved by our Board of Directors.

Phasing to in-person learning will be a continually gradual process, and NOT reliant on season markers (spring, summer, fall, winter).

Phases for Returning to In-Person Learning

The Executive Director, with the advice and counsel of the senior leadership team and the Board of Directors, utilizes this chart to determine on a bi-weekly basis the level of phasing appropriate for CMSS. If a change is made to the phase level, an email announcing this change is sent to the CMSS community.

*Click here for Mass.Gov’s weekly public health report

**Low risk instruments/subjects do not require removal of a mask to play. Low risk instruments include: all orchestral strings, all guitars, piano, percussion, music production, and music composition. High risk instruments instruments require removal of a mask, or adapted masks (i.e. musician masks) to play. High risk instruments include: all brass, all woodwinds, music therapy, and vocal instruction.

***If Springfield is still red, while other towns move to yellow or green, we will stay in Phase 1

We've not yet entered Phase 2, but we are anticipating that we will be able to soon.

Phase 2 Overview

Private Lessons: “Low risk” instrumentalists currently enrolled in CMSS may schedule single private lessons (one hour maximum, including unpacking and packing up) with their teachers. Students and faculty must adhere to increased safety protocols, and proper masks and social distancing are required at all times. Parents/caregivers must be present for the entirety of the lesson (exception: students 16+ and their parent/guardian may sign a separate waiver if they wish to attend their lesson without a parent/caregiver).

Studio Space: Currently enrolled CMSS students needing access to technology for virtual lessons are allowed to use a CMSS studio space (one hour maximum, including unpacking and packing up). Parents/caregivers must be present for the entirety of the lesson (exception: students 16+ and their parent/guardian may sign a separate waiver to assume FULL responsibility for not being supervised by CMSS staff while they’re in the studio space). Students playing a high risk instrument must have a musician mask in addition to their regular mask and a bell cover lined with MERV 13 material. 

Group Experiences: No ensembles, classes, or semi-private lessons are offered in person.

If you’re interested in taking an in-person lesson during Phase 2, please read these resources to learn more about the guidelines and protocols you’ll need to follow when you arrive:

If you are a currently enrolled CMSS student who plays a low risk instrument and would like to schedule an in-person lesson during Phase 2, follow these steps:

  1. Take a moment to read through our Student COVID-19 Safety Expectations Packet and the COVID-19 Liability Waiver to decide if an in-person lesson is the right choice for you
  2. Contact your instructor to determine a mutually convenient date/time (your instructor will work with CMSS staff to schedule the lesson)
  3. When you receive an email confirming your lesson date/time, read the Student COVID-19 Safety Expectations Packet and the COVID-19 Liability Waiver so that you are aware of the assumed risks and guidelines/protocols before you arrive for your lesson

Additional Resources for Phasing to In-Person programming at CMSS

Community Expectations and Guidelines


CMSS provides an unparalleled remote learning experience using the Virtulessons platform.

We invite you to learn more about remote lessons by watching these short videos.

Our faculty love the VirtuLessons online platform. 

Here’s what they have to say:

“Virtulessons offers great audio and video for the lessons and the platform is well organized. I can share files or documents easily and the system sends lesson notifications, keeping everyone informed and on the same page.”

-Olivia Min Noh

“Virtulessons offers a wonderful way to reach students through not just video, but also with interactive white boards. Here students and teachers will have the ability to draw on music or instrument diagrams as another way to communicate.”

-Karl Knapp

“I am most excited for the convenience and simplification that Virtulessons brings to remote teaching. No more weekly zoom links or sending music individually to each student for them to have to print or download ahead of time.”

-Ava D’Agostino

“The musical games will capture the students’ attention to help them enjoy not only playing the instruments but also to understand the importance of music theory.”

-Yoonhee Ko


And we’d love to share a parent’s perspective with you, too:

“Virtulessons offers a unique option over FaceTime or Zoom, as it allows you to both see your instructor and collaborate with them on sheet music or other visual materials in real time. The ability to dissect materials and markup lessons with your instructor is fun, and having notes from each session saved [in your profile] makes it easier to stay on track between lessons.

From a parent’s perspective, I appreciate that the connection between my children and their teachers goes beyond just the video interaction and allows them to focus on the music theory on the screen without the need to print off a bunch of things ahead of time. Logging in and launching lessons is simple, and the lesson points and historical notes make it fun for students to track their progress along the way.”

-Jay Therrien, parent of three CMSS students and CMSS board member

CMSS Perform-A-Thon