FAQ

General FAQ

Yes!  We have successfully reimagined most of our hallmark events to a virtual environment and can host even larger audiences than we could in our brownstone. Check our events page for more information.

As soon as the brownstone is ready and, in accordance with NYC and NYS health and safety guidelines, we may resume select public events in our spaces, with smaller in-person audiences and a live streaming option. Communications for all events will be posted to our website, social media accounts and communicated to performers directly. 

In addition, BSM is now happy to offer a new series of events to our community called Just For Fun! Students, family, and friends can join us once a month for trivia, sing-alongs, yoga for musicians, and more! Check out our event page to find more info on all of our events.

Just for Fun events are always free for Bloomingdale families and a suggested donation for invited guests.

The best mode of contact is via email or phone. Please email the Registration team at registrar@bsmny.org with any questions or call us at (212)663-6021. Registration staff are available for the Fall Semester 7 days a week

  • Monday: 9 am to 7 pm
  • Tuesday: 9 am to 7 pm
  • Wednesday: 9 am to 7 pm
  • Thursday: 9 am to 7 pm
  • Friday: 9 am to 7 pm
  • Saturday: 9 am to 5 pm
  • Sunday: 10am to 6pm

Find our summer hours of operation here. 

Although Bloomingdale’s schedule is set to roughly correspond to the public school schedule, there are differences in the calendars. Please check our calendar for a complete listing of Bloomingdale’s closings. 

Let’s keep in touch! We love staying connected with our families and students during this time and we thank you for all your emails and feedback. You can join our email newsletter here so we can keep you updated with what’s going on at Bloomingdale! 

Want to share your experience with us? Feel free to share videos of students practicing at home, taking their online classes or anything fun you’d like to share with us. Share your #BSMonline stories with us using our social media channels. Please use: #BSMonline

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COVID-19 FAQ

Our Reopening Task Force has created a multilevel approach to Bloomingdale’s safe reopening. In order to reopen safely, the following policies will be put into place: 

    • Masks are required while inside the building. Staff will have a limited number of disposable masks to distribute to the public.
    • All visitors will be asked for compliance with certain measures prior to entering the building.
    • Staff, faculty, students, and families will be asked to self-screen via a provided survey prior to traveling to the school.
    • Temperatures will be taken upon entrance and a sign-in process will be established to aid in contact tracing in the event a positive case is identified within the BSM community.
  • Touchless hand sanitizer stations will be present throughout the school and info about healthy safety practices will be posted around the building.
  • Bloomingdale will arrange for a heightened cleaning schedule with an outside professional cleaning service organization. High touch surfaces are sanitized throughout the day using EPA approved disinfectants. All spaces will be scheduled to allow for facilities to clean and sanitize after use.
  • Staff and faculty are working carefully scheduled hours in the building, and remotely still whenever possible. Front desk staff are at school, with newly installed partitions up, to greet everyone while the building is open.
  • What changes are being made to the building to accommodate health and safety guidelines?
  • While the building is closed, construction is already underway to update our building and make common areas more COVID-accessible. 
  • We installed a plexiglass barrier in the front office, converting the existing entrance vestibule window into “teller-type” safety glass. We are also constructing a new balcony and staircase from the second floor waiting room to our newly renovated backyard, giving families the option of an outdoor waiting space. 
  • We have upgraded the  lower level HVAC system for fresh air ventilation and will work with our cleaning service to  frequently disinfect surfaces. We are installing numerous touchless hand sanitizing stations throughout the school, and are installing social distancing signage throughout school, touch-less water coolers, and new bathroom door hinges to reduce unnecessary surface contact.

Yes. While we look forward to reopening our doors and having students return to our brownstone, we know that not all of our community will be comfortable doing so, students and faculty alike. Faculty members who are not comfortable returning will continue teaching online for all of thFall 2021 semester. If a faculty member is comfortable returning we will make in-person learning an option for their students; if a student would prefer to continue lessons online, the faculty member will be able to teach live from Bloomingdale or from their personal home or studio.

While private lessons will occur on the preferred online platform agreed upon by the instructor and student, we strongly recommend that students and faculty coordinate and test the platform that you and your faculty member decide upon in order to eliminate/reduce time spent dealing with technological issues during your lesson time.

Yes. It is Bloomingdale’s recommendation that most group classes remain online for the Fall semester to avoid large groups gathering in person. Select classes and ensembles will have the option of returning on-site pending special approval by school leadership.

While certain group classes will be in person, some group classes will remain online. All online class links will be provided by the instructor/BSM. As you are registering, review the web page to see if your class is in person or online. If your class is online, we strongly recommend that students download Zoom ahead of time to eliminate/reduce time spent dealing with technological issues during your class time.

The following is a list of important steps and measures that all employees and community members of Bloomingdale should understand and follow as we begin to return to on-site teaching and learning.  

  • Please maintain social distancing as you enter and exit the building. Anyone entering Bloomingdale’s Brownstone must answer and sign a daily health screening, before they enter the building. A sign is posted at the front entrance with a scannable QR code so that the community member can use their personal device to complete the form. 
  • The school’s on-site capacity will be reduced by 50%. In order to facilitate this reduction, parents of children who are 10 years old and over will be instructed to drop off their children at the front door/vestibule area, and can pick them up after their lesson/class. Please do not arrive more than 15 minutes before your lesson/class time. 
  • All common areas in the building will have new capacity restrictions, which will be posted outside and inside of each area. 
  • All staff, faculty, and essential visitors to Bloomingdale must wear facial coverings/masks at all times.
  • If a student becomes or appears sick at the school, they will be asked to leave, their family will be contacted and we ask that the student not return until they have been cleared by a medical doctor to do so. 
  • The building will be cleaned at least once per day, in accordance with CDC guidelines. Staff will clean common areas, such as lobbies, restroom sinks, door handles, etc., at least twice per day. Faculty will clean and disinfect instruments and shared objects between each use, as per CDC guidelines. A log with dates and times will be kept of cleaning and disinfection inside each studio and restroom. 
  • All ensemble classes will take place in the recital hall. Teachers and students must wear masks, maintain social distancing and follow cleanliness procedures.
  • Performances will have restrictions on participation and how many audience members can be present. Bloomingdale will also record or live stream the recitals for audience members who cannot attend in person. 
  • Students must bring their own strings, instruments, pencils and music.
  • Studios with windows should have the window open as much of the occupancy time as possible; fans will be provided as available and needed; air conditioners may also be used in studios with clean filters and regularly checked by BSM staff for proper use. 
  • In the event of a positive COVID case in our community, the school will close for 24 hours for a deep cleaning. All community members will be immediately informed as a general alert, and anyone we know who came into “close contact” with that individual will be specifically informed. 
    • According to the latest CDC guidance, close contact is considered contact with a COVID positive individual within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more; and anyone who has come into close contact with the individuals who tested positive are instructed to quarantine for 14 days, contact their health care provider, monitor symptoms, and get a COVID-19 test. All other community members should monitor for COVID-19 symptoms. 
    • Lessons will move to online platforms. 

Ensembles & Lessons

All in-person lessons are required to take place on BSM’s campus, and efforts will be made to  ensure that appropriate precautions and safety measures are adhered to. Rooms on campus will be made available to accommodate socially distanced in-person lessons. Off-campus, in-person lessons are prohibited. Online and hybrid options will be available for faculty and students who may wish to learn remotely. 

The following guidelines and practices will be in place for private lessons taking place in person, on campus:

Private Lessons for Strings, Guitar, Percussion, Piano

  1. Face coverings required for all participants.
  2. Teaching in a studio that will accommodate physical distancing of 6 feet.
  3. Lessons of no more than 60 minutes.
  4. 15-minute vacancy required in each studio after each lesson to allow for adequate air turnover via HVAC air system.
  5. All rooms will be disinfected between students in accordance with local, state, and federal guidelines.
  6. Faculty/students are responsible for cleaning of music stands, piano keyboards, and other surfaces with disinfectant wipes when entering and exiting a room.

Private Lessons for Woodwind and Brass Students

  1. Face covering and face shield required for teacher (and accompanist, if applicable) at all times.
  2. Face covering required for students when not playing.
  3. Scheduled in rooms that will accommodate 10-feet of physical distancing.
  4. Lessons of no more than 60 min.
  5. 15-minute vacancy required in each room after each lesson to allow for adequate air turnover via HVAC system.
  6. All rooms will be disinfected between students in accordance with local, state, and federal guidelines.
  7. Faculty/students responsible for cleaning of music stands, piano keyboards, and other surfaces with disinfectant wipes when entering and exiting a room.
  8. Instrument bells should not be directed toward others.

Private Lessons for Singers

  1. Teacher and pianist in one room with face coverings; student singer in the other room, unmasked or utilizing a clear face mask
  2. Lessons of no more than 60 minute
  3. 15-minute vacancy required in each studio after each lesson to allow for adequate air turnover via HVAC system
  4. All rooms will be disinfected between students in accordance with local, state, and federal guidelines.
  5. Faculty/students are responsible for cleaning of music stands, piano keyboards, and other surfaces with disinfectant wipes when entering and exiting room

Ensembles, Group Classes, Summer Workshops/Symposiums 

  1. Face coverings required for all individuals. May be removed only by wind/brass players only when playing their instruments.
  2. Singers must sing with face coverings on in group settings
  3. Physical distancing of 6 feet for strings, piano, percussion; 12 feet for singers; 15 feet for winds and brass
  4. Limit to no more than 10 individuals per room, regardless of room size
  5. Rehearsals of no more than 60 minutes
  6. Required room vacancy between rehearsals to allow adequate air exchange via HVAC system; length of time depends on the specific room
  7. All rooms will be disinfected between classes in accordance with local, state, and federal guidelines.

Early Childhood Classes

  1. Face coverings required for all individuals over the age of 2.
  2. Physical distancing of 6 feet between students/households will be required. 
  3. Limit to no more than 10 individuals per room, regardless of room size
  4. Classes of no more than 60 minutes
  5. Required room vacancy between rehearsals to allow adequate air exchange via HVAC system; length of time depends on the specific room
  6. All rooms will be disinfected between classes in accordance with local, state, and federal guidelines.

Room Traffic Management

  • Bloomingdale has built a 15-minute window between room usage. 
  • Faculty members teaching private lessons will move to a nearby classroom between lessons to allow the room to be cleaned and for proper air ventilation.
  • Marks will be placed on the floor to mark where chairs should be set up.
  • Chairs and stands should be arranged by a teacher in a socially distanced configuration.
  • Wherever possible, there will be one-way traffic patterns for entry and exit of rehearsal rooms and access to areas such as instrument storage, music folder storage, sinks, and sanitizing stations.
  • Students singing in groups will need to sing forward-facing, not in a circle or facing each other.

Registration FAQ

Yes. Bloomingdale offers rolling admissions, which allows students to register at any time during the year.

Yes.  Enrollment is based on three main semesters: Fall (17 weeks long), Spring (17 weeks long), and Summer (6-8 weeks long). Consistent weekly lessons and classes are important for the development and progress of musical learning. When you register, you are committing to the current semester.

Yes, we offer our adult students a flexible lesson package option. A Season Ticket allows you to purchase a package of 60-minute lessons (minimum of 6) per semester arranged around your schedule. Once registered, simply schedule your lessons directly with your instructor and complete your lessons before the end of the semester.

Find more information here.

No. There is an additional cost for music books and/or other study materials. Most teachers will recommend a study series (Suzuki, Alfred, Faber, etc) that can be purchased online or at a local music or book store. Select books and materials such as manuscript books and primer level books for beginner group classes may be purchased through the front office.

No, students will not learn how to play an instrument in an Early Childhood class. However, early childhood classes at Bloomingdale prepare students for group and private instrument study. In these classes students learn musical concepts such as tempo, dynamics, rhythm, pitch, and use specially designed children’s percussion instruments. All the skills gained in Bloomingdale’s early childhood classes will help young children have a successful and smooth transition into instrumental study.

Parents should register their children for the class that is age-appropriate at the beginning of the semester. If a baby who is 15 months in September outgrows Baby’s and Toddler’s First Music Class, for example, faculty members will recommend that the student switch into Music and Movement. However, since the age ranges of all Bloomingdale’s early childhood classes are relatively small, children mature and develop together over the course of the semester and are generally well matched.

The age to begin private study differs from child to child and instrument to instrument. The youngest age we recommend private lessons to is 4 years old. However students this young are recommended to take a trial lesson first. Contact registration if you have questions about starting your student in private lessons.

While there is no definite answer to this question, some instruments do have certain physical requirements. Piano, recorder, string instruments, and voice are good choices for younger children. Children ages 10 and up can begin lessons on most instruments.

In most cases, students need to have the instrument that they are studying in order to practice between lessons. Bloomingdale studios, all with pianos, are available free-of-charge for current students of the school, subject to availability.

Private lesson students must supply their own instruments. For new students, families are encouraged to discuss the student’s needs with the teacher before purchasing or renting an instrument. A list of rental recommendations is available from the Registration office upon request.

Bloomingdale has a limited supply of rental instruments with availability on a first-come, first-served basis for enrolled students. Students are responsible for maintenance of instruments (e.g., string and reed replacement, cleaning) and any repair costs due to damage. A rental fee of $50 per semester is required, as well as a security deposit which is returned to the student upon completion of the semester rental. Security deposits range between $50 for small instruments such as Violin to $100 for large instruments such as Cello. For more information on Instrument Rentals, please reach out to registrar@bsmny.org.

The piano faculty strongly recommends that every BSM piano student have regular access to a standard and well-maintained acoustic piano. Important reasons for this include the need for students to have a closer physical connection to their sound production, as well as the fact that most lessons, rehearsals, and performances inside and outside Bloomingdale will take place on acoustic pianos. If access to an acoustic piano is not possible, we recommend one or a combination of the following:

  • Students may discuss with their faculty member if a digital keyboard may serve as an alternative. Piano faculty will have specifications and best practices to consider before purchasing or renting a keyboard.
  • Occasionally, generous members of the Bloomingdale community express interest in donating a Piano to students currently studying at BSM. Interested students should reach out to Brandon Vazquez at bvazques@bsmny.org to inquire about any recent Piano donations.
  • Practice rooms at Bloomingdale are available for current students, and all are equipped with acoustic Pianos which are tuned on a regular basis. To sign out a practice room, please visit the Registration office located in the building’s lower level or email registrar@bsmny.org.

Yes, Bloomingdale offers trial lessons for private instruction. Any student is welcome to take a trial lesson if they are unsure of committing to a particular instrument, or would like to consider different teachers before committing to a full semester of lessons. Students may only take one trial lesson per teacher. The cost for a 30-minute trial lesson is $30, and payment must be made in advance.

To set a trial lesson up, please speak with someone at the registration office (212) 663-6021 or email registrar@bsmny.org. The registration office can coordinate a teacher, time, and day. 

In many cases, an alternate class or lesson can be arranged and will improve a child’s learning experience. In the unlikely event you need to withdraw from classes, please check the registration guidelines.

Auditions are never required for private lesson study at Bloomingdale School of Music. However, auditions or playing samples may be required for select music programs and ensembles. We believe that all people have musical ability and our doors are open to all who wish to study here.

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