Health and Safety
The School of Music, Theatre, and Dance is committed to the safety and health of our students. As you receive instruction in applied lessons, classes, and rehearsals, instructors will provide essential information regarding the maintenance of hearing, vocal, and musculoskeletal health and injury prevention. Non-music major students enrolled in ensembles and music appreciation courses should be aware of possible hearing loss related to loud volumes of music, especially listening to headphones at excessive levels. Students are requested to immediately report any physical discomfort or injury associated with their instrument to their applied faculty and ensemble directors so that their learning plan may be adjusted to best overcome those challenges.
Students are encouraged to supplement the information obtained in their lessons, masterclasses, and guest lectures regarding performing artist health and safety issues by utilizing some of the resources listed below. Additionally, SMTD students are encouraged to take advantage of the Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA) to obtain information about local resources available.
All performing arts activities at CSU will operate by current CSU protocols for classes and activities. This information is available here.
Protecting Your Hearing Health
- OSHA: Noise/Hearing Conservation
- Hearing loss prevention information
- Noise and hearing loss information
Musculoskeletal Health and Injury
- Performance Anxiety (WebMD)
- The Inner Game of Music, by Barry Green and W. Timothy Gallwey
- A Soprano on Her Head: Right-Side-Up Reflections on Life and Other Performances, by Eloise Ristad
- The Musician's Way: A Guide to Practice, Performance, and Wellness by Gerald Klickstein
Equipment and Technology Safety
Students working as stage managers in all venues within the University Center for the Arts must complete a training session on how to safely move the grand pianos on stage. Contact Valerie Reed for information. Theatre students working on technical crews must undergo safety training on all equipment in all facilities.
Students working as audio/recording technicians must complete a training session on how to safely use the sound system and recording equipment, and how to safely lift and carry stage monitors. Contact Jim Doser for information.
The School of Music, Theatre, and Dance encourages all music majors to receive a hearing screening once a year. This screening is also available to students (taking six credits or more) free of charge through the Hartshorne Health Center. Visit health.colostate.edu for more information.
General Information on hearing safety (best practices) can be found at ehs.colostate.edu and is made available through CSU’s Environmental Health Services. Your applied professors and ensemble directors will coach you on how to best protect your hearing during your time here. If at any time the volume of an ensemble is making you uncomfortable or causing you concern, please report this to your director. Students are permitted and encouraged to wear ear protection as needed during rehearsal. For exceptionally loud pieces, the university will provide ear protection.
Although CSU’s acoustically-treated 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 eight hours.
- For more information, please refer to a decibel comparison chart
- Please also refer to the chart for decibel levels specific to musical performance and listening.
For more information, please refer to a decibel comparison chart.
University Health Network
You can find more information on Colorado State University’s health network at health.colostate.edu or call (970) 491-7121. You may also visit the the CSU Health and Medical Center located at 151 West Lake Street on the corner of College and Prospect.
The University Health Network can assist you in applying for insurance coverage or locating a physician you can visit for illness or injury.
Mental Health Resources
CSU Health Network has a variety of resources to support your mental health and well-being. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and it is after hours or over the weekend, please call (970) 491-7111 to speak with a crisis counselor.
Injury and Illness
When students suffer from an injury or illness that may impact their performance in class, it is required that the student let the instructor(s) know in-person and through email that they have sustained an injury or illness. Once determined, the student should also inform the instructors of any doctor-recommended treatment and protocols. This is to insure the instructor does not ask the student to do something that might further the injury or contradict medical advice.
If an injury occurs during class, the faculty/instructors should decide if 911 should be called for professional transport to a medical facility. With the consent of the student, family or friends should be notified by the representative of the theatre department. If the injury sustained is not severe enough to warrant emergency transport to a medical facility, but if pain persists, it is strongly recommended that the student consults a medical professional.
If the student cannot participate in classes, rehearsals, or performances due to an injury or illness, the student should provide documentation from a doctor detailing the plan for treatment and the limitations for the student resulting from the injury and/or illness. Based on the doctor's recommendations, the student may be allowed to participate in classes and rehearsals on a limited basis. Student’s will not be encouraged to use pain medication in order to participate in class or performances.
If the student is unable to fully participate in at least 50% of a class, the student may petition for a medical withdrawal from the class. The student may discuss this option with an academic advisor.