My studio “fresh air” policy

Last year I posted a small sign on my studio door:

Fresh air policy

If you smell of tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs, you will not be permitted to enter my office, whether or not you were the one using those substances. If your grade depends on you being here for a lesson, coaching, or other meeting, you will receive a zero.

Thank you.

Happily, I haven’t had occasion to enforce the policy since then, though I have previously had the occasional student who would have been in violation. It should go without saying that you shouldn’t ever show up to any college course or professional situation under the influence of any mind-altering substance, including alcohol, and my university also happens to be a “tobacco-free” campus, which is rare and awesome.

I wrestled a little bit with the “whether or not you were the one” clause, but it’s my workspace and I don’t like the smell of cigarettes, especially since my work involves a lot of deep breathing. Also, it means I don’t ever have to try to guess whether students are lying (not that any of mine would).

My students’ choices are their own, and I try to be extremely conscientious about not foisting my personal beliefs on them. However, I am also responsible to teach them to protect their health, at least as it relates to their woodwind playing, and to behave professionally. So fresh air—free of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs—is my policy.


One response to “My studio “fresh air” policy”

  1. Quite Right!
    I did my university music in Montréal, Québec where smoking was still permitted indoors. For the past 20 years, I’ve lived in Ontario, where smoking is much more strictly prohibited…. Now, I find it hard to go back…

    I don’t want to debate the relative harm of marijuana versus alcohol, but I will say that I recently cut coffee by more than half and refined sugar almost entirely (even cakes and stuff). I cannot begin to describe how much my “witts are better about me” and how much more in my control reactions to any given situation have become.

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