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Working With Minors Policy

The protection and well-being of children under the age of 18 is of the highest priority to Carnegie Hall, which is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for minors. This policy applies to all activities involving minors operating under the authority and direction of Carnegie Hall, whether on Carnegie Hall premises or offsite (“Carnegie Hall Activities”).


Minor” for purposes of this policy means any person under the age of 18 who is participating in a Carnegie Hall Activity.

Authorized Adults” for purposes of this policy means all individuals, ages 18 and over, paid or unpaid, who instruct, supervise, chaperone or otherwise oversee Minors in connection with Carnegie Hall Activities. This includes, but is not limited to employees, Ensemble Connect Fellows and alumni, teachers, students, volunteers, interns, consultants, guest artists, production crew and anyone else who participates in any way in a Carnegie Hall Activity that includes Minors.

Written Consent

Any Minor who is not accompanied by a legal guardian must have the written consent of a legal guardian to participate in a Carnegie Hall Activity.

Background Checks

Any Authorized Adult in direct custodial care of a Minor must pass a criminal and sex offender background check.

Group Supervision

Minors must be adequately supervised by their legal guardians or Authorized Adults, including during any transportation specifically coordinated and provided by Carnegie Hall to and from a Carnegie Hall Activity. Carnegie Hall sometimes provides Minors with MetroCards for use on public transportation in New York City—legal guardians are responsible for supervising these Minors’ travel to and from Carnegie Hall Activities. Below are the recommended ratios of Authorized Adults to Minors:

5 years & younger = 1 Authorized Adult per 6 Minors
6 to 8 years of age = 1 Authorized Adult per 8 Minors
9 to 14 years of age = 1 Authorized Adult per 10 Minors
15 to 18 years of age = 1 Authorized Adult per 12 Minors

Individual Coaching

Individual coaching must be conducted whenever possible in a room or other space that is open or with windows, in view from outside the room when the door is closed. Rooms must remain accessible at all times.

Human touch is a common component of music instrument instruction. Illustrating a point about breath control, a woodwind professor or vocal coach may press on a student’s diaphragm, for example.

The pedagogical intent of touch may be less familiar to inexperienced students, however.

Instructors working with Minors should remain mindful of the students’ needs, expectations, and experience. If a Minor appears uncomfortable with any form of physical contact, the Authorized Adult should immediately cease the contact and report the incident to his or her supervisor (if the Authorized Adult is a Carnegie Hall employee) or Carnegie Hall contact (if the Authorized Adult is not a Carnegie Hall employee). Carnegie Hall staff must promptly report any such incidents to the Director of Human Resources.

Some basic guidelines can help reduce the possibility of misunderstanding or discomfort:

Prohibited Conduct

The following are strictly prohibited (this list is not meant to be exhaustive):

Inappropriate violations of privacy:

Sexual, romantic or intimate activity or language of any kind:

Other abusive behavior:

In addition, other than immediate family members, Minors may not have non-programparticipants accompany or visit them during Carnegie Hall Activities, even if desired or approved by the Minor, except with the approval of the relevant Carnegie Hall Program Director.

Reporting Harm to Minors

All Authorized Adults must report suspected child abuse to their Carnegie Hall contact or supervisor. Carnegie Hall staff must promptly report any such incidents to the Director of Human Resources.

If a Minor is any immediate danger, the Authorized Adult should call 911.

Under New York law, individuals in certain occupations also have a legal obligation to report suspected child maltreatment or abuse, including sexual abuse, to child protective services. Failure to report suspected child abuse may result in the imposition of civil and criminal penalties under New York law, as well as disciplinary sanctions.

Any Authorized Adult who has a reasonable suspicion that a Minor has been physically or sexually abused; physically or emotionally neglected; exposed to any form of violence or threat; or exposed to any form of sexual exploitation; or that this policy may have been violated, must immediately report his or her concerns to the Carnegie Hall program director, manager or representative, who must in turn report the concern to the Carnegie Hall Director of Human Resources, who will determine appropriate next steps. Any uncertainty about whether a report is required should always be resolved in favor of making a good faith report. See Annex A for a list of some common indicators of child abuse or maltreatment.

Some Common Indicators of Child Abuse or Maltreatment

(Source: N.Y.S. Office of Child and Family Services

This list is not all-inclusive, and some abused or maltreated children may not show any of these symptoms.

Indicators of Physical Abuse can include:

Indicators of Sexual Abuse can include:

Indicators of Maltreatment can include:

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