Our music classes usually are full of sound with either people singing or loud music filling the halls. With COVID it makes the music classes even more difficult than before. Teachers and students around the school are struggling to get used to the new online Zoom classes and the social distance classrooms. Not only is it difficult for the students it’s also hard on the teachers trying to grasp the new concept.
“As a choir teacher, I definitely prefer in-person teaching,” choir teachers Courtney Gibson said.
The online classes are now harder for not only students but also for the teachers. The teachers are doing their best to teach both the online students and in-person, but it is still difficult.
“The most difficult part of teaching choir online is not being able to hear people sing in the moment. It’s hard to coach and fix things when you can’t give immediate feedback,” Gibson said. “We are using recordings right now, but it’s not the same as singing live in front of a vocal coach.”
Virtual students are required to learn their music and sing along from home. The class is over Zoom and the lagging makes it difficult for the students to perform along with the rest of the class. Music classes are mostly participation points, so the music teachers had to find a new way to hear the online students. The choir classes use Screencastify where they can record the audio coming from the Zoom calls and submit it to their teachers so they can hear how the music is coming along. The orchestra plays along via Zoom with their mics muted. They only use their mics for playing tests.
Dean Chapman is a virtual student in Madrigal show choir. He says that he prefers virtual, but there are benefits both in person and virtual learning.
“I like virtual because it allows me to hear Gibson clearly whenever she is singing my part, which helps me memorize my pitches better. The downside is that if the class stops working on something for in person kids, I’m left sitting at my desk until they figure it out, which can be tedious,” Chapman said.
While the online students are adjusting to the new way classes are set up, so are the in school students.
Social distancing makes it hard for the in-person students to hear the fellow students in their sections. The masks also make it difficult to breathe while singing. The in person students have to adjust to the new way of how class works. Kylea Nemechek who has done in person and virtual states that she likes in-school.
“I prefer in-school because when you’re playing online, you can’t play together you can only hear yourself, when you play at home it’s too loud and not as fun and the whole point is to play together,” Nemechek said.