Music class?

PLAYING INSTRUMENTS: orchestra playing together, both online and in the socially distanced classroom. Faith Haas/Triton Times

Seth Hahn | Writer

January 9, 2021

From the beginning of the school year, my biggest question about how the school would be run was music class. Near the beginning, most of the class functioned as a normal classroom setting where it was focused more on the theory of music, whereas before, the class centered around actually playing songs. This was an enormous change for most music students and many dropped from the music program entirely.

Many subjects like English and Math can assign book work, but with music, there is no actual way to track the amount of time played or how much someone has learned. Especially since everyone learns music at a different pace, it is a much harder thing for music to be all online. 

The main issue is that playing music requires physical interaction for playing and mentorship to be effective, but “music class online has limited us to mainly class discussions and lectures, ” said senior Grace Huynh, “I feel like this made many of us feel discouraged and demotivated.”

Understanding the student concerns, Mr. Soto relieved almost all the stress that had previously been in place, emphasizing much more of the playing, and less on the work.

Ever since the switch that many made to 50/50, a question that came up was what to do with wind instrument players. “Since wind ensemble classes haven’t been able to play we needed to find alternative ways to play and learn about music,” said junior Jenna Garvey. “So we all learned some basic percussion techniques, so we could practice and be safe. Though I still hope we can start playing our usual instruments soon.” Garvey represents the many wind players that miss playing their instruments. 

“I guess what doesn’t work about music during COVID-19 is all of the assignments since we aren’t used to having a whole lot because we’re playing most of the time,” said junior Cassandra Pintle, another wind instrument player.

And although it is very hard for many music students to enjoy the class like previous years, “the class is left with the students that are more motivated to do well in the class,” said sophomore Samantha Jones. And this is what really pushes the music program forward through these times, dedication.

But on top of the immense dedication that almost all music students show, the music teachers are trying their best to create a prosperous environment for students to thrive in! 

“Music teachers are community builders. They are masters of creating opportunities for expression,” said senior Jeocelyn Ramirez, “Music teachers such as Mr. Soto and Mrs. Daniels will continue to craft those special touch-points that bring everyone closer.”

And with both the students and teachers working together, music class can only get better.

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