The Challenges of Online Music Classes.

Since the beginning of this school year, teachers and students have had to adapt to new teaching and learning styles due to COVID-19. 

While every class and subject has its own issues and obstacles to overcome, some classes can be harder than others to overcome when done in a virtual format. The music program falls into that category. 

Lauren Mulka, a sophomore choir student, said that her teachers have done a lot of work to make sure the class works. 

“We’re doing things pretty much the same as normal this year, just with fewer songs,” Mulka said. “We had a fall ‘concert’ a while ago and we’re prepping for our winter one.” 

Mulka said that everyone in the class makes separate recordings on a website called Flipgrid. Once these recordings are collected, students send them to their choir director, who lines up all of the audio tracks and puts them onto a YouTube channel. This has allowed the class to recreate the concert experience. 

Online learning has been easier overall in Mulka’s opinion, but it does make her choir class difficult at times. She said the more she does it though, the less awkward it becomes. While it can be difficult to keep your voice on the right note while not working in a large group together, Mulka said things in Mr. Callaghan’s class seem to be going well.

Similar to choir classes, bringing together a large group of students virtually for a band class has its own set of issues. Sophomore Mac Thomas said things may be slow sometimes due to logistics of online band, but classes are going well in his mind. 

“I don’t know all of the details, but we were getting info about some apps we could use to record a quartet or more, playing different songs,” Thomas said. “Even though the pandemic has restricted our ability to learn in a classroom setting, that isn’t stopping the band students from learning and playing music together. The difference is that I don’t play my instrument every day like I used to.” 

Band is going well for Thomas, but he does say that not being in-person changes the dynamic of classes.

“I know it’s not safe right now, with the cases rising and such, but online has taken a toll on a lot of students mentally, and it’s just not as fun as it used to be,” Thomas said. “I miss playing music before class starts and hanging out with my friends before the football games. I hope this will all be resolved for good.” 

Online learning can be a struggle for everyone, especially for those in music program courses. But so far, a lot of successes have been achieved.