Coronavirus Alters Fine Arts Courses

Details about how fine arts pivoted through pandemic

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Photo by Zoie Carlile

Freshman Ava Robertson practices percussion after school. Band has gone through many changes this year that has impacted students. “There’s different groups of people and you never really get to meet each other.” Schedler said.

This year, if you walk into a band classroom, you will see chairs spaced out, a very small number of students spread around the room and the sounds of an unbalanced ensemble. 

For freshman Audrey Schedler, that is how band has been for the majority of this year. 

Fine arts have gone through various changes to meet the requirements of new online and in person learning. 

“First we had to wear covers over our instruments and put stuff over the openings,” Schedler said. “It was really weird, and we did not sound good.”

When every student learned online at the beginning of the year, it posed new challenges for fine arts. For example, learning an instrument as a class. 

“They would have us log on and do class together, but we couldn’t really do anything,” Schedler said. “It was pretty weird.”

Julia Smartt, a sophomore in the theater program, thinks it’s been a strange year for performing arts students. 

“Little things were different like blocking things or doing choreography where we had to be spread out more or we can’t touch each other,” Smartt said.

Overall, the changes have made theater harder for Smartt, and She explained why they were unfortunate.  

“Unlike last year we can’t do as much teambuilding and stuff because we can’t get as close,” she said.

During musicals, the theater has some slightly different mask regulations. 

“We wear clear masks so you can still see our faces when we act, but honestly they’re really annoying,” Smartt said. 

 However, Smartt says that everyone has also been able to adapt pretty well this year nonetheless.

In band on the other hand, Schedler says that one thing has been helpful for her this year, and that’s private lessons.

“We kind of know how to adapt, if my lesson teacher isn’t here [face-to-face], she can still zoom meet with me and we can still play,” Schedler said.

Despite the adaptations, performing arts just hasn’t been the same for Schedler.

“From what I’ve heard, it was a lot more fun in non-covid years,” Schedler said. “After football games, you could go hang out with people, and it’s more of a bonding experience.” 

Students in orchestra have also lost the social aspect of learning music with their friends. Senior Ayaha Hariyama is one of the orchestra officers who normally organizes social events.

“So we did only one social activity before [the coronavirus], Secret Santa, that’s what we did after the winter concert,” Hariyama said.

However, with social distancing and other changes made to the class, such activities have been harder to organize. Orchestra has helped Hariyama socialize, have fun and learn more about the music she’s passionate about. 

Throughout five years of being part of the orchestra, music remains important to Hariyama, and she loves to play it.

“I feel really connected whenever I play the music, that’s why I like the music, I think it’s important for me and helps me to socialize and express myself,” she said.