Wilson’s choir program has had to completely change since the outbreak of COVID-19 in January. Live music concerts have completely disappeared.
Mr. Heard, Wilson’s choir teacher said they will no longer be working on music with the goal of performing on a stage but rather performing through a screen. Heard explained the choirs are hoping to release videos to the Wilson choir Instagram page of songs that would normally be performed at a concert to replace a physical or virtual performance.
Since in person practice is not currently an option, students have been asked to submit videos of themselves singing. Heard said this season has been especially challenging for him as he has had to learn a variety of new skills such as editing music and learning to teach in a virtual environment, completely different than how he was originally taught. As difficult as distance learning has been for Heard it has been just as challenging for his students.
“Students are still getting the same opportunities but they are not getting the same experience as previous students have.”
This could affect students because they don’t typically learn as well over a zoom call. Although Heard encourages his students to interact while on zoom calls and even wave goodbye at the end of the calls, many of his students are feeling less connected than they would have hoped.
One way Heard helps make connections is he continues to have weekly talent shows on Fridays in his classes. This provides students with a moment to share with peers their vocal abilities and help to create a sense of unity among the choir students.
“Personally I don’t feel the same connection compared to when we were all physically there but I can still see the choirs making an effort to be connected with each other, every class is just fun to me and I love it but I’d love it even more if we were in person.” shared Chamber Singer Kayli Cooper.
Heard looks forward to future years in which he will gain more singers in his choir and have real people sitting in the auditorium listening to the songs the choirs have prepared for them.