Music classes during the time of Covid


Axel Bergeson, Reporter


With distance learning students are learning new ways to participate in chosen activities while teachers adapt to an all new way of providing the same experiences they’ve given all their previous students.  Two activities that have adapted are band and choir.


Katy Scullion is a junior chorus student, who has opted to remain all distance while the pandemic is not controlled.


1.What do you miss about not being physically in chorus class?

The thing I miss most about being in chorus physically is seeing my friends, especially one friend in particular.

2. How much is the chorus workload for digital workers ?

I feel like the workload for chorus is pretty much the same from home as it was in school.

3.  How do the chorus classes work over Zoom?

In chorus everyone has to sing, though the zoom people are on mute. We also are told to do our class work during this time.

4. Is it stressful?

It’s not really stressful at all, it’s actually really relaxing! Sometimes I do forget to unmute myself, and that’s always awkward. 

5. Do you prefer distance or in person better and why?

I like distanced because I get to learn the music and terms at my own pace. 


The choir and band teacher, Mr. Fioravanti, has taught at Waterford High School for 28 years. 

 1. Will you be hosting live performances?

Performances this year are up in the air. As of right now, we have concerts scheduled as if it is any regular year, but will not perform until the state permits.


 2. Will there be extra precautions taken for band students, as example social distancing


Band, Choir, and Orchestra members have specific state guidelines to adhere to. Wind players (brass and woodwinds) must be 12 feet apart, have bell covers and flute shields and can only play for 30 minutes at a time. After 30 minutes of playing, they must not play for 20 minutes to let the air circulate and refresh. Percussionists can be 6 feet apart and must wear masks. No limit to length of playing. Choir members must sit 6 feet apart from side to side, but must sit 9 feet apart front to back. They also have the 30/20 timing limit and must wear masks. Orchestra (string) members must sit 6 feet apart from side to side, but must sit 9 feet apart front to back. No limit to length of playing.


3.Will students perform live?


As of right now, they have nothing scheduled. The WPS music department is meeting on October 8 to discuss performing opportunities. The restrictions placed on music students makes performing very difficult. We are not ruling anything out for the future.


 4.How is teaching the band going?


Teaching the music ensembles is quite challenging. Zoom’s response delay makes it impossible for students at home to play in sync with each other. Therefore, the students are muted while they are performing at home. Teaching ensembles in the hybrid model is not ideal, but it is much better than full distance. Full distance makes it impossible to play as an ensemble. It is, however, giving the students more individual practice time. We are lucky at WHS to be able to have students play and sing in class. We have enough room in the band room and auditorium to make it happen.


 5.How do you manage the workload for Covid?


The workload is manageable now since I got through the learning curve. Remembering to set up Zoom meetings, taking attendance, and making sure the students at home focus has been the biggest challenge.

6.Have you seen any other schools have creative ideas on hosting performances?

I have not seen any other schools that are hosting performances. Most districts are waiting for the October 1 word from the state to determine their next steps. Some ensembles (not necessarily schools) have been live streaming performances with small groups spaced apart accordingly.


He adds, “I have been impressed with the attitude of the students through this trying time. WHS music students are continuing to work as if we were going to do performances. They have been working hard to get acclimated to spreading apart so far. Their dedication to their music and studies has been commendable.”