Since the global pandemic reshaped our lives, going back to the way things used to be has been a difficult and slow transition. Some activities, especially group one, still have not been reinstated. For example, making music in times of COVID has been wrought with obstacles due to the pandemic. A lot of colleges have cancelled in-person private music lessons or ensemble rehearsals. This has forced most of the colleges to either transfer these courses to online teaching, or in some other cases just cancel them. Cornell College, however, has found a way to allow some students to get together and rehearse for some ensembles, albeit following the health safety protocols. This college’s approach to group practices is making music in times of COVID fun again.
Rehearsals are held no more than twice a week, no more than 30 minutes per rehearsal, and with no more than 16 musicians per rehearsal. These rules may seem to slow down the process and productivity, but this has not been the case. according to students and teachers. They have been using a software called SmartMusic to increase productivity. The software allows the conductor of the ensemble to assign students new material for them to learn on their own.
Making music in times of COVID under these restrictions may seem unpractical, especially with time limitations. However, according to Kenna Ebert (a junior at Cornell College), both faculty and students have taken rehearsals very seriously. People arrive and set up on time, along with coming prepared to play.
The process has been taken so seriously that the college is providing specialized masks for all musicians, bell covers for brass players, and singing masks for singers and choir members. For one fall concert video, all the musicians recorded their parts individually. Everything was then put together later so that it sounded and looked like a full ensemble. Despite the limitations the global pandemic has created, making music in times of COVID has provided valuable learning experiences for both students and faculty members, from which they can collectively grow and keep creating together as a unit.
To find more about how Cornell College students and teachers keep creating during these uncertain times, visit the source information at Cornell College website.
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