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With Masks on and Social Distancing in Place, Music Classes Adjust to Changes

Mar 22, 2021

As HHS transitions from fully distance learning to hybrid, in the forefront of some student’s minds is the music department. 

With the implemented and now standard use of masks, it may be difficult for HHS music students to perform in their classes. 

For Victoria Menge, senior, finding the perfect pitch has become a bigger task. 

“Having music class all distance was really hard because you could still practice and become good at your individual part, but you couldn’t hear how all the different instruments are supposed to come together,” said Menge. “So it didn’t really feel like an orchestra, it just felt like playing the viola.”

With smaller class sizes and limitations, HHS Orchestra’s Chamber group has been able to meet in person since the beginning of the 2020-21 school year once a week due to its size of 15 students in total. 

Due to capacity limitations set on indoor public areas, the performing arts department has had to look into more ways to continue with their yearly concerts. Yet, it has its perks.

“One cool thing that came out of the need for social distance was the outdoor orchestra rehearsals that we had this fall. Since we were able to be 6 feet apart and outside (and wear masks of course), it felt very safe,” said Menge. “Although the wind made keeping sheet music in place a challenge, it was fun to combine music and nature because those are both very helpful for my mental health.” 

With the exception of choir and orchestra, band has been able to keep the class lively with their music in person by wearing specialty designed masks that allow students to play while having their faces covered. 

Choir in person sits spaced out with masks on, whereas for online choir, Mrs. Katie Irvin, choir, sings and her students sing along with her but with their mics off. 

“This works pretty well because she can focus on specific sections in the choir allowing us to hear our individual notes a lot better,” said Denajah Smith, senior. 

Smith has been in choir since her sophomore year and currently performs in the Concert Choir and all-female a capella group, Midori. With this, teachers have made adaptations to the class.

Irvin provides for her students by allowing them to visit with her one on one, listen to rehearsal tracks, and submit song checks every so often so she is able to give us feedback on a song they are working on. 

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