Choir classes adapt to the virtual setting


Courtesy of Cherry Hill East Music

Choir students perform at the Cherry Hill East Winter Choral Concert of 2019.

Online school has affected the way all teachers run their classes, but it has particularly affected one specific group of classes: electives.

Elective classes that require students to be in school, such as classes in the music department have been hit hard. It is quite difficult to conduct a band or a chorus when the members cannot be in the same room.

These teachers have had to get creative to accommodate online learning and keep their class running productively despite the current circumstances in which only the teachers are at school.

For example, choral classes have changed their classes dramatically. Before the pandemic, large groups of students would meet in the choral room in D-wing and sing together, working on their vocal skills while fostering a close community and tight bond.

Now, these students have to sing in their homes—alone— while staying on mute. Laurie Lausi, the choral director, exclaimed that she “feels like [she is] conducting a choir of mimes!”

To overcome this, students send in videos of them singing and get feedback from their teachers on how to improve their vocals.

Adaptations like this allow for teachers to give individualized feedback. Mrs. Lausi says that this is actually one of her favorite things about online learning. It allows her students to grow stronger individually, so that “they will learn to be even more confident and accountable as performers when we are [able to be] back together.”

Although it is harder to connect personally when the class is not physically together, teachers still try their best to create a strong, tight knit community to mimic that feeling of being in an in person class, doing bonding activities and letting the students get to know each other.

Through making the students stronger separately and creating a community, the music department has truly overcome the unprecedented circumstances to make their classes fun and run smoothly.