Arts at a Distance???

We know we would rather be like this (they swear this wasn’t planned)….

But for now, we are like this….

And we feel like this…

So…what now??? How can you have a choir or a band when social distancing? How can we create a play? How can teachers help students with their paintings if they can’t look over their shoulder?

These are the things we have been struggling with since the spring semester. But the good news is – we have found solutions!

Our first concern is equity. We are making sure that all of our students are able to participate even if they do not have the tools at home – art supplies, instruments, and of course, tech.

The art teachers are finding that some of their students thrive without having someone staring over their shoulder – being alone lets them be creative. They have included more technology than ever in their courses, and some say they plan to keep some of this “new normal” even after we get back in school!

For drama, their approach is going to have to be much different, but that won’t stop them – or DTASC, the big theater festival that happens each semester. It will be online this fall, so full steam ahead, drama!

For music, both the choirs and bands have made virtual videos and have focused on individual skills. For some students, this has really helped them improve as musicians! We are using websites like Noteflight, musictheory.net, Teoria, and Sight Reading Factory to help our students get individualized practice and self-assessment. Technology in music has come a long way – check out Mr. Thurow’s classroom set up for this semester!

While of course we miss the ensembles (that energy cannot be simulated!), the virtual ensembles are something unique and special that we are getting out of this. Here is Castle Builder by our Women’s Choir from the spring:

So. This isn’t ideal. But we aren’t sitting back – art can be created under ANY conditions, and we will not be stopped! Go ECR VaPA!

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